As Crankworx Innsbruck nears, 2020 Red Bull Rookie of the Year, Garret Mechem, is getting prepped and ready for his first ride in the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship. Coming in as a Wildcard athlete, Mechem is set to make the most of this event by showcasing his skills on the world stage. Will this be the introduction to the Crankworx World Tour that he’s hoping for?
Mechem has already made his mark on the 2021 season, having recently podiumed at ROYAL Rumble, a bronze event on the FMB World Tour, but he’s ready to take things to the next level. We caught up with Mechem to see what he’s been doing since earning himself the 2020 Red Bull Rookie of the Year title. From training to setting ambitious goals both as an individual and as a rider, Mechem gave us a sneak peek into his life over the past year.
Ready to deep dive into the world of Garret Mechem (aka @lil.rojo)? Get stoked, cause here we go...
Tell us about the video submission that won you Red Bull Rookie of the year in 2020 – what do you think it was that stood out about your video?
“I think the thing that stood out in my line was the half cab on the drop, I think it shows creativeness and bike control… But, for me the thing that stood out the most was the entire process of the line. From everything being built in a week to completing my line, I rented equipment, built ramps and shoveled just with this one line in my head. I enjoyed all of it.”
What was the first thing you did after finding out you won and you were going to get an invite to a Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship event?
“It was the first thing that I saw when I woke up, I was absolutely pumped, but that didn’t mean I was able to celebrate… It meant more work was needed, so I carried my day on as normal with a sunrise beach run with my trainer and went on with my day normally with my training.”
In the leadup to the contest, what have you been doing to find balance between training competitively and having fun on your bike?
“I will always have fun riding my bike because that was why I started riding in the beginning. But the ways I keep it fun is by doing everything, all aspects of riding from trail bikes to slalom to shuttle laps to Slopestyle… I am also surrounded by an amazing crew that keeps the stoke high and vibes rad.”
Who do you look up to the most as a fellow rider and competitor?
“I look up to all the athletes equally, I think everyone that is on tour is capable of winning and they are all amazing riders and people in their own aspect.”
Do you have any advice for young riders that want to make their mark in freeride?
“Enjoy it. Always remember what made you fall in love with the sport and be addicted to the progression and the “send it” aspect of the sport. I also am a believer of how much effort you put into the sport, you’ll always see results.”
How was it competing at ROYAL Rumble recently? Did that taste of competition (and a podium finish!) give you a boost of confidence?
“Competing at the royal rumble was super rad…. It’s been a long time since I was in a competitive atmosphere and had to get into that mind set. It was definitely a confidence booster since was able to get on the podium. I think it was more beneficial just to be there and have the butterflies in my stomach again… I live for that feeling.”
What do you have planned for your run in Innsbruck this year? Do you have some key tricks you are going to aim to pull off?
“I have a variety of tricks in mind that I’ve been practicing and perfecting leading up to the contest. I have a plan for the event that I want to carry out and I hope I can make it to the bottom and put down a dream run.”
What will come of this intense training and preparation? Make sure to follow along LIVE on Red Bull TV as Mechem competes in this year’s Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship in Innsbruck from June 16-20, 2021.
Could you be the 2021 Red Bull Rookie of the Year? Show us what you’ve got! You can check out all the details for how to get in on the action by clicking here.