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Meet: Cameron Clemett

From bike set up, to the highlights and challenges along the way, this interview with Cameron covers it all. 

• August 6th 2020

"I love the adrenaline rush that you get when you ride gnarly sections on the limit and of course BIG jumps…"

 

Wide Open: Hey Cameron, can you tell us a bit about where you grew up, and how you got into mountain biking?

Cameron Clemett: I was born in Blenheim and have grown up here. I probably first got into Mountain biking with my Dad. He used to ride XC and was training to do the Pioneer. He was entering a lot of events as part of his training, so I started to do them too. My first competitive events were probably the local Cyclocross and XC events.


WO: What type of riding do you do?
CC: I race Enduro and Downhill -


"I first got into Enduro after talking to Justin Leov – he had just moved back to Blenheim and Dad took me out to his house to meet him and talk about his racing career. I loved listening to his stories and the hearing of the adventures he’d had while racing overseas. This really sparked my interest in the gravity aspect of Mountain biking."


As Justin developed his property Jentree and reinstated a former National Downhill track, I then started to get my first real taste of DH.

 

WO: Local bike shop? 
CC: About 3 years ago my parents bought Cycle World Blenheim. I work there 3 days a week after school.

 

WO: What bikes are you currently riding?
CC: I’ve got a 2021 Specialized Demo Race and a 2020 Specialized Enduro

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"I always run a 780mm wide handlebar and I like a touchy brake set up." 

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WO: When did you first decide to compete?
CC: My first DH event was the Secondary School National DH at Crankworx Rotorua 2018. One of my favourite places to race is Signal Hill in Dunedin, as I really like the big rock gardens and the unpredictable weather conditions. No two days are ever the same.

WO: What do you like about riding?
CC: I love the adrenaline rush that you get when you ride gnarly sections on the limit and of course BIG jumps…

WO: What challenges have you faced?
CC: Coming back from injury is always a challenge. In January this year at Coronet Peak while practicing for Nationals a silly crashed resulted in a complete ATFL tear. Another challenge that I have faced a lot is doing all my race preparation, and then crashing in the only run that counts. It's super hard mentally because I know I have the speed and always think about what if I didn’t crash.


WO: What’s your process for learning something new on the bike?
CC: When I’m trying something new, I never give up until I’ve done it. Once I have started it I won’t stop till I finally do it.

 

WO: What advice would you give to someone who has just started mountain biking?
CC: Get your bike set up by someone who knows what they are doing like a bike shop.


Do not give up, always push yourself to get better. Do something that challenges you every time you ride.


 

WO: What does life beyond bikes look like for you?
CC: Other than bikes and school, I spend a lot of time working in the bike shop, going to the gym, swimming and hanging out with friends.


WO: So, what’s on the cards for the future?
CC: The local races are due to start-up in the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait. I've spent a lot of time training and riding, preparing myself for next year's race season. It will be my first-year U19. I want to be prepared, so I can perform the way I want. I'm also super keen to get overseas to race some world cups. So let’s see what the future brings.

 


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