John Webster, la révélation du Mondial 2010

John Webster, the revelation of the 2010 World Championship

Monday 21 March 2011
by Ben Swales
popularity : 13%

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Rockman rider John Webster was the big revelation of last year’s World Championship. To the surprise of many, the Canadian qualified for the Elite 26" final on his Rockman Kortz II alongside the world’s best riders. It was his first UCI competition of the season and he finished seventh in the most important competition of the year. Here’s an interview with Tribal Rider John from the end of January in which we get to know him a bit better, talk about the World Championship and he announces some good news: He will be competing on the international circuit in 2011!


PNG - 298.6 kb Hi John, before we get going, congratulations on your performance in Mont Sainte-Anne, you were the revelation of the World Championship and your qualification for the final was one of the big surprises of the competition! A competitior who seemed to come from nowhere to beat some of the best Elite riders in the world; it was really exciting! But you’re not exactly an unknown in the trial world; in 2009 we saw you ride in Tang Ping at eth BIU World Championship, where you took the title of Vice-World Champion, ahead of Maxime Kolb and Thomas Francisco. Your clean and efficient riding, very UCI, was very impressive, especially as we’d never heard of you before. In the UCI World Championship in Canberra you finished in 18th place and in Mont Sainte-Anne you qualified alongside some of the greats, like Joe Brewer did on his home turf last year. A local rider who comes along to shake up the world hierarchy. Brilliant!

Thank you! In Québec I had one of my most successful UCI Events; I was feeling al ot of pressure this year, as after the world championships in Canberra I was not happy with my result at all, I know I did not ride to my potential and I was very nervous. Canberra played a big role in my success in Québec, I learned a lot in Canberra and I applied those experiences to my performance in Québec.

JPEG - 120.5 kb How did your semi-final go?

The semi Finals were very interesting for me, I didn’t have a very good first lap and I was getting a little bit frustrated with myself because I was not making moves that I can normally make, After I really got myself focused my second lap was a lot better, which is the main reason I made it into the final. When I found out I made it into the final I was very happy and felt a great deal of satisfaction, it was like a sigh of relief... until I saw the sections for the final then I was nervous all over again haha.

How did you find the final? The monstrous sections weren’t to everyone’s liking, with the number of kickers and jumps.

My mindset going into the final was such I had already accomplished my goals for this event and it was all about just having fun at that point and learning as much as possible during the final so I can apply those experience in 2011 and possibly have more success. As far as the sections I thought there was maybe too many kickers but it is sometimes nice to have a bit of a change.

There was a great atmosphere at the Worlds this time, with hundreds of dedicated spectators throughout the weekend. Did that contribute to your success?

The atmosphere in Québec was really good; lots of support because I was from Canada. The crowds would always be cheering and clapping when I was in the sections so the support was very nice and that was a big part of me having a good second lap in the semi-final and helped push me to get into the final, I knew I couldn’t let those people down!

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JPEG - 164 kb How did you prepare for the event? There’s no structure in place for trials training and you had to do it all yourself didn’t you? Is trials not really recognised in Canada? Can you tell us about your training and the people that helped you?

There is not any support for trials riders in Canada from any organization or committee. The most support we get is from other trials riders. Our Canadian Cycling Association does the minimum to get us into the events but that is it. There are lots of trials riders in Canada but there is no real structure when it comes to competitions or events. There are local events throughout Canada but no big events like in Europe. I have done most of my preparation myself with the help of a trainer I work with a lot during the winter months to help with the mental and physical aspect, my family supports me a huge amount and that helps make it all possible as well. Watching videos of the riders in Europe helps a lot as well with technique, some of the riders that inspire me the most are Kenny Belay, Vincent Hermance and Dani Comas.

Who are your sponsors?

The only sponsors I have are Rockman Bikes and Both help me with bikes and parts. I am going to try and get some help from small local businesses for the 2011 World cups and World Championships to make it possible to compete in Europe in 2011.

Excellent news! What does John Webster do when he’s not riding his bike?

When I am not riding my bike or training I am playing Ice Hockey on 3 different teams. In the winter I also spend allot of time skiing and working on the drag race car I am building. When the weather is nice I enjoy camping and being outdoors as much as possible. I have been running a small business my dad started 35+ years ago doing exhaust work on vehicles and some other mechanical and metal fabrication work. I have been doing that for about 3 or 4 years now and my dad is still involved and does the work when I am travelling for trials.

Tell us a bit about your bike?

I am riding the rock Kortz 2.5 now and really like it. The geo suits my style and is a great frame for riding the modern UCI sections! (not so good with kickers or jumps though Hahaha). JPEG - 39.1 kb

JPEG - 119.9 kb What about the rest of the competition? Did you get to watch the duel between Gilles and Kenny? Vince’s fall? Benito and Caisso showing them how it was done? You were the first to set off, so you must have had time to see the end of the competition and Kenny’s victory?

I didn’t really get to see the battle between Gilles and Kenny in Québec. I heard a little bit of what was going on from other people but I was trying to stay concentrated in my riding. I did get to see them ride the last couple sections and Kenny was riding absolutely phenomenally! And Vince’s fall is very unfortunate for him and hope it didn’t affect his training for 2011. Benito and Marc Caisso rode very well, two great riders! It was a surprise Gilles didn’t do better in this event considering his great success for the rest of the year, sections just weren’t in his favour this year I guess.

Your goals for 2011? Will we see you on the international circuit again?

PNG - 306.5 kb My plans for 2011 are to ride in all or as many of the UCI World Cups as possible and the World Championships. I am going to try and come to Europe a little bit early and train with some of the riders over there if it is possible as well. I have been training more than ever on and off the bike so hopefully it will show and I can have some good results and learn more in 2011.

We’ll be rooting for you! Thanks for the interview and for bearing our colours! It’s an honour to count you among the Tribal Riders!

Thanks Tribal Zine for the interview and I am happy to be a tribal rider for 2011 as well!!

Photos : Michel Roy, Kevin Liu.


The revelation of the World Championship interviewd by MTV (Photos: Paul Gerloff, Michelle Webster).

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Two more images from Mont Sainte-Anne, the semi-final and the final, by Michel Roy (see La Elite 26" Semi-Final, by Michel Roy & Ben Savage & John Webster in Mont Sainte-Anne).

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As seen by Frédéric Johnson (Mont Sainte-Anne by Frédéric Johnson).

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John is currently working on a new video and you can see his latest one here: John Webster - Street & interview.

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