We’ve teamed up with Jeep, who are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, to shine a spotlight on some of the ultimate renegades from the world of action sports – past, present and future. Nico Vouilloz is one of the standouts, a blisteringly fast downhill mountain biker who dominated the sport in the 1990s. This excerpt from an archive interview sees him talking to Steve Jones, deputy editor of our sister title Dirt, about his enduring love for the sport, the scene and the simple act of shredding on two wheels.
Interview by Steve Jones | Action shots by LaPierre Bikes
For any rider old enough to remember the 90s, Nicolas Vouilloz will need little introduction – the Frenchman spent a decade as arguably the best downhill mountain bike rider in the world. He exploded onto the scene by winning the Junior Downhill World Championships in 1992 and went on to take that title a further three times. When he graduated to the senior competition, he swept all before him aside. Between 1995 and 2002, he won the Downhill World Championships an incredible seven times out of eight – including five in a row.
Vouilloz also won the overall World Cup title twice – in 1995-96 and 1999-2000 – winning 16 World Cup races during the course of his career and regularly beating the likes of Francois Gachet, Shaun Palmer and, later on, Greg Minaar and Steve Peat.
“Between 1995 and 2002 Vouilloz won the Downhill World Championships an incredible seven times out of eight – including five in a row.”