Youngest participant ever – Interview with Raffi Eggmann

The age of the participants in this year's MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM in Davos Klosters has a very wide range, from 15 to 57 years – and thus connects generations. Raffi Eggmann from Münchwilen, Switzerland, will become 16 in November and thus is the youngest participant who has ever taken part in MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM. We talked to him.

Raffi, you are the youngest participant who has ever ridden at MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM. Is it just an honour or is there also a bit of pressure?
Of course it is a great honour for me to be the youngest who has ever taken part in this race. I'm lucky that they count by year – so I can already take part this time! So far, I don't feel any pressure – but shortly before the start I will probably get a little nervous...

How and when did you get into biking?
Through my mother. In 2019, she registered me and my brother for a BMX camp because we always have a huge urge to move. With that, my passion for biking developed. We have a pump track in our village where we often ride and jump – and in the last two years I got more and more into downhill. In the meantime, the whole family is involved – even my parents have been infected with the bike virus through us!

So, usually you rather ride big jumps and downhill. What do you expect from an enduro race?
In the middle of this season I finally got my enduro bike and got to know this discipline a bit. So, I'm really looking forward to my first enduro race. It will certainly be a great experience – but also a challenge, as I am not yet much used to the high alpine, natural trails.

How did you prepare for MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM?
I rode our home trail quite often for training, especially to get familiar with the clip-in pedals. In summer holidays we spent two weeks in Tuscany. I also rode a lot of trails there. I haven't been in the alpine terrain much yet, but recently I was at least able to have a training day with my team partner.

Your team partner is almost three times your age. Aren't generation conflicts inevitable?
I hope not, or rather, I don't think so. He's much more experienced than I am, has taken part in dozens of races and is also faster than me on alpine trails. I can only benefit from him. I see it as a great opportunity and it would be anything but smart not to listen to him. Besides, the shared joy of biking tends to bring generations together rather than lead to conflicts. At least that's how it works in my family – a shared passion that unites.

www.instagram.com/raffi_downhill

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