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Pamporovo Bike Fest was a successful MTB event rank UCI 1 and ME ambassador Stivian Gatev was on the podium.
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Stivi Gatev - Welcome to the team: chat with Monster Energy new ambassador in Bulgaria

Jul 172017

Stivian Gatev in the newest member of the Monster Energy family in Bulgaria. A dedicated mountainbike downhill racer and longtime fan of the brand Stivi represents our vision for success and determination in the best possible way.

I always wanted to race dirtbikes, but once that didn’t happen, the downhill mountainbike seemed just as extreme.

Let's start with the most important, welcome to the Monster Energy family! Tell us how and when did you join us?

Monster Energy has supported many of the big competitions in Bulgaria and for years I have known the team in Bulgaria for years. Our relationship is wonderful and it is always nice when they are with us in the mountains. Everyone knows that this is my favorite energy drink, and about my joining this awesome team - I hope that my accomplishments and my way of life have helped towards my choice.

When and how did you get into biking?

It all started in 2004 when I was a guest at my aunt‘s in Sofia and we accidentally learned about a mountain bike race and decided to go. I liked it very much, and the same year with my father we got a bike together, it was not a high class, but it was a start. The next spring I began to ride.I was born in Sevlievo and there we have one of the best motocross tracks in the world. I always wanted to race dirtbikes, but once that didn’t happen, the downhill mountainbike seemed just as extreme.

At what age did you enter your first downhill race and were you afraid?

My first race was in 2007, I was 16 years old. The competition was held above the town of Sopot, and as we all know, this is one of the most difficult tracks in Bulgaria. At the start, I did not know what to expect, but after I left the gate I realized it was very steep and rocky - conditions I hadn't ridden at. I had countless falls, but luckily I did not have any serious hits. The run seemed endless, it was so long. I had rode only around Sevlievo till then where we don‘t have such serious tracks.  About the fear, I don‘t know, at that age a man doesn’t have much sense of self-preservation ha-ha.

We quickly realized that no matter how much talent I had, without physical training I could not go much further

When did the good results start coming?

In 2009 I had already done some more serious trails and then there was again a competition in Sopot. I was in the junior category and I managed to give the second best time. Then, with my father, we knew that I could achieve even better results. After that, I started quite often to get on the podium, but something was still missing. We quickly realized that no matter how much talent I had, without physical training I could not go much further. At that time, my mother and father were already living in Sofia, and I also moved there. I got a professional fitness trainer and the result is a fact - I have dominated the stage in Bulgaria for the past two years!

This year we will have in Bulgaria races of UCI 1 rank. How is the season going so far and what goals have you set for yourself?

Yes, and I am happy for that. Having competitions of this rank, will bring foreign competitors who will help push the sport in our country. My main goals are to defend my title of National Champion and to participate in more competitions abroad. This year I took part in the European Championships in Sestal, Italy. I didn‘t do my best. I got 52nd, when I could have done much better.  A month ago I was in the European Cup in Schladming, Austria where I managed to give the 80th best time out of 210 people in my category. I made a serious mistake at the beginning, which cost me 4 seconds. Without it I would surely have made the top 50, but anyway racing on these tracks definitely helps me raise my level!

Which is your favorite track in Bulgaria and how would you rate the local conditions to the ones abroad?

My favorite is Borovets, I like it because it has almost all the elements necessary for a good downhill track. Indeed, we have a lot of good possibilities for making world-class tracks, but on the other hand the ones there are a lot wider and you have a bigger choice of lines. Another major difference is that many more people ride out there and there are huge holes and breakbumps that we do not have here, and when you first see it, it's a bit frightening.

I told myself that I would ride slowly with the idea of not ending on a stretcher like a lot of the others.

Is there a race that was so scary that it made you think twice before starting?

There was one on which I was quite concerned, but not enough to give up. In 2016, the Bulgarian Cycling Union sent us to the World Championship in Val di Sole, Italy. This was the heaviest run I've ever drove - 4 minutes of roots, stones and holes as big as your front wheel. I remember that before I started while I was waiting for my turn, the people before me fell and where taken off by helicopter to the hospital. Then I told myself that I would ride slowly with the idea of not ending on a stretcher like a lot of the others.

How do you keep in shape when you’re not on the bike?

I‘m always on the bike Ha-ha! Otherwise I go to the gym 3 time a week. I get up at 6:30 and start training from 7:00 to 9:00.

Do you have a strict diet or do you like to spoil yourself a little?

A strict diet no, I just don’t eat junk?

What‘s your favorite Monster Energy?

The classic green Monster Energy Original

What advice would you give someone how is thinking about getting into mountainbiking – especially downhill?

There is NOTHING to think about. Jump on the bike and it will take you only to good places with cool people and make you feel happy!

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