We can only assume that Karim had to build an extra room onto his house just to store all the awards he's won in 25+ years of racing. He also brings an altruistic attitude toward sharing his skills and experience with the team's younger members.
How'd you get into professional mountain biking?
I started racing motocross and, after a few years, I began mountain biking. I immediately had a great sensation on my bike — I knew it was the sport for me. Nice, where I live, is an amazing place for riding, so I have the chance to ride a lot. In 1993 I won the bronze medal at the junior World Championships and that kicked off my professional career. From there I took a chance on living my passion.
What do you feel when you're riding?
Freedom for sure, that feeling of being alive. Mountain biking for me is a blend of amazing feelings.
Explain to a mountain bike rookie why riding is the best thing ever.
You get to discover incredible places and share those moments with amazing people. Then you push your limits in pursuit of that adrenaline rush — this is what's great. This is why I love mountain biking — in the end it's a very simple reason, but it's a strong one at the same time.
What's your best riding/racing memory?
After 25 years of riding, I’ve got so many that it's kind of difficult to say, I think one of my best memories is the podium at the World Championships in Métabief, which was definitely one of the best results of my career — I'm very proud of that one. I was eighteen and I got the chance to ride in front of a massive crowd. It was incredible — it totally changed my life.
What's more fun than racing? Competing to be better than you (and your rivals) were the day before. Our racers are in constant pursuit of self-improvement and they've got the race results to prove it, check them out!