Nicolas Vouilloz is undoubtedly the most successful downhiller at World Championships. 7 Elite Men's DH World Championships are his and he wrapped up his illustrious downhill career with back-to-back wins in 2001 and 2002. On top of that, he won 16 World Cup downhill races. There's a reason he earned the nickname "The Alien."

As a multiple Elite Men's DH World Champion, which victory meant the most to you?
It's never easy to make a choice, but I would chose the 2001 win in Vail, when I was just with my trainer Stephane Girard and my girlfriend. I was without my mechanic and dad which was unusual and quite special. The race happened right after 9/11 and gave a different atmosphere and particular feeling. It was special because I did all my own mechanic work and still won, in addition to the fact I was not World champ in 2000.

Which World Champs victory do you feel was the most difficult to earn?
I believe the last one was quite difficult (2002 Kaprun). Pressure was on after a year-long injury and Steve Peat set a super fast time with an early start.

Preparation
Was winning World Championships a specific goal for you all those years you won?
Yes.

Once you earned one World Championship victory, did you stick to the same strategy for following World Champ victories?
My only strategy was to be really motivated and focusd to get an other one.

Nico's ender section from Alpha Project, including 2001 World Champs in Vail, Colorado
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What is one piece of your preparation that you feel is unique to you and no one else?
I don't think I have any.

Did you work closely with your National team and coaches during the years you won?
I always work closely with my trainer Stephane Girard, not really with the French National team.

Durango 2001 by gordoHow important was your preparation in securing a victory the years you won? Do you feel like some years it mattered more than others?
Like I said, it was always important to me to get a good result for the last race of the year, especially when you know it's THE World Championship.

Your Victory
As a World Champion, I imagine you think about your winning runs often. Choose your favorite World Champs race run and let's break down the experience a bit...How did you feel the night before your race run?
A bit more nervous than normal, but I always slept well. Just hoping to have a day.

How did you feel riding up the lift?
I was just focused to look at the track, see if some lines had changed and look at the the traction.

What was it like rolling into the start gate?
Just focused, ready to go.

Recount your run in detail.
It's hard for me to remember, it was 10 years ago ;-)

When did you realize you had the winning run?
At the Worlds, even if you do a perfect run, you never know! You always have to wait for the last rider.

What do you remember most about the day?
So many things. I have the feeling that you remember all the day, from the first practice where you look for good feeling and extra speed, to the after-race press conference.

Nico's 2002 World Championship-winning Run from Kaprun - INSANE!
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The Payoff
Did winning a World Championship effect how raced after the victory?
I think yes. You are the man to beat!

Was there more pressure to win additional World Champs with at least one victory under your belt?
No, it's another race and you have to win it. Maybe you just now know that winning is so cool!

How did your victories effect your career and your future with mountain biking?
For myself, it effected everything! I rode great teams and am still working in the MTB industry with the best French company, Lapierre.

In 2010, Nico unveiled the Lapierre Prototype, now known as the DH920
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In General
Not including the World Champ races you've won, which World Championship is most memorable to you?
I think the one in Metabief, France in 1995 in Metabief. There were 50,000 spectators and it was amazing.

As downhill mountain biking racing grows, do you think the World Championships will always be the ultimate title?
Yes, and hope it will continue like this!

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