Laurie Greenland Interview
Posted : 28/06/2017
There are very few riders who transition from a top level Junior rider into Elite and have a high level of success in their rookie year. Laurie Greenland is one of the few. In 2015 he was Junior World Cup Champion and Junior World Champion. Fast forward to 2016 and Greenland scored a string of top ten World Cup results and an incredible silver medal at the World Championships. Let’s find out some more about this talented young athlete.
How would you describe yourself, in four words, when the race clock starts?
Motivated, happy, nervous and excited!!
And how would you describe yourself off the bike, again in four words?
Hard one!! I guess Spontaneous, happy, sporty and humble...
You might only be beginning your second year in the senior category, but you’ve been racing a long time. How old were you when you got your first mountain bike and can you tell us about those early years in your racing career?
I got my first mountain bike when I was 8, it's definitely the best thing that's ever happened to me!! The first races I went to really felt unreal, I've never been so stoked to be anywhere but so scared of it in my life. I got more nervous then, than I do now for a World Cup final! I guess when you're that age (12) there is nothing in your head outside riding and racing and it really does mean the world to you!! At these races I soon felt at home and knew that I was going to try my hardest to make it my job.
2016 was your rookie Elite year on the World Cup Series and you managed to place a very worthy 14th overall. What was your highlight of the 2016 series and why?
My highlight of the season has to be placing 2nd at the World Championships. It had been a massive year of learning and to put it all together at the very end of the season, riding on confidence from all the things that I had learned, really felt surreal!
That silver medal at the 2016 World Championships was gained through an inspired race run! Can you describe your mind-set going into that race and tell us about the run itself?
My mindset going into that race felt safe. I felt like I had learnt a lot and felt like I was where I was meant to be. Up until this point, I had always dreamt of being at the top and it still felt like a daunting prospect of exactly how fast you had to go to get there. But with most of the year under my belt and slowly getting closer to the top, I felt like I had the experience to get the job done safely. My run itself went really well, I was on the good side of the limit, giving it as much as you've got but just about staying in control. Like every World Champs run should be I guess! I had a great week on the track and felt really great from run 1. It was awesome to put how I felt on the bike into the run that counted!
So, your rookie Elite year was incredible and this season you’ve already achieved a ninth place World ranking. What are your goals for the World Cup Series and for the World Championships for this year and how have you prepared in the off-season to achieve these?
My goal is to finish top ten in the overall, come the end of the year for sure. To get that consistency will be a huge achievement for me... For the World Champs I guess there's no point going if you’re not going for the win is there?! This year’s off-season I decided to go out to sunny NZ, mostly for the bike time and the good weather. The goal was to gain some weight (for a bit more momentum and to prevent some injuries) and spend a lot of time trying feel as safe as possible whilst going as fast as possible. Both of these went to plan and it seems to be working so far!
You’ve spent a lot of years racing bikes. Can you tell us what your favourite course of all time is and why you choose that one in particular?
Meribel, France. This track was awesome! Almost totally natural with some awesome features. It was pretty flat out top to bottom with a great mixture of open hauling sections and more technical in the woods - It made for exciting racing.
You’re into your third year riding Renthal products. Can you tell us about the Renthal products you choose to ride and how you set up your cockpit?
I run the Fatbar Carbon 30mm rise bar with the 50mm length/10mm rise stem. I like to run a 50mm stem and a bar cut to 760mm on all of my bikes - It's nice when all your bikes feel similar and you can go between them seamlessly.
We’ve seen you’re pretty handy on a skateboard. Can you tell us about that and any other non-mountain bike sports you do?
Yeah I love a bit of skateboarding in the off-season. I've been doing it longer than riding bikes even and it's awesome to do something different to freshen up riding bikes again!! I've been getting in a lot of surfing recently too, with these three sports it’s pretty impossible to get bored!
And finally, what would be your single best piece of advice, for any aspiring young downhillers out there?
Have as much fun as possible, ride as many different bikes as you can, (BMX is really good for developing skills and power) and remember that someone else's way of doing things might not work for you. Do what feels right for you, and try to trust your head in that decision!