Brandon Loupos Discusses World Championship Victory

Brandon Loupos left Chengdu with a pretty special souvenir - a World Championship.

If you know Brandon, you know this event had been in his sights all year long. A rocky performance the previous weekend at FISE: Chengdu shook his confidence a bit, but he still managed to persevere, nail an incredible run, and walk away with top honors. 

We caught up with Brandon for some more insight on what it took to make it happen, his current mentality as he aims for The Olympics, and what his future holds.

It’s been a little over a week since you won the World Championship in Chengdu. How does it feel? 

It’s definitely been insane. The amount of support I’ve gotten after the World Championships has been unreal. After Worlds, I got on a plane and came back to Australia to do media and be with my family to celebrate and spend time because I barely get to see them anymore, so it’s been great. I'm loving every moment. 

I know winning this event was a huge focus for you in 2019. What steps did you take to make sure you got it done? 

Feeling good enough to win last year and getting third because of a minor mistake really made me knuckle down and get to work. I was disappointed in my performance and knew I could do better, so using that fire for 2019 was key. 

I wanted to win this event more than any other event this year, so I got to work and did whatever it took so I’d have no regrets when it was over.

You had a disappointing weekend at FISE: Chengdu just a few days before and I know you weren’t happy. How did that effect you?

FISE definitely didn’t go according to plan. It effected the Australian ranking, as well as my own ranking. But, more importantly, it effected my confidence going into the next week. I'd say overcoming that was just as hard as winning the contest. But, I’m glad I manned up and did what I had to do when it counted.

 Between the World Championships in 2018 and 2019, what changed? 

Everything changed, Kyle. I made the commitment to move to North Carolina to ride with Daniel Dhers at his park. I committed myself to my sport and to getting a World Title in 2019, which was my goal. But, more importantly, I committed myself to training for the Olympics. I've been trying to better my riding every day so I'd know I did what was necessary to achieve everything I wanted. 

Were you facing any injuries or other sorts of adversity heading into the World Championships? 

There were some hiccups here and there with injuries and other personal issues that I kept under-wraps before Worlds, but I put all of them aside to go do what I had to do. I learned how to do that from Daniel Dhers because that guy does that on the regular like a champ. 

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Tell us about your run. Did you land everything you wanted? 

Not exactly. A lot of people might read this and think I’m just talking smack, but I did have more planned. I got a bit wild and had to clean some stuff up so I could keep it smooth. I believe if your first seven tricks are smooth, your whole run will be smooth. I didn’t want to do a sketchy run and jeopardize my chance of winning.

Was it part of the plan to land really, really, really, really flat on the truckdriver on the step-down? 

Of course! The flatter the better, right? Hahaha!

Your double flips are huuuuuuuge. Do you try to do them extra high or is that just how you learned them? 

Thank you. I’m not sure. I guess I just enjoy doing them and that’s how they turn out! 

It got pretty close between you and Logan Martin. After you saw his run, did you think you had the win? 

To be honest, I wasn't sure. I thought he rode better than me, but he didn’t do as big of tricks as me, so it was neck-and-neck. There’s no doubt in my mind that he knew after his run that he could have had me. I was nervous for sure, but it went how it went. I’ll make sure that I step up more next time because I’ve never been as stressed in my life as I was when I was waiting for his score to come up. Hahaha! I know next time he’ll be ready for another battle and I will be too.  

Australia is still a bit behind the United States in the Olympic rankings. Obviously, the top qualifying team gets to send two riders. What steps are you and Logan taking to get this done?

It’s something that definitely needs to change. Logan, Cycling Australia, and myself have events coming up in the Australian summer to get points. We'll also be getting ready for more C1 events overseas, FISE: Hiroshima 2020, and the Olympic test event. There’s a lot still to do and I know we can do it and we will. 

If Australia doesn’t take over in the points race and is only able to send one rider, how do they determine who will go? 

From what I understand, Cycling Australia will nominate who they think the best rider at that time to compete in Toyko. There's still a lot of work to do, but we’re coming in like a freight train. 

I know you went back to Australia from China - as opposed to your current home in the United States. What’s going on over there?

Yeah. Been back here for over a week now spending time with my family and doing a bunch of TV and media stuff. It’s definitely different, but I’m enjoying it. 

Was there a giant parade or anything to welcome you home? 

Hahaha. I wish! My closest friends and family threw me a party at Monster Skatepark when I got back to celebrate and it was awesome. That’s about it! 

How has the trip been?

Loving it, dude. I love Australia. I’ve been away from it for nearly nine months, so it’s good to be back for sure! 

What are the next contests on your calendar? 

We have our Continental Championships in Melbourne in two weeks at Rampfest, along with a C1 and our National Championships at Browns Plains - also with a C1 - in Brisbane the weekend after. We have more Australian events planned for 2020 that I'll compete in before heading back to the states to get ready for the big events. 

Any other big plans for the rest of 2019? 

Just to do my best in the upcoming events and get these points to go to Toyko! 

My birthday is in a few days. Should I be expecting a World Champion-caliber gift? 

You know me, Kyle!

2019 was a hell of a year for you, Brandon - definitely the best of your career. How can you top it in 2020?

Thanks, man! It's definitely the best of my career so far, but next year is a big year and I’m looking forward to putting more work in to get what I'm aiming for. Thanks, Kyle!

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