A DOG'S LIFE
FHM Australia|June 2020
Every sport has its rockstar. Every sport has its playboy. Its golden child who can do it all, no matter what the discipline or criteria requires. Mountain biking has Brendan Fairclough, or as he is best known: Brendog.
Alexei Obolensky
Before we dive deeper into Brendan, first a word on the sport of mountain biking. A far cry from once clunky bikes and amateur riders, mountain biking has grown up and moved with the times. The sport has seen a surge of popularity in recent years, from kids to mums and dads hitting trails on technical bikes ranging from entry-level pricing all the way up easily into the 10k range for a proper setup. It has, in essence, become the new golf. Don’t be surprised to hear of business deals being done on trails instead of greens as the sport blooms.

Professionally, Mountain Biking is a diverse sport; cross-country, downhill and freeride in ascending order of rock and roll. Cross-country is more for people who enjoy trail-running or hiking and is of little interest to us here. So what do we want? Downhill and freeride – the most dangerous two aspects of the sport. On specially made or natural trails, riding up to 50mph ducking your head to avoid twigs and branches coming towards you. However, despite the recent surge in popularity – this isn’t new news; Downhill has been around for a while, picture ski slopes in the off-season. It also has a solid infrastructure of both amateur and pro events, with an F1 style competition format, with stops in the Alps, Scotland, Germany and the Canada amongst others.

This explosion of the sport and the surrounding infrastructure has led to a whole host of pro mountain bikers - but Brendan isn’t your standard pro. Whilst others focus on one discipline of the sport, Brendan transcends numerous disciplines earing him iconic status in the MTB world. This is matched by his easy going and down to earth persona. However not only is he top of his game, he’s also having fun with it. He’s not only a league above, even better – he’s enjoying himself with it. After years on the world stage competing, he’s still a top 10 contender and with the level as high and fast as it is, that’s nothing to be laughed at. It’s safe to say with a pro career lasting 15 years he’s earned his stripes. From the world cup stage, to Rampage events that have defined pro mountain biking for almost two decades. However, Brendan has carved his own path, in between competition mountain biking and his own projects, yet notably as of late veering much more into his own thing. That’s not to say that he is hanging up his competition boots yet, he’ll still do the events that interest him as he says in his own words “There’s unfinished business…” – but you can tell the emphasis is having fun, and in true 21stcentury form, that is creating content that is visually amazing to watch. And it’s exactly what people want to see. The world’s best, cutting loose.

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