November, 29 2012

Alpinestars Interview: Tom Pages

  • Herlings new jersey

Tom Pages has lit up the Freestyle scene this year with electrifying performances on the Red Bull X-Fighters tour. Alpinestars sat down for a chat with the Frenchman after another strong showing at the Bercy Supercross.

Great performance at Red Bull X-Fighters, were you disappointed to lose out Levi in Sydney?

It was weird. It was a magnificent year for me, the first year I tasted real success and got good results with my new tricks. I made the podium in Glen Helen and Madrid, and then I won in Munich. For Sydney I worked hard and felt up-for-it, but unfortunately I made a mistake. Afterwards, I felt as if I had missed out on something that was within my reach, so that was hard. I’m very happy, but at the same time it left a bitter taste. But it’s not the end, it’s not the end of my career. I’ll carry on riding because it’s what I love doing.

You put in a great performance at Bercy recently …

Bercy is the place to be in France; the rendezvous of the year for sponsors, media and the great fans. Everyone is waiting to see something but no-one expects anything special of you, no-one asks you to take risks. This is what I find a little difficult with Bercy; to go and take risks in a place where there is no need to because now when I’m competing it is so natural for me to take risks. At Bercy you have fun, but when you are having fun it is difficult to take risks. But I managed to do that this time round so I’m happy.

Winning in Munich was a highlight this year, your first win on the world tour. How did that feel?

Awesome! You don’t realize it. I came home and carried on riding and training as if nothing had happened because I couldn’t believe it. In Munich everyone told me I was rock solid. I’ve been riding for seven years and it’s been seven years that I don’t think I am [rock solid], but in Munich the ramps were good and I did a quarter and a flare. I did two body varials, a special flip, a volte and I was able to link them together perfectly. It was crazy: all the effort of the last three years came together in the same day. Sometimes you work on your tricks so much you forget something but in Munich I had everything. It was fantastic …

For a rider who earned a reputation for flips why are you not doing them anymore?

I stopped doing the front flip… it’s a hard trick and in 2009 I lacked motivation. I wasn’t doing the back flip and from there you think your career is over. I then stopped doing the front flip: why do a front flip if you aren’t doing the back flip? Then there was my brother’s crash. It is a trick that my brother loves, so I’ll let him have that trick. I have the grab in back flips, he has the 360s, etc... Maybe one day I’ll do it but for me it will always be my brother’s trick.

Are you working on any new tricks for 2013?

I spend a lot of time working on new tricks. When you invent new tricks you have about 90% waste. I worked on the special flip for two years, and last year I was ready for the X-Games, but it was too tight and I didn’t do it. This year it was still too tight but I didn’t want to push back another year so I went for it and cleared it. I’m preparing a couple of new tricks, new for me and to Freestyle, and ones that have been done one or two times, max. I hope for next year I’ll have two that are totally new, that is goal I am giving myself. If I carry on riding like this another year it won’t satisfy me, I need something new at every Red Bull X-Fighters.

Thanks for your time today, Tom, and thanks for entertaining us this season.

Thanks for your support. It is a privilege to be an Alpinestars athlete. Alpinestars has been the reference brand since I was a kid and saw riders like Jeremy McGrath wearing Alpinestars boots. Alpinestars’ support by far is the best, and to be head-to-toe Alpinestars is just amazing. Thank you.