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Interview with Russian FMX rider Alexei Kolesnikov

Very soon, in the heart of Russia, under the Kremlin walls – on the Vasilyevsky Spusk, or Hill, to be exact – worldwide famous freestyle motocross stars will perform for hundreds of thousands of spectators. Including a Russian FMX star…

Motonews.ru is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Russian FMX rider Alexei Kolesnikov.
Alexei Kolesnikov was just 12 years old when he switched from bicycle motocross to motosports. That was when he mounted his Kawasaki KX, a motocross bike for children, for the very first time. As he gained experience, he gradually started to take part in enduro rally raids that lasted several days, and even won the national Russian championship in 2005. This was the first and last motocross victory won by Kolesnikov in his career. In the same year, he developed a passion for freestyle motocross.

At first, it proved to be quite difficult, since this sport was unheard of in Russia and there were no coaches to help mentor him or sites to practice and learn new stunts. Alexei and his friends built a ramp and a foam pit in his native town of Kolomna, and then started practicing hard.

The situation changed dramatically when the freestyler-to-be happened to attend a round of the global freestyle motocross championship, Red Bull X-Fighters, in Ireland. It was there that he first met the living legends of the sport – Travis Pastrana, Dani Torres, Mat Rebeaud – and tested himself in a professional setting for the first time. In 2009, Alexei Kolesnikov took part in the FMX show Red Bull X-Fighters Exhibition Tour held in four cities in Russia – Omsk, Tyumen, Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd – to become the hands-down winner of the event.

Who first inspired you to ride a bike? And to take up freestyle motocross?
When I was still just a child, I went to a motocross event with my parents in Kolomna and Sergei Povarov was taking part! I tried motocross for the first time with him. I watched the competitions where he was performing and I just knew that I wanted to become a rider in the future)). My dad, Gennady Kolesnikov, has been dealing with various machines all his life, so every little thing helped! As for freestyle motocross, I always loved the long beautiful jumps in motocross most of all. I also watched a lot of American videos and thought: why don’t we have that in Russia? And so I gave it a try…

Do you remember your first riding experience?
I sure do! My dad was helping me mount a bike for the first time. It was a Minsk 125cc bike, my legs didn’t even touch the ground.)) I was 8 or 10 at the time.

Do you consider yourself a sociable person?
Yeah, I think so. I have a lot of friends all over the world! And I’m easy to talk to.

Do you keep track of all your back flips? How many are there now?)
Certainly not, but I know there are quite a bit now! Still, it’s a good idea. I don’t think it could be less than 30.
Do you ever get nervous before making a jump?
Anything can happen. But I try to get that thought out of my head right away!

Do you have a lot of interests in your free time? What are they?
I like snowboarding, riding a bicycle, a minibike, and I love radio controlled models! Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of free time to indulge in these things.))

Do you ride a bike in the city?
No! I don’t have a road bike, and I don’t think it’s safe, because you’re usually not the only person on the road. I don’t like anything that lacks control.

What kind of advice would you give to beginning FMX riders reading this interview?
The best thing to start with is motocross!!! And then just try simple stunts on safe ramps. This is how you’ll gradually get the sensibility that you’ll need in the future. Sometimes there is just no point trying the ramp from the outset. You can also come to our park in Kolomna where I practice most of the time and we will certainly help you! Everybody is welcome!

What do you think is the most appropriate age to take up freestyle motocross?
I think no earlier than 15!

A lot of sportsmen are currently using Twitter accounts – what’s your take on that? Do you plan to sign up?
I heard about that, and I’m already on Myspace, Facebook, Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki.ru. I just haven’t made it to Twitter yet)).
Do you have an official fan club?
Not yet! There are people who follow me and support me in every way, encourage me and believe in me and the like. And I’m very grateful to them for that!

What are you planning to do after the Vasilyevsky Spusk performance as part of the 3rd round of the Red Bull X-Fighters series?
I plan to keep performing! There are plans for a lot of video sessions for Crusty, Daboot, Esta Film, etc., and, if it’s possible, I’ll go to the IFMXF championship! And then of course practice, practice and more practice!))

Do you follow other competitions? Which ones?
Of course, I generally keep up with everything in the FMX world! But I also regularly see and hear about the achievements of our own guys – Bobryshev, Leonov, Naumov! And honestly, I’m happy for them and for our country!

Just as a reminder, the national Red Bull X-Fighters show will be held on June 26, 2010, at Vasilyevsky Spusk in Moscow – the third round of the global championship, which consists of six rounds this year. Russian FMX rider Alexei Kolesnikov will be taking part in the round.

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