Sometimes you just have to put everything aside and give credit where it’s due. Jared Graves is the man.
Jared Graves is a better bike rider then me, and he’s a better bike rider than you. Even when you beat him, he’s still a better bike rider than you. Why? He’s undoubtedly one of the best all round bike riders there has ever been, and he’s beaten a lot of different people, at a lot of different forms of cycling.
A couple of years ago, I thought it would be cool to do XC, DH and 4X at National Champs on the same bike. It was fun, and I had a good time doing it- but my results were hopeless. Jared Grave’s just made me look ridiculous by doing it all, and actually kicking ass whilst in the process. Granted, he did use different bikes, but I reckon if he used the same bike, he would have done a hell of a lot better than I did (I got last in Elite Mens XC for the record) or ever could do.
Here’s a guy who has podium World Cup DH finishes, US National Dual Slalom wins, BMX World Cup wins, won at least a thousand 4X World Cups and World Championships, represented Australia at the Olympics (as a favourite to win) and this year he’s decided to race the Enduro World Series for something different. And I’m sure he won’t suck at that either.
For training, he’s racing both DH and XC and killing it. He finished 7th at the Australian Titles in XC and was 2nd in DH. No one’s done anything like that for a long, long time, and to see someone do so well at both, in this day and age, is absolutely insane.
It’s all too easy to get caught up with the superstars of our sport- the flavour of the month who is having his or her time at the top. But, sometimes, when you sit back and look at the bigger picture, you notice some pretty incredible things going on that you might not have noticed before.
Mr. Graves, you have my respect (well, more of it anyway) and hats off to you. I don’t think we will see someone with such rounded talent on a bike for a long, long time.
Even Chuck Norris would have a hard time keeping up.