Andrew Cavaye is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. Balancing life on and off the bike is tough sometimes, however Andrew is one of those guys that has managed to balance it all while still competing at such a high level. With his results speaking for themselves – a 7th overall is this year’s national DH series along with a string of other very solid results in both DH and Enduro, Andrew is showing plenty of promise for the future of Aussie DH and Enduro racers. When asked about how he manages it all, Andrew will always suggest that his support from those around him is what allows him to achieve what he does. However there is another element that is critical to such success: Dedication and this 21 year old from QLD has plenty of it.
We caught up with Andrew recently to chat about life on and off the bike and what he aspirations are for the future.
Who is Andrew Cavaye?
Hi Guys, I’m a 21 year old Downhill and Enduro racer based in Brisbane, QLD.
Who are your sponsors and team?
I am a part of the For The Riders (FTR) Race Team with support from NSDynamics, Lusty Industries, Maxxis and Joes No Flats.
How did those come about?
I was introduced to the owners of FTR by a couple of my now teammates that I rode with regularly. I already had some support from another dealership, but moved to FTR as they really provide the support I needed at races and avenues for growth. From that, NS Dynamics, Lusty Industries, Maxxis and Joes No Flats jumped on board to help me get where I am today.
Moving to such a big team, how have you found that has improved your racing?
There is no doubt that joining the FTR team has had a positive influence on my racing. There’s a lot of fast guys on the team so we really push each other to improve. Outside of that it’s also nice to have such a big crew of mates to ride and throw banter with at the races. FTR provide all of us with a prime pit set up at the races, including pit mechanics, nutrition and spares which all contributes to consistently putting in good results. Having them there as mechanics and for spares has definitely saved my race more than once.
Describe your typical day.
I try to ride 6 days a week across a variety of disciplines. A typical day involves an early start to get in a good Enduro or Road ride before getting ready for work or uni that day. The day is spent at Work or Uni, working 4 days a week, with uni for the remainder. After work, I try to do some kind of weights, strength exercises or just stretching before dinner and then generally do some Uni assignments until bed. It’s a pretty full on schedule that sometimes makes it hard to fit everything in, but it works for me.
Since you are riding both Enduro and DH, what are your goals for this season and beyond?
For Downhill, I’d like to win a couple of my local races, potentially the overall Elite series. The National Series is already over for this year and I’m pretty happy with how that went with a 3rd in Coffs Harbour and 11th in Awaba, for 7th overall. So I’m looking forward to next year’s nationals, and hope to compete in a few more events down south – mainly National Champs and Cannonball Festival in Thredbo. Overall, I’m trying to get enough UCI points to eventually race World Cups!
For Enduro, I’ve already achieved a milestone of winning the Garapine Enduro as part of our state series in the Elite category. Hopefully I can maintain this form for the remainder of the series. I’d also like to race a couple National Enduros and qualify for EWS this year.
Do you have a preference between Enduro and DH?
I definitely still consider myself primarily a Downhill racer.
Why is that so?
I have been racing downhill for about 8 years now and up until a few years ago, it was all I rode. This is only my second season competing in Enduro, so it’s still a new thing for me. Downhill gives you the option of punching steep, rough and fast runs over and over, and develops a riders technical skill. I find myself spending a lot of time on the Enduro bike as particularly around South-East Queensland, Downhill is becoming less accessible and the capability of Enduro bikes these days means you can ride pretty much the same tracks and not worry about shuttles, fuel, etc. But if given the option I’d pick Downhill any day.
Who would you say has influenced your riding the most?
Jared Graves. I grew up in Toowoomba riding the same trails that Jared grew up riding. He has always been an inspiration because of his self-discipline and attitude to training. He represents the total package of skills, strength and discipline while still being a top notch dude that will have a chat with anyone.
We all have different reasons to ride and race, what do you think is the aspect of racing that motivates you the most to keep racing?
If I’m honest, especially when I was younger, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the nerves and pressure of racing. But, over the years I’ve learnt to cope with these a lot better. To me, the feeling of giving your all, pushing personal boundaries, achieving goals and winning is well worth the sacrifice of the body, time and money.
Aside from my competitive side, I have the most fun when racing. Riding with and competing against all your mates, the atmosphere, heckling from spectators and seeing everyone throw down in Finals is what keeps me coming back again and again.
With the amount of trails we are increasingly getting access to in SEQ, what are your favourite trails to ride?
I have a few ‘special’ trails locally that my housemates and I ride quite a bit during the week. Aside from that, I always enjoy doing Downhill runs at Toowoomba, Illinbah or Kenilworth. As for trail riding, it’s hard to go past Toowoomba or Mt Joyce.
What about overseas?
I have done a year abroad in Whistler, Canada during 2015/16. This really helped my riding but I didn’t actually compete at all while over there, I was just happy riding every day! I feel this time developed some pretty key skills that has helped improve my riding over the last few years.
For the future, I am definitely looking abroad to New Zealand, US, Canada and Europe. I hope to be able to compete in a couple World Cups, EWS and Crankworx events over the coming years.
What do you do outside of racing?
I’m currently a full-time student, studying a Bachelor of Urban Development, Majoring in Construction Management, going into my final year. I work in the Construction Industry as a Contracts Administrator which tends to keep me pretty busy.
Outside of work, I like the beach, chicken parmies, camping, hanging with mates and don’t mind getting behind a camera every now and then.
What are your greatest accomplishments on and off the bike?
In terms of race results, third place in Elite at the Coffs National Downhill round this year is my proudest achievement so far. Apart from that, I’ve achieved many Elite podiums in both Downhill and Enduro which I am stoked with, but I look forward to testing my metal on the international circuit and seeing if I can add to that list of podiums soon.
My proudest moment was jumping a train in Canada. This was a crazy experience and definitely up there with the scariest too – it’s definitely a picture for the Grandkids!
Off the bike, I’d say living in Canada as an 18 year old and working as a Lift Operator was not necessarily an accomplishment, but an awesome experience that I will remember forever. My Uni Degree, when finished, will be good to have as I’ll be able to concentrate more on riding!
From what I hear, you have had your fair share of injuries, including one fairly recently, can you talk us through that?
Yeah I’ve had a couple of decent injuries. Dislocated shoulder, couple concussions and more bruises and skin off than I can remember is the most of it.
Recently I had to have surgery on my arm after a crash. I got a bit excited on a new bike without bed in brakes yet, came far too fast into a hard pack rocky corner and basically shredded my bare elbow through some shale-y rock. I had about 6-7cm of exposed bone, and my arm looked like mince meat. Luckily there was no bone/ligament damage and I could still move my arm fine but needed plastic surgery and couple days in hospital, then I was good to go.
What motivated you to come back from that?
I was meant to fly out to New Zealand for riding literally the day after that accident, so I was pretty bummed about that. But seeing as my arm movement was fine I jumped on the bike again real soon and focused on getting it all sorted for the race season fast approaching!
Can you take us through your bikes for this race season?
This season I’m running a 2018 Santa Cruz V10CC and 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad C for Downhill and Enduro. The V10 was the pick for downhill, no question. I really liked to look of the Nomad and wanted something aggressive that I could ride pretty hard on the downhills (cause that’s where the fun is had, right?) so the Nomad was the way to go.
For the Nomad, Sponsors jumped on board and I’ve got Cane Creek Helm Air up front and Cane Creek Inline Coil on the rear from NS Dynamics, plus a few other upgrades including Chromag carbon BZA bars and BZA stem and upgraded drivetrain.
Both bikes are running Maxxis Tyres and Joes No Flats Sealant, which easily keep up with the abuse and keep me rolling.
Downhill – V10 CC
Enduro- Nomad C
Words & Photos: Sam Routledge
You can follow Andrew’s Instagram here: @andrewcavaye