Interview – Michael Bias

Hometown and current residence?

Born and raised Auckland NZ, currently Besancon, France.


Inspyre Bicycles, Pride Racing Parts, Frenchys Distribution, Bmx Besancon.

Amateur Career Highlights?

I was never national champion or anything but being a “Mighty 11” in NZ racing the Australians was pretty cool. When you are 11 years old in NZ you have a trial to become a Mighty 11 (top four 11y/o) to race Australia, which is really cool and quite the rivalry! A highlight is getting to perform the famous Haka before we race, that will always stick with me.

Transitioning to Elite and racing the World Cups?

Haha, I think growing up in the era I did with no U23 and no practice for weeks before world cups and to be honest very limited 8m hill time it was good for ‘development’ or transitioning into the elite category… more like a sink or swim transition. But I always believed I had something hidden inside and it was just about figuring out how to get it to come out.

To be honest growing up I was never that guy winning and I didn’t start training properly until I was a little bit older than the normal so at first, I really struggled with confidence and my weaknesses were quite big compared to those on a world cup level but as they improved my strengths shown through.

I still have so much to work on and learn as a rider so hopefully more to come.

Who were some of the riders you admired growing up?

The ones I remember were Bastien Merle, Joris, Sylvain and Josh Callan when I wanted to be a Junior/Elite. But when I was really young I guess the local scene in NZ and Aus was booming so guys like Michael ‘Tiger’ Robinson, Luke Madill, Jared Graves and the Kiwi guys Marc Willers, Tony Wilcock.

I am such a BMX fan though so I could list 100 but I loved the way KB, Mikey Day and Bubba rode their bikes and I think that they were that generational switch into what we are doing today on our bikes.

Over the last few years, you’ve spent considerable time in France with theteam. How has this experience been, and what motivated it?

Growing up I always loved watching the French riders. They were technical, aggressive, smart and obviously fast and I kind of seen myself more in that category than just the raw horsepower of the USA scene at the time, so I always wanted to race here more than the USA.

So far its been amazing, the French Cup circuit is probably one of my favorite race weekends to do and I have made such a cool group of mates over here and we all have the same passion and love for riding our bike and working together to go faster.

You do an excellent job on social media promoting yourself and your sponsors, and it seems like you’re having a lot of fun on the bike. Can you share your thoughts behind this, and perhaps mention some other riders who inspire you on social?

I have no idea who inspired it, I think firstly, I have never had a coach so me and my brother used to go to the track for hours with no plan as such and just constantly ride and push the limits and look for what was next and then that became trying pro sections backwards and lots of other stupid things. I think that has never left me and I get a thrill out of pushing the boundaries and just seeing what’s possible on my bike and I think people like to see that? On social media, I like Mathis Ragot Richard because he is similar minded in that sense but I think it’s just the fact I love to ride my bike more than most.

I am fortunate to have Inspyre and Pride Racing Parts behind me, they are supportive of just that, us riding our bikes, doing cool stuff and they know results will come and go.

How was it lining up on the gate in your home country for this year’s World Cup?

Incredible. Never ever did I think I would do a World Cup at home so for it to happen on such a nice race track with perfect weather and a massive crowd. Just incredible.

What are your thoughts on your performance in the first two World Cups? With Olympic qualification looming, the upcoming events seem crucial. How do you feel about Tulsa and the Worlds?

World Cups in NZ finishing in 1/4 both days wasn’t was I was going for but I showed some good signs and won some laps, so then in Australia to put a couple of extra laps in was much better and I was happy with how I rode to get into the Final day 1 and then almost again day 2 but crashed in the Semi.

I’m excited to go to Tulsa and ride another new track, I am pretty excited with the races coming up. We have just had the first 2 rounds of the French Cup and we have some more in 2 weeks so I am super excited for those first and then after I’ll switch my attention to the World Cup. Fingers crossed for the worlds as well!

How’s the balance between rivalry and friendship among your fellow NZ riders on the World Cup circuit?

I guess as you have seen there has been a big void since the last crop of NZ riders (Willers, Walker, Jones, etc.) so it’s been few and far between for elite riders. With the new U23 category NZ have seen a lot of up and coming riders so I am sure in a couple of years there will be a bigger Elite field and more healthy rivalries created.

How is BMX Racing faring these days in NZ, and what kind of support do World Cup riders receive?

Racing in NZ is at a good level, there is a decent size community travelling around to all the race meetings in NZ and the few keen ones travelling to the Worlds each year which is good for the development of our riders. We have always have had really talented, fast riders through all ages but not much depth so it’s just keeping them in the sport or getting them to transition into Elite – that is the hard part. There are some riders who get support for the world cups etc. I am not sure exactly what they get but there is some funding/support structure there, unfortunately I am not a part of that.

From Marc Willers to Sarah Walker, and numerous amateurs who have won World titles, there’s been a lot of great NZ riders. Who are some of the next generation riders we should keep an eye on?

We had a really good young rider coming through, Luke Brooke-Smith, but he’s excelling in football so BMX has taken the back seat. But as I said we have lots of talent so I am sure we will continue to create champions.

What are your thoughts on the current World Cup tracks and racing? Would you change anything?

This year has been good. Rotorua was big, wide open and created really good racing. Brisbane was not as wide open but also had really good racing with a more technical track but I think there needs to be a few standards met by every World Cup track. My opinion, we need 3 jumps on the first straight to spread us out so there is not too much carnage into turn 1, and also I think we need bigger jumps to slow us down.

With our speeds increasing and jumps getting smaller it is making it more dangerous than it needs to be. For the racing side of things, I think to make it more mainstream or easy to follow, it needs to be the top 32-48 racing more frequently on one day to get the viewers engaged more. Obviously this comes with cons like entry fee loss but I think there are ways around it with a race day before to qualify to the ‘main show’ where the top riders battle it out more often. Could discuss that for hours but the current live show we have is the best I can remember and that’s positive.

What are your plans for 2025 and beyond? Any possibility of racing in the US?

Keep on keeping on is the plan and live the dream as long as possible. I definitely want to race more in the USA as more and more of the races are on SX now and that suits me a little more but I’m also keen to give the flatter tracks a go!

Final Thoughts?

Dream big and have fun.


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