Monday, April 27, 2009

Bergamo Townhill Race

                                                           Photo Credit: Matteo Cappe

So over the past weekend i raced at the Bergamo Townhill event in Italy on my Ancillotti Scarab X bike. 

A bit of a run down on how the race works, its a downtown race through the streets of Bergamo, with a few drops and jumps added in as well, and its raced as a dual. It was my first time racing a street event so it was cool to see how it would go.

We spent all Saturday afternoon practicing and it was fun the track was pretty easy but the crowds of people made it way better! And i was really surprised at the amount of media attention there was for this race, myself and friend Filip Polc had to do a fair bit of filming and photo's after the practice had finished which was cool to get some good coverage. Also after riding the top riders had to do a press conference which is something pretty new to me haha. The whole town pretty much was in to this event Saturday night they had a big party which I wish I could of stayed for but got to race the next day.

Sunday I awoke to rain which i knew was going to make the track super slippery, stoney and marble Italian streets in the wet equals mega drifts! I did the early practice session and was enjoying it although any touch of back brake in the turns had you sliding out. 

Then we had a seeding run and the top 32 go through to the dual, I got so loose in the seeding run on this section where you had to ride on this north shore wood bout 2 meters up, you go round a turn and in to a drop, my back wheel slid off the side of the wood and i nearly fell off somehow how i held it up luckily as i would of fallen on to a tree or concrete wall but i still managed to huck the drop as you do on the north shore... 

So then it was dual time, I was stoked with my first race the rider i was supposed to race didn't show up so i just rolled down saving some energy, my next few races i had to pedal pretty hard stay in the front and it was mega tiring similar to interval training. I made it to the top 4 where i had to race Bruno Zanchi I knew it was going to be a hard race Bruno is a pretty good pedaler, hes a legend in Italy won the Junior Worlds in 1990 i think and he's still ripping. I had a race on my hands, I knew i had to get a good start, and we battled it to the first turn where i managed to shut him out a bit and took the lead and didn't look back. 

I was into the final and was stoked to have made it that far, in the final I was up against Livio Zamperie the Italian 4x champ. I knew i would need a real good start, and i really surprised myself to have half a bike length on him by the 2nd pedal, but the 3rd pedal....Snap and i was rolling on my front wheel, chain snapped nothing i could do but roll down from there to take 2nd place. I was disappointed but at the same time nothing i could do, and i had heaps of fun at the race so thats what matters, it was a brand new chain too, guess i just got too much power....haha 

Next we had prize giving, Bruno Zanchi took 4th place with my friend Filip Polc 3rd, me 2nd and Livio Zamperie 1st. The prize money was the best i have seen in a while and ill be living off it for a while, 3rd got 800 euro, I took home 1200 and the winner took 2000 euros, massive compared to NZ. More pics to come as i get them.

Now I'm back at my Training base Doganaccia for a week then im off to La Bresse for the 2nd World Cup.

Keep It real

Wyn Masters

Lastly but not least,  I'd like to thank my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Formula, Doganaccia 2000, Rockstar Racing, CampaBros, NZRide, Maxxis.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Bikes much...

Over the weekend I got my new bikes for the year, and did some testing to get my new Tomaso DHP set up. We were riding in a full on blizzard at one stage, was freezing but had a good time and the new bike was running real good..

Friday, April 17, 2009

Arrival in Italy, Windy roads and Jetlagged Dh runs

I arrived in Italy very tired after 3 shitty flights. On the long on from SA to Europe i was sat next to some fat guy who seemed intent on elbowing me the whole time so no sleep there. I was met by Tomaso Ancillotti the main man from Ancillotti Cycles who are looking after me this year. We then drove to where i will be based this year Doganaccia. It seemed like the drive took for ever and a lot of it on windy roads where you could only go around 50kmh. 

I was happy to finally arrive there, and it was good to catch up with my NZ team mate Brook Macdonald, And to meet the Guys from Doganaccia 2000 our team sponsor and the place where we will be staying and training this year. Tomaso was keen to ride to i did 2 runs feeling super tired that was enough for me the course was pretty crazy its around 8min long and mainly flat turns with a few rocks pretty loose.

After riding i was pretty much ready to sleep, so it was back to the apartment. The next day we awoke to heavy winds and rain so the lift was unable to run leaving us inside for the day. I have a town race coming up soon check it out should be sick fun

Will update in the next week with some riding pics on my new Ancillotti DHP
Take it easy..

South Africa World Cup Round 1 and Safari's

So here I was sitting on a plane to South Africa wondering, what it really was going to be like, and if it was really as dangerous as so many people had told me. Well I arrived a Joburg Airport and met up with Aussie rider Will Rischbieth and we flew to Pietermaritzburg. Will fell asleep just before landing and shit himself when we landed was pretty funny! I got picked up by a Family friend, who took me to where I would be staying, which was just up the road from where the track was. 

I stayed with the Willis family who looked after me the whole time and i had a great time staying thanks for having me. Anyways me and Will did a bit of XC riding on the WC xc course which was killer on our borrowed bikes we were getting real loose on the off camber sections it was pretty sick.

That weekend was the South African National race on basically the same course as the WC, it was a test event kind of thing, the first practice day was super wet and the top steep section of the track was like riding on an ice rink, there was little or no traction. I got a bit carried away on my first run and slid out into a rock got highsided, I came away ok but with bent cranks. Which with 3 people and a metal pole we managed to kind of straighten.

I raced the national event with my pedals on different angles making the pedalling pretty arkward, I think i ended up around 18th or something but couldnt find any results so dont know, still had fun though. The race was won by Chris Kovaric who put in an awesome run.

The next week i kicked it off with going fishing at some dam although not catching anything which sucked, so then we did a bit of tubing behind the boat which worked my shoulders bigtime. The next day we went out to the game park with a relation of the people i stayed with, he was intent on taking me on the most extreme Safari possible, driving through rivers and going up hillclimbs it was sick, it was great to see all the animals and everything. 

Then it was back on the bike again for a bit more practice for the WC. The course was super fun to ride in practice it had some sick section that were just flat out and some good jumps as well. But to race it was epic the flat section in the middle seemed to take for ever to pedal along, everyone found this out in fridays Qualifying runs. I qualifyed in 31st spot which i was happy with for the run that i had, I knew i would just have to wind it on a bit more on sunday, Sik Mick Hannah qualifyed first on his comeback ride which was awesome to see.

Sunday came round fast as ever and all of a sudden I was at the tope of the hill, warming up for the first world cup of the year. I went in to the gate feeling pretty confident i could put down a solid run. I rode pretty strong but tryed to conserve energy for the pedally middle section where i could and i think i held back abit too much i crossed the line feeling the i could of given it abit more, but the same time happy to kick off the season and better my qualifying finishing 29th. 

Four riders after me fellow NZ rider Cam Cole came down and killed it he sat in the hot seat only until Sam Hill knocked him out, Putting Cam in 6th for the day an the first NZ rider just infront of Justin Leov. Nice work Cam. The win was taken by Hometown Hero Greg Minnaar which was great to see and Mick Hannah was 2nd with the Veteran Steve Peat in 3rd. So that was WC1 done and dusted for me. Now it was off to the afterparty which was a pretty good night, next im off to Italy! 

Thats all from me for SA


Oceania Champs and Canberra Crashing

So this is abit late for this update now, but im going to post it anyways. I packed up all my gear ready for another 6months away from home and headed off to Sydney where I stayed a night at the Yha Backpackers hostel it also happened to be St Patricks day so, It was pretty noisey all night and I didnt get much sleep. 

The next day I caught the Bus to Canberra where i met up with the other NZ team riders and went through to Thredbo with them. At Thredbo i stayed with the Murrell family and some of the other boys from queensland, Thanks heaps to Kay for putting up with me and looking after me. Anyways so the track at thredbo is super long and i knew all my training i had been doing was going to help me out here.

Come to Qualifying i felt good on the course, and put in a pretty strong run to see how i would go with my fitness. I surprised myself and Qualifyed 2nd behind Jared Graves, I was happy with that as it finally showed my training was paying off. The next day was race ay so it was back to the apartment to rest the legs and have a big feed!

Race Day came an i waited at the top for quite a long time as i was second to last to go, I was pretty happy with how i rode my run but made a couple of mistakes, but it was really hard not too on a course this long, I got to the bottom and was leading but Graves was next rider to come and smashed it beating me by 5seconds nice work by him! I was stoked to be 2nd and get some good Uci Points too.

The next week I headed to Canberra catching a lift there with crazy frenchman Ghislain Ricci and staying with Kye Hore Cheers for letting me stay. I spent the week riding bmx track and skateparks, theres quite a few really good skateparks in Canberra. Then on Sat I did some runs with local pinners Tim Eaton and James "Bashy" Bashford, the tracks around Canberra are a bit limited unless you're keen to push. 

I did a few runs at Mt Ainslie before heading to Mt Stromlo, the venue for 09 Worlds. I had a crash in my first run sliding out on one of the turns and grazing up my elbow...oh well nothing new, then we did a few more runs and i was starting to enjoy it abit more till the last run of the day,  I had the gayest stupidest crash, after jumping the last double i tryed to turn to go around a drop got highsided and thrown bout 5metres. Bending my cranks and chainguide. About the best thing i could of done about 12hrs before flying to South Africa.

Thats all i got from Australia