Who I am

So you want to know who I am and what I do? Well, take some time to read on since I am definitely not that type of guy who is satisfied by doing only one thing…

I was born in the year of 1977 in Berlin/Germany, the western by the „Berlin Wall“ surrounded part of the city. I grew up around offroad bikes because my dad and my uncles loved to ride Motocross and Enduro. After I broke my bicycle into two parts by jumping it over selfmade jumps (bricks and plywood did the job) in our garden when I was 4 years old I got one of the coolest presents ever for my 5th birthday: my blue and yellow BMX 2000! I didn‘t care that it was still a bit on the tall side for me, because now I could properly jump in the park with the older boys and practice my wheelies…

My BMX2000 was one of the coolest presents ever

But of course my big dream was to get my own Motocross bike! Every birthday, X-Mas, Easter, whatever I checked out the house, basement, garage in hope of finding a MX-bike as present. Unfortunately I never got it. But when I was 10 years old our dad bought me and my brother a used ’82 Suzuki RM80 that we shared. After the throttle got stuck and send me straight and wide open over the next berm into a tree I did the only right thing to do: get up, wipe the tears out of my face and get back onto that thing! The other option would have been to never swing a leg over a bike for the rest of my life…

After my first bike sent me wide open into a tree I tamed the beast...

After the Berlin Wall went down in the end of 1989 I had a lot of tracks to ride on, because Berlin was surrounded by many of them. Before that we only had one track that got shut down in 1987, which meant that whenever I wanted to ride somewhere we had to travel 3.5 to 4 hours minimum to get to the next track! So thanks to the Wall going down my success in the races went up. We were so pumped on riding all the new tracks that we rode the whole next winter, no matter if it was freezing, snowing or whatever… Since those days it was my dream to become Motocross Worldchampion and just in case this would not work out I wanted to become a professional rider at least. In the following years I worked my way up onto an international level. I competed in the german championships, international german championships, a few european and worldchampionship races. I finished the 1996 500cc german championship in 5th place with regular podium positions. In 1997 I dislocated my left shoulder early in the year, leaving me with a damaged nerve which caused the big shoulder muscle to completely disappear…

I (#24) raced with "Mad Mike" Jones (#2) when I was 16, our pathes should cross again a few years later...

Since the nerve could not get fixed I decided to switch over to Enduro for the 1998 season. I thought it is safer to ride by myself than battling against 39 other guys that try to take you out and pass you. Even though I became twotime german vice champion, rode the worldchampionship with a 7th place as best finish and bringing home an ISDE goldmedal from Australia I was not really happy riding Enduro competitions for several reasons. So I decided to go to university to study sportscience, get a real job and ride for fun. I got hooked up with the new MOTOX Magazine, becoming an fulltime editor in the course, and found a deal to ride Motocross again but just for fun.

My Enduro career only lasted 2 season, today I still love to go for a tour with some good friends

My CV seemed to get a standard twist… until OBG and MOTOX Magazine decided to organise the AIRcross at the 1999 summer ispo in Munich. This was a SX race for german youngsters and the first real Freestyle Motocross competition as they had come up in the USA. Since I always loved to play around on my bike and to jump I had my feet gotten wet with FMX since the first Freeride movement and videos came up in the states. So I had learned my first Nacnac and Cancan back in 1995 and did not care much about my dad, mechanic, sponsors who tried to convince me to focus on my laptimes and quit doing the tricks midair… My take was „Well, when I push as hard as I can for the whole lap, I can still do a trick over the long tabletop on our track… I am in the air anyway and can‘t accelerate or slow down, so let them talk…“ Haha! To make a long story short: I did win the FMX segment of the AIRcross, won more pricemoney than I would do by winning an international german championship race back in these days and came to the conclusion that it totally makes sense to do Freestyle Motocross…

AIRcross 1999 in Munich really started FMX in Germany. THANKS!!!

The whole FMX thing developed and since 2001 I was able to get sponsored to ride FMX only, which was what I did. Freestyle Motocross is my thing: it is not only about results, you can be creative, you play with your bike and you entertain the crowd. All of those things I loved to do even before FMX came up. In the end of 2003 I skipped my university and my job as editor at MOTOX magazine and finally made my childhood dream come true: being a fulltime professional Motocross rider. I did so until the end of 2010, when I decided to finish my fulltime pro riding career. Why? You will probably smile, but my answer is: the age! Even though when I must admit that 33 years are not „old“ in general, but for the dynamic, bonebreaking, actionloaded sport of FMX you are a grandpa by that age. I reached and even topped all of my goals and dreams and am completely satisfied with my career. I started to feel my old injuries and was not willing to risk even more to be able to compete against all the amazing young riders who are coming up. I still go out and ride and jump my bikes and enjoy it as much as before and will not stop doing it, it is the best thing to do!

Who would have thought in 1995 that flipping a motorcycle will be a regular standard?

Since I always kept my foot in the media and journalismn door during my pro career I wanted to get back into the media side of things. Lucky me I got offered to become editor in chief of MOTOX magazine just two weeks before my last official show. So how often do you get a chance like this? Right, maybe once in a lifetime, so I accepted the offer and jumped directly into the cold water of running a monthly printmagazine… The job is stressful but also fun. Again I can combine being creative, MX bikes and travelling the world and get paid to do so, what else could I wish for? In the last years I also got more and more experience doing TV commentary as expert for the Red Bull X-Fighters and several other TV shows. This goes hand in hand with announcing our Upforce FMX crew shows and at other big events like the Dirtmasters Festival, Europes biggest MTB gravity festival, X-Games, Nitro Circus Live and more. My latest customer is Volkswagen when they hired me for some events of their „Rally the World Tour“ during the WRC World Rally Championships. I also help as consultant for FMX events, for example the Kings of Xtreme and just can‘t find the button to slow down my life and do only one thing. Since several years I am running SPOTelicious, a video production company, with a few of my friends and my latest adventure is producing MX and MTB ridewear with Upforce Clothing. I seem to be a jack of all trades and don‘t want it to be any other way…

Back in the media-buiss: Ski-legend Marco Büchel and me during an Red Bull X-Fighters broadcast

Bio

Date of birth: 08 Juni 1977 in Berlin (West)
Residence: Leverkusen, Germany
Occupation: editor in chief MOTOX magazine, head of Atze Entertainment GmbH (Upforce FMX shows and SPOTelicious videoproduction), TV and event announcer/commentator, owner of Upforce Clothing, mostly retired FMX rider, FMX consultant
Hobbys: Surfing, BMX, MTB, Minibikes, Snowboard, Wakeskating, Videofilming and -editing, Photography, playing guitar with my boys of „Dan Dryers“
Music: mostly Punkrock, some Rap

 

Accomplishments

FMX:
1999: 1st AIRcross FMX (first ever FMX-contest in Germany!)
2000 and beyond: several podiums at the IFMXF Night of the Jumps including 2 wins and top 3 finishes in the overall standings, first german backflipper, 7-time partcipant at Red Bull X-Fighters (including the first ever 2001 in Valencia, Spain), regular rider at the Masters of Dirt tour, Global X-Games participant, travelled the whole world to jump my motorcylce

MX:
1989: first race
1991: 5th German Junior-Championship 80cc
1992: Northgerman Champion 125cc
1994: 3rd DMSB-Cup 125 cc
1995: international licence 250 cc, top ten german championships 250 cc
1996: 5th German Championship 500cc, Worldchampionships-qualifications
1997: after shoulderinjury top3-results in German Championship 500cc and Worldchampionships-qualifications

Enduro:
1998: German Vicechampion 400cc-4stroke, ISDE goldmedall
1999: German Vicechampion 400cc-4stroke, 7th Worldchampionship Czech Republic

TV Commentary/Live event announcing:
Upforce FMX Shows
Dirt Masters Festival, 2010-2013
Nitro Circus Live, European Tour 2012, 2013
X-Games Munich 2013
Red Bull X-Fighters, 2009-2012
DSF/Sport 1 „Bike“ Magazine 2010, 2011
Volkswagen „Rally the World Tour“ (WRC) 2013
Eurosport, several FMX events
Servus TV, FMX and MX events
ZDF kultur (freestyle.ch 2012)
… and many more

Consulting:
Night of the Jumps (early years, starting 2000)
Masters of Dirt (early years, starting 2009)
Kings of Xtreme (sport director 2010-2013)

My own brands:
Upforce FMX Crew
Upforce Clothing dirtbike and MTB ridewear
SPOTelicious videoproduction