Professional MTB Enduro Rider Jérôme Clementz Explains Why He Has No Time To Get Bored

How to overcome boredom? Look no further than professional mountain bike rider and Enduro World Series racer Jérôme Clementz.

For Jérôme, boredom is not an issue at all. His professional enduro rider career provides an opportunity to travel around the world and meet a lot of people – and there are definitely no dull moments when you ride your bike on different kind of terrains and lots of different weather conditions!

In this interview, you will learn how Jérôme prepares and trains for big events and races. We will also take a good look at his favorite gear, learn how music help Jérôme ride, and much more!

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Jérôme Clementz. I’m a 33-year old French guy that lives in Alsace, East of France at the border with Germany and Switzerland and who is a pro mountain biker.

I’m a sport addict, especially all the outdoor sports like skiing, surfing, and Motocross. I also love to follow basketball and love to listen to music and go to great music shows, especially Metallica.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

How and why did you get into mountain bike riding?

When I was young, I tried a lot of sports and did a lot of cross-country skiing. Our coach made us do some Mountain Bike (MTB) in the summer and then we raced a local race at the end of the season in 1995. I loved it and then I did both for a while and then choose to stick to Mountain bike as it was the discipline where I had the most fun. At this time they were no preparation, we were just riding our bike for fun and racing in the weekend. When I turned Junior in 2001, I did only Downhill and got my first sponsorship, then it became a bit more serious.

Why is mountain bike riding important for you?

I simply love to be outside, in the nature, trying to find new trail and to discover new areas. MTB is a great way to travel, meet other people, get to know a new country and it provides you amazing feeling and adrenaline when you ride down.

I embrace the MTB lifestyle in general, it’s also interesting to push yourself, the material and try to create better bike, ride something you’ve never done before and share this with a bunch of friends.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

What are the hardest parts of mountain bike riding?

The hardest part for us who ride enduro is that we have to be fit and good at technical. It’s a lot of strength to work on. You can’t simply focus on improving one thing, you need to work on a lot of aspects either technical, physical, and improve to ride in different kind of terrain, in different conditions: Wet, dry, rocky, dusty, hot, cold. But this is also why I love it as you never do the same things and it’s not boring.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

How do you prepare for events and races?

Usually at the end of the season, I look at the schedule of the Enduro World Series, which is the main goal of the season, it’s usually 8 event. Then, from there, I would add few events I want to do to get ready, and check with my partners where they want me to be.

From there, we build a schedule and my coach creates a specific training program regarding my strength and weakness and where we want to progress. I usually don’t ride bike much in November/December and try to train with other sports like running, skiing, Motocross, and swimming. The gym training is also important to develop some power or core skills.

In January, I still mix sports but I start to do more riding (road and MTB) and then I move to more and more specific training on the bike. Our Season is usually from April to October. I love to do events around the world, which allows me to ride to remote places and I have a preference for some multi-day events like Andes Pacifico (6 days from the Andes to the Pacific)

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

How do you eat and sleep?

I think it’s really important to have a decent amount of sleep and a rhytm that doesn’t change all the time. I like to get 9-10 hour of sleep to recover from my training and to be ready for some travel or racing. I try to go to bed not too late so I can wake up early and enjoy the day with no rush.

For the travel, I usually go a bit before an event either to race an other event or to rest and not have too much jetlag for the main event.

Regarding the diet, I’m lucky that Pauline, my manager and girlfriend cooks healthy food. Also, the High5 Sports Nutrition provides me good products for the racing and the training.

I eat a mix of everything but I just avoid gluten as I have some intolerance. I don’t take supplement but when I do some intervals or some hard gym sessions, I use to take some protein to recover better and be ready for the next pain session.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

How do you handle injuries and recovery?

So far I’m quite lucky and I didn’t have too much injury. I dislocated my shoulder and I had to have a surgery in 2014 in the middle of the season. I think what is key is to take the time to recover and make your comeback once you’re back at 100%. When it happened to me, I got surgery straight away to comeback the sooner. I rest for a bit and then I went to a clinic for athlete where I started again the lower body training. I had a physio on site and was doing some rehab on my shoulder for three weeks with different kind of exercise. Then, I went back on the road bike and few weeks after on the mountain bike.

I think most of the people when they are injured, they enjoy a bit of a downtime, which is normal but if you want to heal up as fast as you can, you need to rest and keep some healthy lifestyle so you will come back faster to your level.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

What is your best advice people new to mountain biking?

I think in Mountain bike, the first thing you need to do is to feel comfortable on your bike and how it works. A lot of people want directly to ride technical trail or big loop. I believe that the key is not about going fast but how you control the bike. From there you can build some serious skill and improve them. Also, everybody knows how to ride a bike, but I can’t tell you that some lessons with a coach will help you a lot and improve your knowledge on how to do things quickly.

Best advice for people who have been mountain biking for years?

A lot of rider want to get fitter and for that they ride hard for all the duration of their ride. The key is to ride slow and do some interval to improve your power or threshold. Riding at 80% all the time will just ruin your engine and then you will have only one pace and not improving.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

How do you balance normal life with training and competitions?

My life is around biking…ahaha. I’m lucky that my girlfriend (soon to be my wife) is riding too. On top of that, we work together in our company with other projects like a enduro race series, a timing system and she’s in charge of the logistic of the team and the relation with the media.

We don’t have children yet and we are able to travel together so we can plan big trips together and it’s not a problem to leave for a while. Usually, I train 5-6 days a week and the goal is to set the few races where you want to peak and work around this to make sure you have a balance with training and recovery. It’s important to recover as you ask a lot to your body.

As an athlete what I miss the most (but I don’t complain about this) are the BBQ in the summer with your friends where you can make a meat fest and drink a lot. We are almost racing every weekend and we can’t make too big party.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

What mountain bikes do you prefer?

I’m a bit biased but I’m a fan of Cannondale Bicycles. This brand is always innovative and ahead of the trend. It’s a pleasure to ride these bikes and to give them feedback to improve the future model. I like to change my style of riding from road to Cross country to downhill or dirt jumping.

I’m lucky to own a bike for each discipline and there is at least 20 bikes in my garage with some old model I keep as souvenirs and some e-bike to go in town shopping. I keep these bikes for a while and I change my race bike usually twice a year to keep it fresh and ready to ride.

I love to ride the all-mountain trail bike, which is called the Cannondale Trigger. It’s a bike you can bring everywhere and you’ll be able to ride everything and have fun.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

What has been your best related-sport purchase below $100, and what other favorite gear do you have?

I’ll say my Monster Intensity earphone as I use them on most of my ride and travel. It’s something you can bring with you and as I love to listen music it’s really helpful.

One of my favourite gear is the RockShox Reverb Adjustable Seatpost. You have a lever on your bike and you can adjust the height of your saddle on the fly.

There is also the Mucky Nutz Fender, it’s something you want to have on your bike so you can keep smiling even in the mud.

We develop with Alpinestars a Back protection as a base layer where you can fit your reparation kit, some water and food to ride free: Alpinestars Paragon vest.

Last but not least, I just got a Hoodie Surf towel

That’s the best thing to get change in a crowded area after a ride or an event.

MTB Rider Jérôme Clementz
Photo credit: Jeremie Reuiller

What will the future bring?

I’m planning some change for the next years with a bit less competition more adventure and development with my partner. I’m a dreamer and I always have new projects, my brain never stops with ideas, sometime good, sometimes stupid. I’m not too worried and I want to keep putting the effort to achieve my dreams. You only live once so there is no time to be bored.

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