Monday, July 27, 2009

Mont Saint Anne Race Report

So I flew from Italy over to Canada for the 6th World Cup round in Mt Saint Anne, Quebec. It was my first time in Canada which was cool and I was pretty excited to get to ride the track that i had seen in so many videos and pictures!

I spent a couple of days chilling out in Quebec city at a backpacker's waiting for the Scottish boy's Joe Barnes and Ben Cathro to pick me up, which was sweet to get to check out the city a bit. Joe's flight didn't get in till late on the day before practice so I didn't get the chance to walk the course which I was a bit pissed about, but just had to get up and try do a slow run down and have a look at the course, which was harder said than done. I followed some other riders down and was starting to get in to the course, till I missed the take off for a small gap and went over the bars into a big pile of rocks. It certainly wasn't the start to the weekend that I had wanted, the result 1 swollen hand and a scraped up back. But nothing a bit of tape couldn't fix although it was pretty painful holding on on the rough rocky track that is MSA.

So after my crash I took the rest of practice pretty easy and was loving it, I rate it pretty high among the best WC course's in the World. It has a bit of everything in it and some awesome high speed section's that are just rough as anything! The rest of the day went pretty well a bit loose but no major crashes or anything so it was sweet. Overnight we got a spot of rain and it made the course a bit slicker but was still heaps of fun. I took my qualifying run real steady and didn't really push it too hard as I just wanted to get down with out any crashes or anything after the previous day, I ended up 47th which wasn't the best result so I knew I had a fair bit more work the next day for Finals. The other kiwi's went alright as well with Blinky 4th Justin 6th, Aari 40th, and young George Brannagin in 53rd not bad for his debut World Cup, and Rankin and Cam Cole were in the mix too with average runs.

Finals day was a fair bit more muddy and after my first run down with Dry tires on I changed to cut spikes which favored the wet condition's a bit better just were scary on the rock sections. I did 2 runs a felt pretty comfortable for my race run. I started off pretty well putting some pedals down in the top section and felt good then in the woods I felt a bit cautious, as It was a fair bit more drier than I had expected. In the bottom section I struggled to hold speed and was make stupid little mistakes that were costing me a lot as it was crucial to hold speed through the bottom section.

I ended up one place worse than Qualifying in 48th which was for me a disappointing result but it was a bit of a rough weekend for me anyways, but just have to keep the dream alive, and look to the next weekend to go better. Kiwis faired ok but maybe not as well as they would have wanted with Justin 10th, Blinky 16th with a mechanical, Cam 25th, Rankin just in front of me in 46th, Aari 63rd with a crash and George 67th.

Another World Cup done, leaving only 2 more for the year, next weekend in Bromont and the final in Austria in September hopefully these races can bring me some luck. Thanks to all my sponsors for making it happen, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto.

Until next week

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Abetone Italian Cup Report

So last weekend we spent racing at Abetone, which is around half an hour from our base in Doganaccia which was cool as we didnt have any long drives to get there and could stay at our place at night.

The track in Abetone was pretty good and has an awesome first section nice and fast and open, and then it goes in to the trees where its a bit more technical has a few rocks and roots that catch you out sometimes. Me and Team mate Brook got some riding done there on the thursday before to check out the track and see what it was like, I enjoyed most of the track but struggled a bit on some of the really tight turns near the bottom.

We had a great turn out of Kiwi's representing, with myself and Brook, Matt Scoles, Nathan Rankin, and Junior Cam Johnson. So you could say it was kind of like an NZ race which was sick. Practice day was cool got a few runs done in the morning in the dry..but then as we were in Europe in came the rain for the afternoon, and turned the track in to a mess, the rocks and roots came super slippery on the spike tires but it was fun to ride I got a couple of runs done in the wet and was stoked on it.

Then on race day it was a perfect sunny day and started drying up a bit, which actually made it harder to ride as the ground got slicker, and it was also a struggle to get a full run in as other riders were just stopped everywhere on the track, they don't pull off to the side of the track over here just stop in the middle. So after one terrible practice run I was heading up for my qualifying run.

My qualifying run was a bit of a shocker, I slid out on a flat rock in the second corner and it sent me of the bike which wasn't the best start to the run, the rest of the way i tried to just keep it smooth and stay rubber side down. I was surprised that i had qualified in 3rd behind Nathan Rankin with my team mate Brook in the number 1 spot. So after qualifying the track started drying up a bit more, and we all went off the spikes we ran for qualifying and on to dry tires. Not something that i like doing as you kind of don't know what to expect or how much grip you would have.

So race run I started well made sure I got through that 2nd turn and rode the top section real good, then in to the trees where the ground was dry but all the rocks and roots were still slick as, I felt like i was swapping all over the place and in some sections just couldn't keep a straight line and was making a few extra uncontrolled turns but it was pretty fun, just had to hang on to it. I got to the bottom put a few pedals in to the finish and I did 3 53 and went in to first with two riders to go Nathan came down and I just beat him, after him was Brook who loves it in the wet, and he smoked us all with an awesome time of 3 47 nice work!

Young Cam didn't have the best day as he went over the bars in the steep rock chute and smashed himself up a bit. The ambulance crew were intent on taking him to hospital but he didn't want to go so he was trying to escape from the ambulance providing a funny scene for everyone watching, but once he calmed down we told him better to get all checked out and off he went.

So it was a good weekend for Ancillotti with 3 in the top 5 as Matt Scoles had to borrow one as his bike wasn't running, the top 5 went Brook, Me, Lorenzo Suding who in the process broke the Italian podium drought, then Nathan Rankin, Matt Scoles. Finally thanks to Tomaso and Alberto for keeping my bike looking and running sweet. Thanks to all my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto.

Next weekend I have Italian Champs and then I am off to Canada more to come soon.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Team Videos

Hey guys here's a couple of videos, one from Maribor 4x and one from Doganaccia where myself and team mate Brook are Italy enjoy...


Monday, July 6, 2009

Canazei Italian Cup Race report

So over the past weekend I raced at the Italian Cup in Canazei in the Dolomites. It was a pretty amazing area to see awesome scenery from the top of the track would be a sick place to go skiing in winter, as there are so many gondolas and chairlifts in the area i think it said 1200 km's of ski piste's.

Anyway so on friday afternoon myself and Brook, walked the course and going off first inspections, we thought it would be pretty boring as the whole course was grass and didn't really have anything technical in it. But then once we got to ride it the next day it was real fun, although it did have a bit too much pedaling for my liking, it was wet and rained on and off the whole day, but that kind of made it better all the turns were super drifty so a good days riding was had, i think I did around 8 runs.

Sunday morning we awoke to clear sunny skies which was cool, but it was hard to tell if it would stay around for the whole day, the weather can change so fast up in the mountains, the bottom of the course was at 2000 metres probably one of the highest finish area's I have seen. My practice run went well, I decided to keep it at one as i had most of lines dialed. 

My seeding run went alright although i missed a few lines in the top section, and saved a bit of energy for the final as thats what counts. I ended up in 3rd which was ok but i had some work to do. Then we had a 4-hr wait till final run which was a bit boring, I just wanted to go and get it done. The clouds started coming over a bit before we headed up so it had a few people changing tires backwards and forwards , I just stuck with the cut down mud's that I'd been running all weekend. 

When we got up the top of the hill for our runs it started spitting, and then got a bit heavier before i went in to the start. Typical euro racing i guess though. So I hit the track and was riding a little cautious as i thought it would be slippery and i rode the top section way too slow, as it was a lot more grippy than I thought it would have been. I started riding faster the further I got down and by the bottom sections I was riding how I should of the whole run, pretty pissed with how i rode. So i ended up 4th 3.4 seconds off the pace of fellow kiwi Matt Scoles. It was a day of kiwi dominance with Scolesy taking the win Nathan Rankin 2nd, my Ancillotti team mate Brook Macdonald 3rd and myself 4th. 

Anyways a good weekend of training and learning more about racing for me, I now have a weekend off, then I have another Italian Cup after that.

Finally thanks to all my sponsor's for making it happen for me, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, CampaBros, Formula Brakes, Maxxis Tires, San Marco, Doganaccia 2000. And also thanks to Tomaso and Alberto for keeping the bike running sweet.

Until next time