Will Longden is a racer through and through and it’s his best season yet.but…
Have you ever rated higher than 12th in the World Will?
“Well, yes, actually, I was in the top ten last week until that joke of a race at Grouse. Seven tear offs in a two minute downhill. Oh well, that’s racing. And to answer your question sensibly, this is the best international season I’ve had so far.”
What do you put it down to?
“Sports psychology. I went to see this sports psyche earlier in the season and she was just like Anne Robinson. So it was either win some races or spend lots of time with her.
“No, it is all down to confidence and the confidence came from three things:
“I started training and racing downhill early. I was racing in Scotland in January and that led to me nicking a few races which was good for confidence.
“I got my bike set up exactly right. I won a few races on it, which added confidence.
“Then the confidence helped me win a few races, which made me feel good about my bike and starting riding earlier. That’s the way the mental thing works. And it can work in the opposite direction too, so you have to make the most of it and nurture it while it’s running for you.”
I know you got incredibly fit for the season, then a lot of the Worlds courses were cut short.
“That just means I’ve got fitness to spare. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t understand it, though. They say it’s good for TV but they don’t have any live TV .”
How about the US World Cup round getting cancelled for lack of sponsorship? That’s a bit sickening isn’t it?
“It’s annoying to see all the money going into freeride. What are freeriders? They’re just downhillers who can’t win races if you ask me.”
You’ve just been winning 4X at the NASS. What was that like?
“It was alright, but the course and the jump spot was too far from the show proper. It was like we were in quarantine. I won on the Saturday. On the Sunday Dale checked me quite hard at the gate, I got back to second but ended up inside Dale and we both went down. So Dan Atherton and Pager sneaked through.”
It’s the Nationals next.
“Bringewood at the weekend, yep. Then Kaprun which is another short course. And then the World Championships. I want to be Top 5 in the Championships. Top 10 in the World Cup would be good.
“Whatever, it’s been a great season. My best! And do you know what really pisses me off?”
Er, um, mph?
“I haven’t had a decent picture in my own bloody magazine!”