Christian Gugliotta is Atomz’ products manager at Sunn Bicycle and is one of the few trials bike manufacturers to be largely distributed through real bike shops, thanks to Sunn’s large network of bicycle resellers.
What is your background and what drove you into the bike trials scene?
Christian Gugliotta: For as long as I can remember, I have always been riding bikes. But I really got into mountain biking at 12 when the sport was becoming popular. I had my first mountain bike in 1991 and did my first XC-race the same year in 1993, I had a co-factory sponsorship from Sunn. I discovered bike trials around that time at a demo organized by Stéphane Ceccarelli in Aix-en-Provence (who sometimes contributes to Trials Inside as a photographer). He was a true inspiration for me and also the organizer of the first regional bike trials championships in Provence (South of France) from 1994 to 1997. This is also when I started competing in bike trials, on modified mountain bikes from Sunn. From 1998 to 1999, I rode on custom bikes built by Vincent Lafaye, based on my specifications. Then I was sponsored by a local bike manufacturer, Explosiv, before I decided again to build my own bikes. Between 2000 and 2003, I was among the top 10 UCI riders, I came to finish 7th at a World Cup event.