Absalon is the four-time defending world champion in cross-country mountain biking, the discipline practiced in the Olympic Games. Absalon then defended his gold from Athens in the men’s cross country with a gold on the course in Beijing, where he dominated the competition.
On a typical training day, Absalon gets up at 7:45, stops by a bakery, has breakfast, and then surfs the Web and writes email. He then trains from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., has a pasta lunch, and finally does either cross-training or works on his bike in the afternoon. Sometimes he’ll have time for motocross after training.
Absalon is married to Emilie. His mom is Sylvie. His father Bernard, who he has called his biggest supporter, died in 2002. Absalon’s brother Remy, four years his junior, is also a cyclist.
“Juju,” as he is known to his close friends, loves outdoorsy sports like motocross, skiing and snowboarding, but he hates soccer. And while he enjoys relaxing with a beer or some wine, he only drinks Diet Coke during the biking season. While on the road, he loves to listen to techno music.
Q & A
What has changed in your life since the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens to today?
A lot of things have changed, I can't deny it. In the past I was barely known even by MTB fans, today I'm regarded as a VIP in France at least. My victories in the Olympic Games and in the World Championships attracted the attention of people, even of those who don't know cross country cycling. The Olympic medal is indeed of immense value.
Did this attention amaze you?
A little bit. I knew that the Olympic medal would increase my fame but didn't expect to such a point. It is true that any activity deserves hard training: the "job" of being famous too. Invitations, television programs, prizes, or simply the fact that people recognized you in the street and my phone doesn't stop ringing... However, the same old Julien is still there in the middle of this chaotic situation: a simple man and an athlete who isn't going to let his mind wander while riding.
From the stage to the cross country ground...
Of course, that is my natural habitat and I'm looking forward to being back. In truth, I've never left it: I've been training hard in the last months. I've always planned precisely my training, recording technical data and performances before processing them with my PC.
How is the daily timetable of a young champion?
Well, I usually wake up at about 7.45. After having breakfast and checking my e-mail, I start training. My training section lasts two up to five hours, following the daily program. I have some spare time sometime in the afternoon for my favorite hobby, motocross.