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Interviews

20 years/20 questions – Innes Graham

One of Britain's brightest young prospects

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.

The Propain Dirt Zelvy team just wouldn’t be the same without Innes. His top 20 finish at Fort William last year as a first year elite convinced us to sign him and, despite a season riddled with injury, he’s pulled out some great results.

He’s cemented his place in the World Cup top 40 and picked up a BDS win in May at Bala – definitely one of Britain’s brightest young prospects.

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

20 Questions – Innes Graham

What achievement are you most proud of?
I’ve had a few achievements I’m quite proud of to be honest. I think it would be between standing up on the Junior world cup podium after struggling a lot in 2013, getting that top 20 at fort William at my debut elite WC and winning a BDS last year for Dirt Propain Zelvy.”

Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
I once got my helmets chin piece stuck on the nose of my saddle and somehow managed not to die. There’s photo evidence of it somewhere! Haha!”

What has been your favourite moment of Dirt’s history?
“All 20 years of it baby!” 

How were you first introduced to Dirt?
I first read Dirt in my primary school. My best mate at the time brought it in one day and we just sat there all day at our desk looking at all the bikes and choosing our perfect setup! So blessed to actually be in the position I am after dreaming about it for all those years.” 

What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
“When will you print again?! ‘crying face’” 

When did you first start mountain biking?
I got my first mountain bike at around 11 years old. Starting racing at 13. Raced my first national at the age of 14 then my first WC at 16.”

What bike were you on then?
“My very first proper bike I was stoked on was a singlespeed Kona Stuff. It got ragged. I then got a full suspension iron horse 7.5 and then my first DH race I was on a KTM of all things. It weighed almost the same as I did back then!”  

What rider or person has most influenced your career?
I think Hill, Brosnan, Fairclough and Steve Smith #LongLiveChainsaw. I love the fluidity in their riding style and the no stress attitude they portray.”

What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
“There was regional Scottish race a few years back that I was at as a junior. Everything that could have went wrong did exactly that. I just pushed it aside however and raced the race. I ended up getting fastest time of the day ahead of some pretty big time names as a first year junior. It was that race that I realised how much of a mental game racing can be.” 

Who would you loved to have raced against or ridden with?
“I’ve raced so many of my idols and even stood on podiums alongside them. Again, I feel so blessed for that. I’d have loved to been racing during the Sam Hill domination era however.”

What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
“Never ridden one. Don’t knock it till you try it as they say!” 

What’s your favourite wheel size?
“Once more, I’ve never ridden a 29er properly, but so far I’m definitely a convert to 27.5.” 

What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
“2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad. With the exception of go-karts! Haha!” 

Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?
“Rider wise, I think Remi Thirion, but also everyone behind the scenes, for example, photographers and marshalls. The hours they do in all weather conditions to make theses races go ahead and get coverage is insane.”  


What’s been the most questionable thing to come out of mountain biking?
“Fat bikes.” 

What’s been the best track you’ve ridden?
“Hafjell. I also love a lot of the lesser known Scottish trails though.” 

How would you change World Cup downhill?
“Slow it down, more tech and natural. Less man made bull$h!t” 

What do you still want to achieve in mountain biking?
“A full season of no injuries please.”  

What do you want to see more of from the Dirt website?
“Lets do more interviews regarding the personal life and behind the scenes of top riders.”

What do you hope the next 20 years brings for mountain biking?
“Dust, drifts and bigger whips. Stay Dirty!”

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