I recently competed in the Alpine Epic www.alpineepic.co.nz the first Mountainbike Stage race in New Zealand. The field was packed with celebrities including Rob Hamill, (yes he is a Ocean Rowing Legend but not shabby on a bike) and somebody who is a legend on a bike, Kashi Leuchs.
Kashi and I started our international racing in the same year…1995 in Germany at the World Championships. I have continued to bump into Kashi on the international circuit, sharing icecream with him for his 21st after a round of the World Cup and many other unique places.
To find Kashi was racing the Alpine Epic in the back country of NZ was just another unique meeting place. We talked one night over dinner about the coaching I was doing with juniors and how he would like to add something to the grass roots of NZ mountainbiking. He mentioned he would be in Auckland the following week and asked if this would fit in with a ride with the JAFAKIDS. Of course, I replied.
Kashi being a busy man and in the country for a short period meant time was tight. The ride with the JAFAKIDS was all on one minute, and all off with the next phone call. Luckily we managed to nab him between meetings and this added to the excitement.
Kashi turned up at Woodhill Bike Park on a borrowed Anthem XO from R & R Sport (good on you guys for sorting this one) and the first thing everybody seemed to mention was his bright greeny/yellow shoes. (Prototypes not even on the market yet).
We headed for a quiet spot to grill Kashi about his training, his top tips and his pre race diet. It was good to hear that he still gets nervous prior to a race and he believes this is a good thing as long as you know how to control the nerves. He mentioned his pre race diet…lots of natural grains. (Coco pops were not on his list!). He trains smart, believing quality is better than quantity and does a lot of high intensity work. 10 hours a week was mentioned and something we all tuned in on. That’s very realistic for those at school.
Kashi, I believe is no freak when it comes to physical ability. He was not NZ’s best junior when he started but he had the x-factor upstairs. What I mean by this is he had a good head on his shoulders for somebody so young. He believed in himself, his ability to train hard and his belief he could be on a podium on the World stage.
He backed this up saying he had and still has a belief in himself. He wanted to be the best and to get there he had to be bold. He had to ask for help and advice along the way. Great advice from one of the Worlds best mountainbikers that all future legends should take on board.
A big thanks to Kashi for making time in his busy schedule to come and ride at Woodhill Bike Parks with us. Keep an eye on what he is up to on www.kashileuchs.com