The French FMX connection
Winter break in Southern France
Winter break is the time of the year between December and March when there are no FMX events. But for the pro FMX rider, it's the most important time of the year, with more free time to improve on existing tricks and learn new moves. For French riders Charles Pags, Jey Rouanet and Tom Pags, winter break meant the first-ever Pags 540, plus alley-oop flairs and more. Here, Charles Pags keeps it classy with a nac-nac whip.
Eight months ago, the Pags brothers (Tom, left) moved to Minerve and joined Jey Rouanet (right) on his XXL FMX park. Since then, they've created a virtual FMX paradise. They built a big quarterpipe, created new ramps and refined the landings. And since it rains less in Minerve than most other areas of France, they've been able to get in more and more riding sessions.
Tom Pags also used his winter break to improve upon his brand new ride: a Yamaha YZ 250 two stroke. It's 15 kg lighter than his last setup. Features include a smaller and lighter carbon fiber tank, a carbon fiber subframe, Kayaba air fork, Fox suspension, titanium hardware and foam in the tank to avoid fuel unbalancing. It's basically a work of art.
This is a closer look at the carbon fiber sub-frame on Tom Pags new ride. The bike build was provided by French company Drag'on Tek.
Whip it good
Despite old injuries, Charles Pags keeps riding. He's always there to have fun and support his brother. He also enjoys throwing whips over the French countryside.
This is the brand new Thomas Pags 540 (or alley-oop as it's called in BMX.) No one else other than Tom Pags believed this was possible, but he pulled it perfectly and pushed FMX forward in the process. "It just came like that," said Pags. "I saw this in BMX first and I thought it was impossible, but when I tried it on the left side of the quarterpipe, it felt right!"
Charles Pags (left), Jey Rouanet (center) and Tom Pags (right). These three riders know how to spice up the FMX game. Jey's yellow haircut also has an explanation. "That was from a bet," says Charles. "He was supposed to land a new trick before Christmas but failed to do so, so Tom turned it yellow!"
Style and height
Charles Pags stretches a 9 o'clock Indy high above the French countryside.
"I am old. Now I just do my regular tricks, no more crazy stuff," says Tom Pags. But a seatgrab backflip is still pretty crazy.
A view of the flair on Jey Rouanet's course. It's big and beautiful ...
Jey Rouanet with a good old fashioned 9 o'clock air.
After long foam pit sessions and years of hard work, Tom Pags finally landed this seemingly impossible trick many times on dirt. "I crashed a few times. But you always have to see the positive side. Now I understand the limits," says Pags.
Meet the Flintstones
A longtime friend of the Pags Brothers, Jey Rouanet has truly improved his riding since his new roommates arrived. Here, he executes a Flintstone air as the sun sets over Southern France.
Practice makes perfect
Tom Pags is steadily getting ready for the grand opening of the 2015 FMX competition season, from dusk till dawn. Here he throws in a Shaolin flip.
Tom Pags with a classic tsunami air. "2015 is a new challenge for me. I have got more to come," says Pags.
Don't forget your roots
"The key to being a well-rounded FMX professional is to not to forgot your 'old tricks' even when you invent new ones," says Pags. Here, he throws a perfect sunset flatliner Indy air.