Getting to Know: Wyn TV Lenzerheide’s Privateer of the Week – James Macdermid
James Macdermid has just completed a very successful year of racing as a junior on the World Cup circuit with top 15 finishes in every race he has competed in with a 6th place at the World Championships in the top three in Lenzerheide. Following his third place finish at Lenzerheide, James also received Wyn Tv’s Privateer of the Week award. We caught up with James to talk about his racing career so far and how the Wyn award has helped his race.
Do you describe?
I’m 18 and I’m from New Zealand, I’ve been going downhill since I was around 11. I love to cycle whether it’s downhill, enduro or dirt.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I was actually born in UK but moved to New Zealand when I was 1 so in my mind I’m from New Zealand I live on the North Island in a town called Hamilton. It’s pretty close to Rotorua with a few other great places to ride.
How did you come to mountain biking?
My dad has always been passionate about cycling, he introduced me to BMX quite early on, but slowly I lost interest and became more passionate about mountain biking. So I opted for the descent around the age of 11.
Who are you riding for?
Currently, I am part of a team called YD racing. It’s a team that was formed by my parents and a few others just so that we, the Kiwi juniors, could participate in the World Cups. I do have some support and sponsorship however, I ride for Devinci NZ, with Spank, Maxxis, Troy Lee Designs NZ, Squirt and Leatt protections.
What bikes are you riding at the moment?
I ride a Devinci Wilson 29, I also have a Devinci Troy for a trail bike and an NS bikes dirt jump bike.
Do you have a job outside of mountain biking?
Yes, I am currently working for ADU Industries which is a distribution center for mountain bike and water sports products. The owner has supported me and my errands from a young age so I am grateful to be able to work there.
What are your strong points?
I have always thought that my technical ability was my greatest strength in racing. It always gives me a bit of confidence when I can discover sections faster than some and navigate them a little better than others.
What are your weaknesses?
I always have trouble keeping my speed on long straights, especially on tracks with long stretches of motorway, I find myself wasting time when others can find it.
What are some issues that privateers face that people might not realize?
How difficult it was for us Kiwis to run overseas in 2021. This problem is unique due to the Covid era. In 2020 and 2021, no kiwi were allowed to run unless
they were part of a team. I don’t think a lot of people know that, but that’s why we made the YD Racing team without them, you wouldn’t have seen yourself, Lachie, Jess, Alex and my brother William competing in World Cups. In fact, there were more juniors and elite Kiwis who wanted to race in Europe but didn’t get a chance because of it. Also, the cost of coming from New Zealand, it’s not nice for the wallet to go to the World Cups and it’s a very difficult process.
How does the WynTV Privateer award help your run?
Wyn’s privateer award gave me a huge head start in saving and preparing for the 2022 season. It also gave me more motivation to work hard for 2022 so I can make the most of the opportunity. he gave me.
What has been your worst fall in years?
At Crankworx Rotorua 2017 I had a full scorpion on the bars of the rockery after the first bridge, the accident left me with a concussion and with quite a few bruises but somehow nothing broken but I m ‘Will always be remembered as my worst only because of how violent he felt and how long the recovery ended up being.
What is your greatest achievement?
Coming 3rd at the Lenzerheide World Cup this year for sure it’s been my goal since I was a kid to get on the World Cup podium and I was so happy to have achieved it this year.
What is your biggest regret?
Missing the US World Cup rounds this season, it was very painful to watch my overall position drop and my friends run while I was stuck in MIQ (Managed Quarantine).
Where is your favorite place to ride?
Probably in Morzine and the surrounding area, there is nothing quite like it with the number of different bikeparks on hand.
What’s your favorite website for non-bikes?
Probably youtube in fact i spend a good chunk of my free time exploring it and watching skating content with cars and motorsport content but in all honesty half of the things i watch on youtube are related to mountain biking.
What is your favorite motto or proverb?
“You’ll never know if you don’t try” it’s pretty basic, but growing up and starting to ride a bike with my dad saying it was usually enough to convince me to try something I wouldn’t probably shouldn’t have done but that’s how I learned and improved.
What makes you happy?
Riding a bike and spending my time having fun and exploring with my friends and family. I also enjoyed trying to learn to surf with my friend Liam and a few others, but it’s a bit difficult so nothing beats a ride.
How do you want to be remembered?
Not 100% sure yet, however, I know I want to be remembered as someone who enjoyed every moment of life and as someone who did what I love.
What does the future hold?
I intend to try to keep competing in World Cups for as long as possible and not have a real job until I have to so I can ride my bike and have as much fun as possible. I also want to try to help more and more young Kiwis to race on the world stage and help the next generation of young runners to be successful.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me over the years and feel free to say hello if you ever see me or come for a ride if I am riding.