2012, Abel’s year!
Saturday 25 February 2012
by Ben Swales
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This year has seen a lot of shock transfers and changes. Here at Tribal Zine HQ we follow it all with interest, and today we bring you an interview with Abel Mustieles, whose transfer to Monty caused a bit of a stir. Ot Pi’s new recruit is stirring things up on the international circuit, and it is a new man who will be attacking the 2012 season, with much bigger ambitions!

The Wild Wolf / Monty / AMG rider tells us about his bike, his training, his goals, his rivals and his view on the new UCI competition format. It’s a very informative interview with a great champion and Tribal Zine reader. Enjoy!

The photos that accompany at are from one of Spain’s best trials photographers, Rafa Redondo.

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Tribal Interview

Hi Abel, thanks for your time and availability as usual! What’s changed in your life since we last spoke?

That was a year ago, and my life has more than changed, it has evolved from day to day, transforming my passion into something truly professional. The biggest change, of course, was my move to Monty. It’s a great honour for me to be riding for the most famous brand in the trials world, managed by a true legend of the sport, Ot Pi, and to participate in the development of their flagship bike.

JPEG - 74.8 kb You were with Koxx for a long time, and now you’ve joined a new team as their No. 1 rider. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

As you say, I was with Koxx for a long time. It was a very positive time for me, but everything comes to an end and we have to look to the future. Monty is, and always has been, the most charismatic brand in the trials world. The fact that they’re Spanish and managed by the great Ot Pi makes things easier as well. It’s a real motivation for me to be riding the revolutionary M5 in 2012! I would like to point out, however, that I’m not the team’s No. 1 rider; the team philosophy is that all the riders are equal. I’m lucky to be able to call Dani Comas a fellow team member.

You surprised everyone with your move. Can you tell us what your main reasons for making the change were?

People were surprised because they saw me finishing my career with Koxx. But you should never close doors in life and should always look to the future. My contract with Koxx finished in 2011 and it was my ambition to move to Monty. I had several offers, but Ot Pi wanted me to help develop the brand. That’s what decided me, as well as the fact that it was what I wanted.

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Will you be competing in BIU competitions, or just UCI events?

This season I will be competing in both, although the UCI events will be my priority. In BIU, I will compete in the Spanish championships and the Worlds, but only in Italy as the other dates clash with UCI rounds.

JPEG - 297.6 kb New team, new life and new bike. Can you tell us a bit about the M5? Do you see much difference compared with aluminium? You’ve gone for dual HS33s, Why’s that?

There are a lot of differences, and not just aesthetically: the M5 is a marvel! Carbon is much lighter, but also much stiffer. It’s a truly revolutionary bike, and I’m not just talking about the frame. For the moment, I’m testing prototypes. The frame and fork are not definitive versions and we want the bike to be THE bike of its time. In addition to that, Monty have developed some top-of-the-range light parts which are currently in the testing phase and will be out soon.

Now that I’ve ridden several hours of training and testing, I can tell you that I’m properly used to the bike. One of the most radical changes, for me, was the move to dual HS33. I’m pleased with the change though, I think I’ll stick with them for the whole season. I think they’re perfectly suited to the demands of modern trials.

A lot of people have been talking about the fragility of carbon. What do you think?

You only have to look at other sports: carbon is used in so many of them. In trials, it’s coming in bit by bit. When carbon handlebars appeared a few years ago, everyone said that they’d break. Now look: there’s barely a single brand without a carbon handlebar in their range. In a few years, I think you’ll see plenty of other carbon bikes…

JPEG - 290 kb What will be your role in the development of the bike?

Dani and I are testing the M5, as well as all the other Monty components. We’re giving our opinion on everything before it goes into production. Another M5 prototype is on the way; Monty trust us.

Monty chose you for their team to compete in UCI events. How do you feel about that? Would you have preferred Dani to compete as well?

UCI is my priority. That won’t change my state of mind at all, I’ll be giving it everything I have. I would be delighted if Dani wanted to come with me to some of the competitions It would be amazing if Dani, Benito, Carles, Rick, Loris, Ion and I were at the top for another ten years!

You have a lot of goals this season. How to you prepare for them?

This season I’m riding a veritable weapon of a bike and I have a lot of good support. That’s a real motivation. I’m working with Jesus Otero, a great personal trainer from Andalusia. We’re working very hard and it’s bearing fruit, but there’s still a lot to do to be at 100% in the competitions. For me, it’s a job that was relatively unknown to me until now, and I’m giving it my all.

What do you make of the new format of the World Cups, with the Super Finals?

JPEG - 286.7 kb I think that we needed to be fit enough as it was. We’re going to need batteries now! Once the finals have been finished, it will be very hard to ride another four sections. But, we’ll see what happens, who’s trained well and is able to take on the extra sections. Before the Super Final there will have been the semis, the final… all of that requires a lot of physical preparation.

You were on the same team as three of the top riders in the world, now you’re on the same team as one. How do you feel about that?

Dani’s a good friend and I’m happy to join him with Monty. We’ve been friends for several years and now we’re working together to defend the interests of the same team. We’ll be doing some videos together soon to properly present our other team mate: The M5!

Can you tell us a bit about your shop?

My shop. AMG bikes, is a project that my whole family is involved in. It was the only thing that was missing from a life dedicated entirely to biketrials. I stopped my studies to be able to manage it properly. Bit by bit, we’re making a name for ourselves, but times are hard and we can’t wait for the start of the season so that we can promote ourselves properly. We sell all kinds of bikes, and trials-wise we have everything from starter bikes to top-of-the-range components. You can find more info on our websitewww.amgbikes.es.

Thanks Abel. All the best And good luck for 2012!

Thanks very much! Keep up the good work with the site!

Interview: Álvaro López. Photos: Rafa Redondo.

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A few photos from a recent training session in Caspe on the 14th January, by Ivan Galan Esteban. Ivan is a 23 year old rider who has been riding for ten years and lives in Cinca, just round the corner from Abel. He’s therefore lucky enough to train with the World No. 2 on a regular basis and to be able to share these photos with us. ..

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