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Interviews

20 years/ 20 questions – Phil Atwill

"The World Cup crowds should get a free beer"

TO CELEBRATE THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF DIRT WE’RE SPEAKING TO THE BRANDS AND RIDERS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED US THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. WE’LL BE ASKING 20 QUESTIONS ON THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING TO THOSE WHO ARE TRULY IN THE KNOW. CHECK OUT OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY BOOK THAT’S AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER HERE.

There’s not many World Cup riders as loose as Phil Atwill out there. Together with Tommy C he’s launched an assault on slow-mo, pretentious and indulgent web edits, and we bloody love it.

He’s got the pace to back it up too. This year has also brought World Cup top 20s and a BDS win (although the record books will show it differently).


We sat down with Phil to chat about mountain biking past, present and future.

What achievement are you most proud of?
“Getting 20k followers on Instagram before Innes, so he has to get a tattoo on his arse”.

Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
There’s to many, but in 2012 my hand fell off the bar as I came into a steep open left grass turn and I flipped the bars hard landed on my feet and bike bounced into the 4 cross track”.

What has been your favourite moment of Dirt’s history?
“It’s yet to come, but hopefully when they start re-selling magazines”.

How were you first introduced to Dirt?
“Mum bought me a mag from Smiths when I was 9, and I was stoked and wanted to ride”.


What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
“How dangerous is Ieuan drunk “

When did you first start mountain biking?
“First did proper riding at Aston Hill when I was 8”

What bike were you on then?
“Gary fisher tarpon , v-brakes and chain fell off if you sneezed

What rider or person has most influenced your career?
“Steve Peat

What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
“Hard one. There’s a few, but Meribel 2014 stands out the most for me, as I didn’t get a top 50 all year that season then landed a 14th, I’m sorry if you met me at the after party”.

Who would you loved to have raced against or ridden with?
Shaun Palmer”

What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
“Yeah mint, if anyone wants to send me some to test, happy days”.

What’s your favourite wheel size?
“Back wheel”


What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
“Have fun, don’t stress, and get a good job in the winter”.

Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?
“Tommy C”.

What’s been the most questionable thing to come out of mountain biking?
“Sluggers rerun at Revs BDS”.

What’s been the best track you’ve ridden?
“Andorra, by a clean mile”.

How would you change World Cup downhill?
“Delete all the shite bike park tracks off the circuit and bring in more natural tracks that require more skills to go fast, compared to pedalling down a fire road. More rounds, and free beers for the crowd when they buy a ticket to watch a race”.  

What do you still want to achieve in mountain biking?
“I want to win a World Cup, and want to make a proper career out of riding, as I love it that much. And I really want to open a bike park because, I love digging”

What do you want to see more of from the Dirt website?
“Tommy C’s videos”.

What do you hope the next 20 years brings for mountain biking?
“Olympics, so the sport gets more money to grow”.

Photo: Ben Winder

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