Our HF bike team is growing and we are happy to present you a new addition, Czech rider Teo Kováč. Teo is currently among the top Czech bikers and primarily focuses on MTB freestyle and freeride disciplines. Last year, he won a silver medal at the world's largest MTB gravity festival Crankworx in Innsbruck, and as he says, his goal is to constantly improve his riding. Check out Teo's "Welcome video", which has just been released, and don't forget to check the interview, in which you will learn more about our new team rider Teo.
Hi Teo, first of all I want to welcome you to the HF family, we are glad to have you "on board". How do you perceive this collabo so far?
I'm excited, of course! Last year I had probably my best season so far and at the end of the year I decided it was time to change partners. I had discussions with several brands, but what caught me most about HF, was that it is a Czech brand that really wants to make amazing bike products and do cool things. At the same time, I am very impressed by the brand's overall snowboard/skate feel.
You are currently one of the top Czech bikers. Which bike disciplines do you focus on?
I generally focus on gravity disciplines, with the fact that my competing ambitions are primarily in freestyle and freeride. I also ride enduro a lot, I plan a couple of competitions in this discipline, but I don't go there for the result. Enduro races are more for gaining knowledge that is needed for the development of new products.
When and how did you get into bike in the first place? And why did you choose to focus on MTB freeride and freestyle?
I got into bike riding intensively around 2006, when a new fourcross track was built in Prague and big world races were held on it. That turned me on to cycling. The tendency towards freestyle and freeride was probably caused by watching videos and the possibility of riding in multiple places.
Where is your "home spot"? Where do you ride most often?
Home spot is probably still Dirt Park Libčice nad Vltavou, about 20 minutes north of Prague, where, together with Kuba Vencel, we have our own training playground.
You participate in competitions all over the world, you did not miss even the biggest world MTB festival Crankworx and from last year's stop in Innsbruck you brought home a silver medal! How did that feel?
Crankworx Innsbruck was great. A medal from this event has been a big goal for a long time, I wanted it, so I was glad that it finally worked out after years of trying.
You took second place there in the Speed & Style discipline. Can you tell us more about this discipline? What is it about?
Speed&Style is a combination of time trial together with elements from freestyle. Riders compete against each other parallely on two identical tracks that contain various obstacles, bumps, banked and unbanked turns and two big jumps. On the jumps, the riders try to perform the best tricks, for which their time is deducted afterwards. It is actually the same race as the bump races on skis, with the only difference being that you ride on bikes.
What do you consider to be your biggest success so far?
Regarding competing, it's definitely a Crankworx medal. Outside of competing, I managed to do a backflip on a 25 meter jump last year, that was pretty cool too.
What bike competitions do you have in mind for the near future? Are you currently preparing on any?
Yep, the calendar for the first half of the season is starting to fill up nicely. 22.4. I help with the organization of a big cycling festival in Prague called 'Prague Bike Fest'. The BIG Air exhibition will be part of it, where we will perform together with my HF colleague Tomáš Zejda. A week after that, I'm going to the Freeride event in Slovakia - Dusty Days. Next, I have an enduro race in the Czech Republic at Blinduro Lipno, then the silver FMB race at Bikefest Kálnica, one more silver FMB race in Dolní Vítkovice, and then probably the two main races of the season, Crankworx Innsbruck and Crankworx Whistler, where I would like to follow up on last year's success, of course.
I found an interesting info about you, that you used to perform in the circus. In what circus? How did you get there? And what were you actually doing there?
I called it a circus, but it was more of a modern type of circus. No tent, but it was a string of performances basically in a theater hall, where we had a jump set up and our exhibition was part of a circus show. Various jugglers, dancers, acrobats, beatboxers, etc. performed before and after us.
Were there any other bikers with you, or was it just you on two wheels?
There were more of us on bikes, and at one point we even rode there together with Tomáš Zejda. Team consisted of a total of about 5 people.
What do you do when you are not riding at the moment?
When I'm not riding, I spent some time by communicating with sponsors, composing feedback and helping with the development of new products for partners. I think about what I actually do outside of bike stuff and I can't really think of anything. I like to go to the exhibition or have a beer with my girlfriend :)
Do you have any plans for this year regarding biking?
Regarding biking, the goal is still the same. To take my riding to another level and achieve the best possible results at international events.
You also have your own cyclo podcast called Radio Peloton. How did the idea of making a cyclo podcast come about?
It came about quite simply. It seemed to me that there were not enough interviews with cycling people in the Czech Republic, and at the same time it annoyed me that people rarely invited me to interviews. So I decided to start my own platform.
If I'm right, you studied at the Faculty of Nuclear and Physical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague. How did you manage to combine riding, competing, at that time also building pumptracks and the circus with a field that doesn't sound simple just by the name?
I finished school two years ago and haven't touched it since. It was possible to put it together, or rather, I didn't ride much in the first years of my studies, but towards the end I rather benefited from those first years and there was more time for riding. Looking ahead, I would probably like to return to it professionally one day, in the winter I always start looking for a job as part of some kind of winter bike slump, but then bike stuff always start and this urge leaves me.
What are your top Horsefeaters products?
I've been testing Horsefeathers since November last year, so I've already got my favorites. I definitely like the Reverb bike pants. Super stretchy, functional, water repellent and also a great casual style. Then the Seeker jacket. Again, great functionality, waterproofness, super pockets and thoughtful underarm ventilation. For normal wear (but I actually ride in them sometimes :D), I fell in love with the Macks pants, finally comfortable and stylish wide-leg pants. And the last thing I would mention is Asher vest. I had no idea that it would be such a useful and pleasant thing, and now I wear it almost all the time.