There is no overstating winning a big championship or a prestigious race, but in today’s world it’s just as important to have a personality to match.
Watching the career of Cedric Gracia has seen him in the mix of the top gravity racers since the time of the big bikes, but he has never had a completely dominant season. As a matter of fact he has never won a World Championship but it wasn’t due to lack of skill. He won the Redbull Rampage and numerous other one off events. Still with this he has always had the support of factory teams and now rides with the support of die hard sponsors.
What set Cedric Gracia apart? I had the pleasure of meeting him at a New World Disorder release in Las Vegas and it was clear from the start. In the midst of freeride royalty with all the heavy drinking of many types of the cheapest beers a high end Las Vegas lounge would cringe at supplying, Cedric was dawning 4 beers and flowing around the party with ease. A huge smile on his face, and not so much talking but listening to everyone, with laughs, smiles and a stoked demeanor.
It’s not just at some party but to match his hyper smooth style of riding comes just a guy who enjoys riding his bike. His attitude is just of joy and general sillyness at the race.
As a privateer, he is a character to look to for inspiration. A figure who never takes himself too seriously or makes a race seem like it wasn’t meant to be enjoyed. Sponsors like racers who people like. Even if they don’t win. With competition being so high and the world of media changed to a focus on social media content, having a fun attitude is worth more than being a champion.