Miguel Martinez: “The role of the runner and the good father” – News

Now 45 years old, Miguel Martinez has not yet put the bike away. If his summers are less busy than in his heyday, when he was Olympic champion and world champion in cross-country… in 2000, the mountain bike specialist continues to give himself the winter, during cyclo-cross. As in Dijon, this Wednesday, where he was also competing in his last race of the season, accompanied by his brother Yannick, and his son Lenny. For DirectVelo, Miguel Martinez takes stock of his motivation to continue cycling, talks about his son Lenny, future rider of the Conti Groupama-FDJ, with whom he fought for an 8e It’s time for a sprint this Wednesday in Côte-d’Or for the anecdote, and talks about his (future) job as a director / videographer, in the world of trail running, he who follows the races on his bike.

DirectVelo: What always motivates you to get on the bike?
Miguel Martinez: It’s to be able to not look behind, to always move forward. I started with a cross country like that, telling myself that I was going to keep myself in shape, without any pretension of results. Then I walked well from the first, so I went on, chained … with seven wins this year and still in the top five in the national series. Today I am a little further but still arriving with Lenny. Then I do not know, I am not trying to have too distant an objective. I have been so used to nationally and internationally. As I have decided to only run at regional level now, for me it is like child’s play. I take the bike, I’m going to have fun, these are small circuits. At the same time there is my brother (Yannick), there is Lenny, and like that, it allows me to give myself a small goal during the week, to go out on my bike, and to keep myself in shape without a goal of result.

And today you treated yourself to a one-on-one sprint with Lenny!
Ah yes, it’s always fair game (laughs)! We both live at home, but every time it’s like that! I waged war on him to the end. One day i told her “If we both arrive, I’ll leave you or you will leave me”. He told me “Oh no, no, you’re racing, I don’t want anyone to say afterwards that you’re stronger or that I’m stronger. You do your race, I do mine “. I said OK. So we did it (smile). Of course, we do not shoot each other in the paws either. But above all, I want Lenny’s good, that he is well, that he is in good condition.

Exactly, what role do you have with Lenny, except your role of father of course?
He’s the one who manages all his training now. I try to be a little behind, see if he does not do a little too much. I manage his equipment a bit so that everything goes well. We went for a run last week at a five-hour drive, so obviously it’s me who drives, I prepare his bikes, etc. I try to play the role of the runner and at the same time of the good father who makes sure that his son is in the best conditions.


Do you still ride a lot outside of the races in which you participate?
I ride twice a week or once every two days, and I do not exceed 1.5 hours of cycling. Often it surprises Lenny because he finds that I have the same level as him sometimes, even though I only train five hours a week. But that’s enough for me, then next to that I go to the swimming pool, I come without stress. I leave, I take my precautions not to be cold at the start, I run, and then point bar. And that was my last cross.

What was the interest for you to have a little winter like that?
I do not know ! I ran like this. I tell myself that I risk not having a summer season, because I have no objective. I didn’t come with Amore e Vita or anything. And then the winter it takes the time to run. Yannick told me he wanted to do some, Lenny also some. I also started because Lenny was resting, he offered to take his bikes, because I had sold mine, I did not intend to run. I took his Giant bike, like he was supposed to have bikes with Lapierre, so he told me “Go ahead and do some cross country”. And that’s how it started. But it was planned that Lenny wouldn’t have his bikes until January, so I had to give him back and stop on my own. Just do three races and that’s it, basically. But finally he got his bikes earlier … and I continued! I will probably do it again next year.


For the summer, you now have another activity, behind the cameras …
Now I work with Salomon and Mouss, a production company. I am the Golden Trail Series, the UTMB etc. I’m the one who shoots the first or second. I have this responsibility of filming guys like Killian Jornet, Francois D’Haene. It’s me who takes care of it, a few meters or even centimeters from them. I can anticipate everything, give a good point of view. And I hardly make any technical mistakes on the bike. What I do is take an electric bike. I will be doing reconnaissance the days before, I will see if there is any network, and then we are a team of two or three riders, with Grégory Vollet. It is a former runner with whom I ran and who put my foot in the stirrup to start this. And I love this job! Being as close as possible to the best, and experiencing their race from the inside, it’s great.

Did you already know a little about this trail world?
Not at all. It’s a new world, it’s an effort a bit like the marathon, where they really reach the extreme at the end of the race. It looks a lot like marathon mountain biking. In the effort, I see them, they are really in pain from the middle of the race. But they have management … it’s amazing. And it is very common with mountain biking as well as the road.


Where did you get the idea to get started in this?
When I was little, between the ages of 7 and 12, I would take my mom’s camera and film myself all the time. I would get in front of the camera or whatever. I loved filming and making videos. I once spoke to Greg Vollet, who is now a marketing executive at Salomon, and he told me “Ah you know how to do that!” “, I told him yes, that I loved making plans, stuff like that, that I did that when I was little … He told me “So if you’re interested, we can put you to the test on a race”. So I filmed the girls’ races at the start, they asked me if I liked it. I answered “It’s good, I only want to do that” (to smile). And suddenly it was gone.

Given your fame and your track record as a runner, do you manage to find your place in this environment?
It’s a job that is really growing. What is good is that after two or three races I manage to have a good feeling with the best. They also recognize me, know who I am. They feel safe and know I’m not going to mess around like not just anyone is on the bike. And that way I can take even tighter shots because they know I’m not going to interfere with them. And I can even allow myself to anticipate in the turns as I know all the trajectories. So that’s awesome!

So, are you going to develop yourself in this activity?
Completely ! I want to do this full time and for as long as possible. This is my future job. Because the high level, running and all that, no. Just in regional like that, because I like it, it lasts 50 minutes. But it’s over for other races. Now I’m not going to do anything special for the rest of the winter. I’m going on vacation if I can, and that’s it. Otherwise, follow Lenny, take him on an internship, have a good time and talk to me on my bike!


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