Brendan Fairclough isn’t the new kid on the block anymore…
From Dirt Issue 115 – September 2011.
Words by Mick Kirkman. Photos by Various.
A speed blur in Troy Lee and Five Ten Impact Low’s. Pumping, flicking, front tyre light. Toes up and heels pointing earthwards. Bodyweight behind the seat, hanging off the back of the bike. Renthal bars feeling for grip, and for another way down. Making it up as he goes along. Born to it. A natural.
In the split–second it takes to move a couple of metres he’ll decide if a line choice is on. No second–guessing. Others will follow later, but Brendan is often the pioneer. Intuitive. Just reacting to the terrain under his wheels.
At 23, Brendan Fairclough isn’t the new kid on the block anymore. It’s been a long six years since that debut senior WC third place at Pila in 2005, and things are different now. His skill and finesse is obvious, but there’s also a perception that he relies too much on this talent and technical ability and not fitness – a nagging doubt that simply can’t exist in this Aaron Gwin defined New World Order.
At times Brendan is a pure racer, you can sense he wants it bad – to become the top dog, to fulfil all that potential. Then there’s an impression he’d rather just forget about the clock. The boring ‘in–between’ track bits. No hassle, no stress. Whip it, scrub it. Maybe the sponsors don’t even care, because he looks so damn good on a bike, and the kids want to be him either way.
This year he’s been unlucky too. After a winter of training harder than ever before, a small incident in qualification at the first 2011 World Cup resulted in an ACL removal, and looks to have devastated his race season. Dirt caught up with him at home the evening before he headed off to MSA and Windham World Cups. >>