Thomas Genon

Thomas Genon goes deep in Mine Line

Thomas Genon has taken a unique approach to prepare for the daunting Red Bull Rampage event, in a mine…

He travelled back to his native Belgium where he dug deep into his family history to push his freeriding skills to new levels down mining tunnels where his great-grandfather once worked. Genon obviously aiming to improve on his seventh place from last year down the steep AF freeride course on October 21.

To prepare for Red Bull Rampage, Genon and some close friends built a breathtaking line on one of the huge slag heaps near Liège and dropped in from the pitch-black top down into the mining tunnels. After finding the right locations, they got to work for 10 days straight and – even though one night of rain ruined three days of work – they just carried on.

We wanted to put as many features as possible into that line. We were on a mission!”

He never met his great-grandfather but when he was a child he and his grandparents did visit the mines where he worked, which added a layer of family connection to the site as he pushed his freeriding skills to the limit.

The working conditions then must have been really brutal. When I told my grandparents where and what I was doing, they could hardly believe I was in the same place, but with my bike. Only when we were digging our lines out of the slag heap and quarry from early morning to late at night did I begin to grasp what my great-grandfather must have gone through underground. I was given the chance to do whatever I wanted on a freeride bike, to do something more in line with my vision of riding. Even though I’m still more known for my slopestyle runs, I was stoked to try something new, something exciting. I wanted to try my best in something I’m maybe not known for.”

Thomas Genon