Woah! Where did this guy come from? Thibaut Dapréla barged into the big leagues practically overnight and went from Junior upstart to crushing Elite podiums in a heartbeat. But in reality, the teenager born and raised on the French Riviera has put in the work to make it happen. Before attacking downhill MTB races, he cut his teeth on the BMX circuit until turning 15, the minimum age required to attend mountain bike championships. Then it all came together like a plan: Bolstered by fine-tuned bike control from his BMX days, supreme control on tight corners, and a natural comfort for high speeds, Dapréla dominated the Junior division and earned the Junior Overall World Cup Championship title back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. After finishing his first season in the Elites in a strong fifth place in 2020, Dapréla put the rest of the pack on notice: In the 2021 UCI Downhill World Cup season opener in Leogang, Austria, the rookie claimed second place, ahead of Elite riders such as his Monster Energy teammate Amaury Pierron. Now that Thibaut Dapréla officially has everyone’s attention, we can’t wait to see what happens next!