Jack Carthy, «Battre Gilles pendant qu’il est encore au top !»

Jack Carthy, "Beat Gilles while he’s still at his best"

Friday 29 June 2012
by Ben Swales
popularity : 11%

PNG - 281.4 kb A relatively unknown rider on the UCI Elite circuit stirred up a bit of a storm at the opening round of the 2012 World Cup in Aalter… Jack Carthy’s incredible performance has made him the talk of the trials world! This young British rider who is just 15 years old and has already dominated the World Youth Games for three years was the rider that everyone was watching at the season opener. In his first ever World Cup he finished on the podium, alongside two of the sport’s biggest and best riders, multiple World Champions Monde Gilles Coustellier and Kenny Belaey. Kenny had two reasons to be smiling; he finished in second place that day, but he had also spotted Jack’s talent and taken under his wing the rider who he believes “will be the next World Champion”, making him a part of the team riding for his new international shop Enter-Bike. All Tribal Rider Jack has in his head is to prove Kenny right and become the World Champion. We caught up with Jack a week or so ago and had a chat with him in order to get to know him better JPEG - 169.6 kb and to introduce him properly to our readers. We talked about trials, his life, Aalter and his one burning desire… to beat Gilles while he’s still at his best! At 15 years old, he’s already dreaming of victory and dares to challenge the seemingly untouchable World Champion. Ladies and Gentlemen… Jack Carthy in the house! Photos: Anthony Wardle & Tribal Zine (Jipéka, Jébegood, Thorfin)

Tribal Interview

OK Jack, tell us all about yourself! .. What are your nickname, age, date of birth, height, weight, current titles and personal bests?

Well, you guys have kind of started people calling me the ‘Clean Machine’ (thanks for that!). I’m 15 and I was born on 8th August 1996. I’m 1.88m tall and I weigh about 80kg. My current titles are: UCI Cadet World Youth Games Champion, British Trials Cup Elite 26” Champion, third in the UCI World Cup in Aalter. My personal bests are: 1.5m sidehop and 1.8m hook.

What are your goals in trials?

To become World Champion and to Beat Gilles!

That’s a fair goal… good luck! Who are your current sponsors?

Enter-Bike, TNN, King 5 and, of course, Tribal Zine!

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JPEG - 111.9 kb An honour for us! Do you have any other hobbies or passions outside trials?

I used to play rugby, but I’m just concentrating on trials now. 100%!

Do you have any particular music tastes?

Not really, I just like anything with a good beat!

A favourite film?

Yeah, Rocky!

The story of a relatively unknown who dares to challenge the seemingly unbeatable World Champion… sounds familiar! Haha! Do you have a favourite book?

No, I don’t really read books.

Fair enough. Favourite food?

Beans on toast... I love them…

Is there an athlete that inspires you?

There are two; Kenny and Gilles.

Yep, good role models, both of them. Is there a girl in your life?

Yes, my girlfriend Fern. She’s ace.

What does she think of trials?

She thinks it’s a good sport and she likes to watch. She comes to most of my competitions.

She DOES sound ace. Hang on to her! What’s your dream then?

To beat Gilles while he’s still at his best!

What’s the most incredible thing you’ve done on your bike?

Become World Youth Games Champion.

Three times in a row, no less! What’s the trials video that’s impressed you most recently?

There was one recently… A video from a young member of the Tyke Trial club, who you guys know well, Charlie Rolls. He’s so young, but he’s got so much control!

Yeah, another clean machine… we’ve got a lot of respect for the mini champion! What do you think of the most popular rider on the planet, Danny MacAskill?

I think he’s a great rider, but it’s not really for me, I don’t think it’s proper trials anymore.

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What’s your favorite drink? We remember you at the WYG, drinking so much Coca Cola in the sections...

When I am training I just drink water, but yes, I like coca cola!

JPEG - 203.2 kb Kenny Belaey wants to know what food your parents give you to eat to have a son like you… We also want to know, so that we can eat the same... tell us!

Hahaha! Hahaha! Lots of stuff! I don’t really have a specific diet, I eat loads. Beans on toast is my favourite.

We’ll have to try it out! What’s a typical day for the Clean Machine then?

Most days I get up late, eat, ride, eat, ride and then see Fern.

Alright for some… Have you tried a 24” street trials bike? What do you think?

No I haven’t. It doesn’t really interest me at the moment, I like 26” too much.

How did you get into trials? You only started 6 years ago didn’t you?

I saw Wayne (Mahomet) riding in my home town and it all started from there. Wayne’s one of my good friends now and we ride together a lot.

When did you decide to make trials competition you life, to become the next World Champion, as Kenny put it?

JPEG - 188.3 kb Well, I just let it roll and see what happens. I always wanted to get better and I’m competing at the top level now and training to be the best.

You are already 100% dedicated to trials, you have left school haven’t you?

Yes I am. Trials is all I want to do now, I won’t be satisfied until I’ve had a good go at being the world Champion. I have left school now, yes. It gives me more time to focus on my riding.

Can you tell us a bit more about the training that has allowed you reach you to this impressive level so quickly?

I don’t know really, I just try my hardest all the time! I always try to get out on the bike and I don’t sit about when I’m training, I’m always riding. I think that attitude has got me to the level that I’m at now.

In the paddock, everyone (including the Super Elite riders) is talking about your power. At 15 you are already more powerful than any of the other riders... What’s your gym training like? Is it an important part of your preparation?

Well, I only really go to the gym when there are no comps on; I havent been for a few months now, but yes, I was lifting quite heavy weights. I want to be stronger though! Over the next two years I am going to be better, train harder than ever - I want to be World Champion!

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JPEG - 237.7 kb The top riders who are ahead of you tell us that what you do at 15 years old is incredible, but it may be dangerous for your body as you’re still a teenager, what do you think about that? do you have a coach or a physical trainer? We understand your cousin did some physical conditioning with you?

No, I don’t listen to any of that, I don’t really believe it. If you have the power, you have the power - use it!

Do you have a coach or a physical trainer? We understand your cousin did some physical conditioning with you?

I did do a bit of conditioning with my cousin yes. Now I train with my dad and sometimes with other riders. I’m not too worried about physical trainers or anything yet.

You look so calm and collected, almost serene, in the sections. You have an impressive mentality, seeming unperturbed and only focused on one thing, the podium, to win ... Do you have a specific coaching for mental preparation like many athletes, or is that just the Carthy mindset?

I just think about the trial and nothing else; I dont have a coach for that. If I feel abit worked up i talk to my Mum and Dad about it and when Fern is with me she keeps me calm.

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Your mum and dad seem to have played a big role in your trials career, travelling all over the world with you to competitions etc., and your father he is always by your side in the sections... tell us more about them and role they play in your success ? Is your dad a former trials rider? Are they to thank for a lot of the success of the Clean Machine? Is there anyone else who has played a big role in your career?

I honestly couldn’t have done it without them. They’ve given me so much support over the years! My dad is always with me, every time I go training he’s there too. If I ask him to take me out he takes me straight away. He’s like my best friend. He’s never ridden trials, no. He just supports me in what I do. I’d also like to thank Fern, my sister and the rest of my family for their support, and Wayne and James (Hyland) for the inspiration and support. Thank you all!

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JPEG - 123.9 kb Tell us about the competitions that you ride in the UK and how they’ve helped you prepare for the World circuit. You’re a member of the Tyke Trial club aren’t you?

I’ve been going Tyke Trial and Biketrial federation competitions in the UK since I started riding. My family help run them as well. They’re a real help with my training and help me to keep my hand in at competition riding.

You had a bit of a "baptism of fire" on the UCI elite circuit over the last few weeks and you performed incredibly! You told us before the Pro Serie and the World Cup that you "can’t wait to ride with your idols, to see what their strengths are and to compete with them"... We knew that you were capable of big things, but we didn’t expect such a great start! Congratulations man, you are already one of the best elite riders in the world! At Aalter, only the two multiple World Champions Gilles Coustellier and Kenny Belaey were able to stand up to the Clean machine... Your First World Cup saw you in the Super Final and on the podium! That must be a big satisfaction?

Thank you! And yes, it’s amazing to be riding with the top guys. I used to just sit and watch videos of them all, now I’m competing against them! It was so good standing up there on the podium with the two best riders in the world, respect too them both!

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Back to your competition... You qualified first in the quarterfinals with ease, despite the level of riding and the difficulty of the sections, then in the semifinals you had the best lap of all the elite riders, only dropping one point to qualify in second place. Can you give us a few words about this amazing start and how it made you feel?

Well, when I walked the sections I knew there was no problem with any of them. I was sure I could clean them all. Getting the best lap was a great feeling. It was really good knowing that I can beat Gilles, even if it was only one lap.

JPEG - 222 kb When we spoke to you dad before the final, he said you expected it to be very difficult, especially as you weren’t really used to riding logs. What was going through your mind at that moment, as you checked out the sections before the final? A lot of riders were saying that it looked impossible, even in the dry! You were suffering from your crash in France as well…

Yeah, my shoulder was pretty bad after that crash! In the end, they weren’ as hard as I thought they were going to be - they were difficult, but definitely possible.

On the first lap, it was all a bit chaotic, with riders racking up fives all over the place, but you managed one clean in the 5th section, on the wooden cable drums, like Gilles Coustellier... you’re in third position, what’s going through your mind?

As I was going round, I was telling myself that I could finish well, in second or third place, and I just kept telling myself I could do it.

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JPEG - 183.9 kb On the second lap, you manage to clean another section, the long and technical rock section (3), and you end up in third place in the final... good job! Give us a few words about this performance...

Well, I was really worrying about the logs as I dont really practice anything like that in the UK, but I managed to get through on three so I was really happy. I fell much more confident with stuff like that no, especially as my riding has improved since then.

You had an incredible Super Final, Aurélien made a lot of mistakes, you fived the first section and then after you had a great run, supported by the crowd, was that a great moment for you?

I was a bit annoyed about getting the five on section one - I wanted to finish the lap on 1, but it was OK in the end. Finishing in third was a great moment!

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JPEG - 111.4 kb This first 2012 World Cup was really huge, Kenny wanted to make it the most mediatised World Cup ever organised, and he did! What do you think about the event, the organisation, the place, the atomosphere, the public, the sections? Was really incredible to see so many cameras and people at a trials event?

I thought it was a really good, well-organised event. The coverage was great! I didn’t really like the sections though, I won’t lie. Everything was my wrong way, taps was really tight, so I found them all quite difficult.

What will you remember most, what did you learn from this first World Cup, and what are your goals for the next?

Standing on the podium in third place at my first World Cup is a memory that I’ll have forever. That was even better than I thought! I’d like to repeat that performance and improve on it. I’d love to win a round this year, but it’ll be hard work!

You’ve already shown that you’re capable of it Jack! You were in Fort William last week, an incredible event, the highlight of the uk trials calendar; you managed a perfect trial on the first day, but had a harder time of things in the rain on the second day? Tell us a bit about it...

JPEG - 244 kb Yes I was. It was good to be back up there again, and yes, I was riding really well on Saturday – I cleaned the whole trial! Sunday was harder because it rained, so the sections were all really slippery.

Now, about your riding position… everyone’s talking about it, and it is quite strange… Why do you put your bars like that? It looks really uncomfortable, but seems to work well for moves like hooking ? Gilles has even said that he wants to try it! Tell us more about it!

I dont really know, I just like it like that for some reason – it’s the Jack Carthy way. Haha. Gilles has had a go with with his bars like mine. I don’t think he liked it, but i really do, so I’m going carry on like that.

Haha, we still don’t really get it, but it seems to work for you! Just to finish off, can you tell us a bit about your bike, the Slate 3 XL, the first Rockman to make it onto a UCI podium… It seems to suit you quite well?

Yes it’s a really nice bike to be riding; it’s strong, stiff and light – just the way I like it!

Fair enough. Well, all the best for the rest of the season! We’ll be watching!

Cheers man, see you soon.

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