65 Jumps, From Trifon With Love In Verbier, Switzerland
13 Mar 2014
Q&A:Verbier Bike Park!!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and what do you do at Verbier Bike Park?
My name is Fabrice Tirefort aka Trifon. I did 10 years of BMX racing and dirtbiking before I began downhill biking in 2004. My first race was in 2006 and I took part in 5 World Cups in 2009 and 2010. It was a dream come true that will live in my mind forever...
Since 2007 I have been the head of the mountain bike development in Verbier, Switzerland... Due to this great job, I have been able to build a house, get married and have a child. I took a couple yars off from racing but in 2013 I came back to racing and am currently at the top 2 of the Elite Master category of old guys ;) maybe better this season.. I hope...
The season is coming really soon and I have a lot of things to do before the opening day. I do all the work (administration, graphics, website, social web, press contact, advertising, movies editing, all biking projects, etc...) except the digging where I have my 3 builders, between May and October.
How long ago was Verbier Bike Park developed? Who or what was the driving force?
In 2004, a bikeshop in Verbier tried to develop a bike park. But it was hard for them to go forward with authority and the trails did not have real digging or maintenance. From 2007, I've taken over the lead of the Mountain Bike development, the existing track was completely rebuilt to become our famous DH racing track. We have created PromoBike Verbier/St-Bernard in 2010. It is totally independent, but financially supported by Téléverbier, Community of Bagnes, and the Development Society of Verbier. This helps to drives bike park sponsors like Dakine, Spy and TSG to us. It has been a long road. But, I'm hard-headed and from 2010 my work began to payoff... 3 authorizations for trails in 2010, 2 new tracks in 2011, creation of the Verbier Bike Park School in 2012, 2 new tracks in 2014 and the opening of the hiking trails for the enduro itineraries.
How many visitors do you get in a weekend/season at the bike park? What has been your biggest day on record?
It's hard to give you a real number, because until 2014 the hiking and bike park pass was the same... But we have some stats, a good day, we were around 150-200 bikers/day. This number could increase 2 or 3 more times this summer.
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
I think we have not One trail more popular than another. Our motto is, Not quantity but quality and diversity. I think each tracks are attractive with lots of difference features like: jumps, northsore, freeride, racing, flow, aggressive natural terrain etc. But I'm sure the new trail "Rôdze" will be famous for this season. This trail will offer 65 jumps in front of the most beautiful landscape of the valley.
Will there be any new trails added this year or will yoube re-developing any existing trails?
All the existing tracks are under constant evolution and maintenance. We try to add novelties on each track each week! For us it is an important point for our clients. But yes 2 new red tracks for this season with a new lift for the bikers: one called "Rôdze" like a BMX downhill track and the other with over 200m of northsore style, over a giant stone garden just under the lift!
Describe the predominant “style” of riding at your park? (Natural vs. Manmade, DH/Tech/Steep vs. Flow/Features) Typically, what kind of terrain do you have? (Rocky, Dry-dusty, Tacky, Roots)
Sorry, I can only reply with four simple words: We Have It All!
What is the mountain bike scene/culture like at your bike park?
At the beginning was a majority of advanced-expert racers, but now that's change a lot. We have beginners, family, kids group, racer, freerider, enduro people, etc... All types of mountain bikers can find their pleasure on the XC trail and the DH racing tracks...
What about teaching or guiding?
We offer downhill biking lessons to learn downhill technics and to improve the bike skills of individuals. The lessons are given by us (me and my builders). All the bike park builders are high-level racers or expert riders and they know the tracks better than anyone. This summer we will be offering enduro guiding to discover the new trails around the valley.
Tell me a little bit about Verbier’s town or city. Where do out-of-towners like to stay while visiting the bike park? Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to spend their time?
For sure! Verbier is an old Swiss village with a modern flair. There is also an old "chalet" in woods to be seen there. Verbier is famous for the freeride/ski area and the after-ski scene. The same goes on in the summer too. If you want to have an amazing day on your bike and awesome party at night, this is the place! Here we have lots of different restaurant, hotels, bars... the Sport-center has a pool, beach-volley etc... We have built a huge pumptrack and dirt zone in Le Châble, just south of Verbier Bike Park. There are lots of activities to be found after the bike session! Or, you can just chill at the bar to enjoy the sunset with a good giant beer!
Tell us about any big events that are happening this summer at the bike park?
We have been forced to stop the downhill event organization between 2010 and 2014 because a few big hotels, apartment, bar, and shops are building at the bottom of the bike park. But the return of DH cup is planned for 2015. We will lunch huge events with XC/Enduro and DH competitions in 2015!
Do you have an opening day yet?
We will open the 7th-8th of June for the weekend until the 21st-22nd, from the 23rd of June until the 26th of October the bikepark is open all the day! Big Season!
What does the future hold for Verbier Bike Park?
I don't know... ;) No, I work to push Verbier/Val de Bagnes area to be one of the 3 best mountain bike destinations in Europe. Also, I hope to offer more easier downhill trails and more enduro tracks. We also want to extend our bike park school/enduro guiding, and to have 2-3 great events during the season like maybe Enuro World Series, World cup... it will be exciting!
All information will be found on our brand new website in April.
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