I was born on 24th August of 1978 in Puigcerdà, a town of a few more than 7,000 inhabitants of Pyrenean Catalan the adjacent one with France.
Up to 4 years I lived in France (12 km of Spain), until my parents moved to Puigcerdà in order to be able to offer an education in Spanish. I remember my childhood doing all kind of sports and running all time, so it was obvious that in a future I will work as a professional sportsman.
I can’t remember exactly when I start riding a bike, but I deduce that it had few years old. What I can remenber, is that until 14 years, the bicycle (road and MTB) was not my great passion. My favourite sport was skateboarding that I practiced with some friends whenever we could. During all my childhood I practiced many sport activities, at school and by my own thanks to my parents who always endorsed all my initiatives in this sport aspect.
I discovered the MTB in the "boom" of the 91-92, when I saw a friend riding a very rare bicycle with fat wheels that he allowed to raise and to lower him by all the sites (sorry almost all!!!!!). I liked it very much because the MTB offered me a freedom that the my skate couldn’t offer me (my town was not the paradise of skaters, full of mountains, snow, ascents, a few asphalt roads,…).
Soon after, I made a bet with my parents: they bought me a MTB if I pass the EGB (General Basic Education). I wasn’t a bad student, but this bet was the stimulus to pass all my exams and not to fail any subject and must to examine again in June. I passed all the exams, and that current summer I change the skate, that so much amused me, by the new MTB (Black Mongoose) to start riding through the Cerdagne Valley with my friends and discovering unimaginable places.
In the summer of 1992, I met many friends who practiced MTB. Two of them, Juan Cucurell and Jorge Aust proposed me and another friend, Alfonso Sanchís, to take part in a race which was held in Llívia, 5 km far from Puigcerdà.
That was my first MTB race and my first victory with my Mongoose, a hockey helmet, a Caribean shorts and a t-shirt that I found on my room: The POSTCARD was incredible!!!!!!
My second race wasn’t the same: I lost it. Sorry! I should say another biker won it. Then I realized that the MTB wasn’t an easy sport, so during the summer I compete in other races winning some ones and losing other ones. Then I began to realize another thing: I was being an addict of the MTB. The following summer, when I was fit and more trained, I participated in many races around my town and later on, some at regional level (in Girona) and then in all Catalonia, always with my family, Alfonso Sanchís and Cucurell.
This way so simple, I went away becoming adict to a sport that at the same time offered a lot of freedom to me and towards fighting and "to work" for obtain goals.
Like this simple way, I was becoming more fond of this sport which it gives me so a lot of freedom and at the same time it make me “fight” and work to reach my objectives.
In September of 1995 I went with a group of friends to the world championship in Germany to see our idols (bikers which I compete now) and get some autographs. At the end, I rode in the junior’s race after winning the qualification race: INCREDIBLE! That same year, towards end of season, I knew (thanks to a common friend -Josep Puig) my trainer Kim Forteza. Since then I began to train in a right and serious way and I began to know clearly that what I liked much more was the MTB competitions.
From that time I started living great satisfactions (and also bad ones) that have taken me in an ascending spiral: from my first junior championship in 96 (which opened me the best doors of the MTB scene), to those moments in which my hobby is my work and my work my hobby; and it allows me to take part on the best world-wide competitions, meet incredible people and know gorgeous places.
Greetings and thanks to all of you that in any moment of this "ascending spiral" help me to be how I am now and in special to my wife Sandra who always is “there”(for good and bad moments).
José A. Hermida

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