Interview with Alfredo Gomez
We’ve met Alfredo Gomez (Spain, KTM Factory Team, 28 years old, resides in Andorra) in Kemer where he did a week of vacation. Alfredo most recently won the red Bull Hares Scramble at the legendary Erzbergrodeo very convincingly. He won Red Bull Minas Riders in 2016 and clearly is a top candidate for winning Edition 8 of Red Bull Sea to Sky which will take place in Kemer on Sept. 28-30, 2017 in Kemer (Turkey).
Before we start: Congratulations on winning the Erzbergrodeo! How did the Red Bull Hare Scramble go for you?
Alfredo Gomez: Thank you! It was a really good day for me! Right after the start I’ve had a stupid crash and lost some positions and it was pretty dusty so I had a hard time seeing the track. So I took it easy not to make another mistake. I was very confident with my performance and my riding.
What strategy did you have for the race?
Chances are that you win the race if you perform exceptionally well in Carl’s Diner. I knew that if I arrived in Carl’s Diner close to first position I can win the race. That’s what I did.
You really killed it there!
I walked Carl’s Diner twice but apart from this I really enjoy riding through the rocks on the bike. It was hard work, don’t get me wrong but I really enjoyed it! Last year I did almost the same time and I didn’t win so it’s not only Carl’s Diner. But this year I have great confidence with my bike and myself and we’ve worked hard to be where we are now and the results are coming!
How did it feel when you approached the arena knowing that you would actually win it?
I really like that feeling and that’s a big part of why I like racing. Having those great opponents generates the pressure I need and to feel confident!
We’re doing this interview in Kemer. You have been invited to spend a week of vacation. How do you like it?
Really good. We’ve arrived in Istanbul on the first day, walked around the city and had a great dinner. On Tuesday we left for Kemer. In Kemer – which is crowded with tourists – we did all kinds of water sports such as scuba diving, jetski, waterski and swimming. We’ve also did some rock climbing and hiking: All of this is a great way to train a bit differently. I’ve also done some riding at the beach and in the rocks – a great terrain!
Edition 8 of Red Bull Sea to Sky will take place here in Kemer on September 28, 2017. How do you like Red Bull Sea to Sky and what makes it special for you as a professional rider?
It’s a really cool race but so far I didn’t manage to get a good result. In my second year I finished 3rd but in the other years always something happened. Either I crashed or I had some technical problems. So I’m obviously going for a top result in 2017!
What do you think about the style having 3 different races in 3 days?
I like it very much. It’s combining all what this sport is all about. Here in Kemer we have the sun, the beach, the forest and a high mountain. At Erzberg it’s all about the mountain, at Red Bull Megawatt it’s pretty much about the sand and dirt. In Extrem Enduro you have to be good at many things. It’s not only the technical side. You have to have good technical skills, but also the endurance and you need to be fast! It’s a mix of all things.
Which of the three races to you like most?
I love the Beach Race and the Mountain Race. If I had to chose I’d pick the Mountain Race. The tougher it get’s the more I like it but it needs to be ridable. We’re going to some races where you can’t ride and you have to push the bike quite often and this is not funny. Ok, it does depend on the weather, too, but if you have the chance to ride it I like it a lot and this is what Red Bull Sea to Sky is all about. It’s really tough but you can actually ride it. That’s exactly the direction that Hard Enduro needs to go to. Every race is hard because it’s Hard Enduro. But sometimes they take it too far and it’s close to impossible. Yes, the tracks should be technically demanding but it should be a good balance between technical skills and endurance.
What will be your strategy for Red Bull Sea to Sky this year?
My strategy will be to have fun riding the bike. Especially this year I really enjoy riding the bike – this makes the difference. If I get into the flow and enjoy the ride I will get a top result!
What would you recommend the amateur riders how to prepare for a race like Red Bull Sea to Sky?
The most important thing in Hard Enduro is the endurance and the mentality. The mentality makes the difference and having a good endurance and technical skills makes sure you don’t fight with your bike. If you start to fight with your bike you’ve lost already.
When did you start riding the bike?
I started at the age of 3 years. My father was riding and competing in trials. I did many things: Skiing, soccer, trials, batminton … whatever. As time passed by I did a lot of skiing, too, but then I decided to concentrate on Trials, because it’s a full season sport and skiing is not.
You switched from Trials to Hard Enduro. How did this happen?
My life was Trials until I was 23. My uncle was a Motocross rider, I always had a Motocross bike and during the winter I did a lot of Motocross besides riding the Trials bike. I became Junior World Champion in Trials in 2011. Montesa was my team and they told me they didn’t have the budget to continue despite the fact I had just become Junior World Champion. I was doing Super Enduro before with Husaberg and we agreed to race the Spanish Enduro Championship and some Extreme Enduro races. They liked the idea to have a Spanish rider racing Extreme Enduro. The first results weren’t so good but then I finished second at Xtreme Lagares in Portugal. After that the results were coming and my biggest win was the Erzbergrodeo this year.
What do you like about Extreme Enduro?
Besides what I already said my friends also go to some of the races which I am riding. My goal is to win and their goal is to finish. Amateur riders are racing the same track, they ride with the pro riders and can learn something even in the race.
Thanks for the interview, Alfredo!