Originally from Hondarribia, about to turn 25 and with a well-deserved world bronze medal. In this context we interview the Basque rider, Ion Areitio, who reveals to us some previously unknown moments from the 2016 season and his plans for next year.
It was a very positive season for me. I got a 0 in the previous season and had many doubts about my level. I managed to adapt very well and very quickly, I have seen that I am capable of fighting for the leading positions, I couldn’t ask for more. I finished with a very good feeling.
Were there any special moments in the season?
What stands out is achieving third place in the world cup in Poland, beginning the international season full of doubts and climbing onto the third box of the podium was very rewarding. But without a doubt the bronze medal I won in the world championship was the most important for me. The world championship is always different, something we work hard for throughout the year, and finishing like that is priceless. Yeees!!!
Any stories we should know about?
Haha I don’t know whether to tell you or not… Not many people know, but the night before the final of the “Les Meinures” World Cup I couldn’t relax or recuperate very well. I had a bad stomach caused in part by threadworms… I had to go to bed at 8pm with a bad stomach ache and without supper, in the morning I couldn’t eat anything either, and I faced the competition with an empty stomach. In the end, it went well and I achieved fourth place. Hopefully it won’t happen again…
2016 has been the first year in which the ProRACE team competed with the new M5. What can you tell us about your loyal companion?
I could use every positive adjective and still be left short. I used the same bicycle for the whole season, and I didn’t have any problems with it, just keeping it maintained is enough. It doesn’t leave your side, it will always live up to your expectations.
Your wrist injury was a long time ago now, does it still affect you?
I can now say that it’s water under the bridge. It didn’t give me any problems during the season, I was able to forget about it a little, although given the nature of my work, I still have to keep an eye on it and take some precautions.
Tell us, do you have any obsession, superstition or ritual before or during a competition?
Well, like all athletes, I have certain obsessions. When I get dressed I always put my left sock on and then my right, and the same with my shoes and gloves. I also have my “lucky” underwear which I use for important events.
Let’s talk about the future, what are your goals for 2017?
The main goal is to continue in the vein, doing things well at the right time, then the results will come. I’m not going to say that I don’t have a target of being in the top 3 places, and I’d even like to fight for something more, but as I say, to do that you must work hard in the same way as always. Of course, still being in a team like this one and in this line of work is something I love, it’s extra motivation to achieve big things together.
A question which I’m sure you’ve been asked a lot: have you ever considered making the leap to the 26”?
Haha, for now I don’t have any intention to. I have a personal challenge to achieve first. Up until now I have done well in the world championship in all existing categories, including first place in the junior 20” and 26” in the same year. As I always say, the day I win the world championship in the 20” I’ll wave goodbye to it to compete in the final remaining category, the 26”. A dream I still need to fulfil…
You have been one of the few who has been able to test the new tubular chassis which the brand has developed for the future Kaizen range. What can you tell us about it?
It’s a very well-rounded and easy to manage chassis. It has modern geometry, an excellent weight for a chassis of this category. I can assure you that I rode a bicycle with this chassis and ProRACE equipment and it’s very promising. I can’t tell you the exact weight, but many would be surprised by its lightness. Without a doubt, it’s a bike which will not go unnoticed.
In your last interview you told use that you were tired of your INEF studies, how is it going and what job goals do you have?
Right now I’m working. I’m a Trial rider in the mornings and a spinning, trx, swimming and gym instructor in the afternoons. I honestly don’t have time to get bored. Right now it’s going well and I try to keep to schedule; I hope to continue doing so throughout the season.
Let us get to know you a bit better, if you could have dinner with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Hmmm, that is not at all an easy question… as you know, I’m a big fan of rallying, so, I wouldn’t have dinner, but would go for a car ride with the great Colin Mcrae in the Ford Focus WRC.
Finally, we’re going to make it difficult for you, imagine you had to sell yourself in just one sentence. What would your slogan be?
Lively lover of sports; I fight for my dreams and intend to improve every day.
To finish the interview we leave you with this spectacular video, where you can see Ion doing what he does best; TRIAL.