Interview with Filip Polc: from Downhill WC to City Downhill World Tour


This upcoming weekend the first ever City Downhill World Tour is going to start. The first race is the Descidas Des Escadas De Santos, in Brazil. Here we reached up the main promoter of this urban downhill wordl cup, Slovakian Filip Polc.

Filip is surely one of the best urban downhiller, winning races all over the world. We got the chance to ask him something about his life, riding, racing and projects.

Where did it all start from Filip?
My bike career started super early, when I was 4. I went trough trial, BMX, XC, Dual slalom, 4X and DH what I’m doing ‘till now. In winter, I ride my snowscoot, that is also so much fun.

How did you get into the bike world? When did you have your first race?
My father likes bikes and that was the reason why he put me on the bike. When I was 2 I could spend all day on the bike, just hanging out with friends on my street. When I was 4, there was first trial race for me.

In the years, you’ve become quite an all rounder of the mtb gravity race scene: downhill, 4X and, more recently enduro. Is there something matching these three disciplines?
I like more technical tracks, nice jumps and this is the base of DH and 4x too. Enduro is much of everything what a rider should know. Technic, skill, strength.. But my hard goest to DH, it is still the king discipline of all MTB. Fastest, biggest jumps…

With all the races you enter every year you’re always travelling the world, in particular it seems you’re becoming a South American local (with all the urban dhs taking place there). How much time do you spend at home? Are you planning to live in South America?
Hehe, i love S.A. Races here are awesome and the living is super nice too. I like to have house in Rio, for example. But my home is Slovakia, nice mountains, great riding and family… Last year I spent 10 months riding, so to be home is alway a question about few days…

Talking about urban DH, you’re becoming the world specialist of this discipline. From Japan to Latin America your name is often in the top spots. What is the most engaging aspect of this discipline for you?
I just love it! And always try to be fastest on each track and until now I’m doing pretty good. I think it is because I went through all the bike disciplines and became an experienced rider on any field.

Looking at the urban dh locations they seem gnarlier and sketchier than a standard downhill track. Out of the terrain, what is the main difference between and urban track and a natural one? Which one is the more technical?
The main difference is surface. You don’t drift on concrete so much… or if you do it is close to crashing… So the riding style is a bit different and also the jumps built from wood, stairs, and narrow parts covered with rails and barriers brings more attention for me as i rider, so you need to be more pre sized on the bike.

The bike set up for a urban downhill is different?
Bike is the same, most of the time I run higher pressure in my tires and stronger spring on my shock. The rest is the same….

Which is (or has been) your preferred urban downhill track? And the craziest have you ever ridden?
Recently I liked Taxco/Mexico track… that one is steep, long, technical and super big jumps!

You are the main promoter/creator of this year City Downhill World Tour. How and why did you start this project and which are your expectations about?
It is me and my girlfriend Jana. We both see strong future in this discipline and working hard to more the sport forward. We are creating a world series of the best possible races and locations for riders and spectators.
We like to bring the races to new locations and help to grow the sport.

In last year urban downhills there were 5 to 10 world elite racers and then locals rippers. Are you engaging more of your colleagues of the WC circuit?
This year we feel more attention from the riders side. This will definitely help to move forward. But what rider doesn’t want to come to a nice race with great prize money and even more value media coverage?!

Last season of WC there were speculations about bringing races to more spectacular and wide open venues with big jumps and drops and less narrow and steep corners in the woods. Do you think cities are the next step of downhill races?
Yes. City Downhill World Tour is bringing the sport to the people! Usually right in front of their houses.

With the explosion of enduro, this seems the main big thing to bring gravity mtb to the masses. And so money, riders, companies, media… Is downhill going to be put aside in the future?
I think downhill will be always top of the MTB as F1 in car racing.

Going back to your life, which are your plans for the future?
Win as many as possible city races and then work on the best CDWT as a track designer. To be part of the evolution of this sport.

Who are the milestones of your life? Family, partners, friends…
Family is no1. Then living with my passion… and making myself and my friends happy with CDWT!

Who’s going to support you in 2014?
I’m still finalising this, hehehe. But for now: Evil Vengeance Tour Team con le bici Evil, HTC Smartphone, Red Bull, Morgaw Seats, IXS, 100% Goggles, Leatt, Kabuto Helmets,,

Are you coming to Italy this year?
I hope so, you are hosting many cool enduro races and I like to check some locations for city DH races. Maybe also Val di sole as IXS series.

Have fun this year! Cheers!
Thanx a lot, same to you guys! Ride on! Everyday, all day long!

Follow Filip:
City Donwhill World Tour