Thursday, August 27, 2009
Heres a vid of me riding Bmx with a mate first, i managed to borrow a bike for the week to kill sometime in Canberra as there isnt too much else to do, so was some good fun. Cheers Azza for lending me the bike. Its the first vid made so was bit of a laugh.
Enjoy the vid
Monday, August 17, 2009
So the Wednesday saw the running of the A Line downhill race, which probably in my mind was one of the worst tracks possible to have to race on it just isn't fun to pedal in between jumps that are too small for the speed you have, saying that the practice session was some of the best fun throwing whips and scrub's off every jump and hardly ever even needing to put in a pedal stroke. If i compete in this event next year then it will definitely be chain-less. Anyway the race was won by Brian Lopes, who is going to be making a surprising appearance at the World Champs in Canberra in 2 weeks time, 2nd place went to power house Chris Kovarik and Andrew Neethling took the 3rd spot. I don't remember where i finished i think it was around 29th certainly nothing to write home about..at least practice was fun though!!
Thursday I awoke to a lot of rain and slept in for a while as there was no race, I went out in the afternoon and had some of the most fun I have had in a while in the wet, the tracks were a little bit slick which made for good times. I was supposed to race in the giant slalom but after seeing the track I thought it wouldn't suit me so well so decided I might as well get some good training done for the pedaling at Canberra and I entered in the Enduro Downhill, I had to hunt around for a bike as after a test run on my Tomaso DHP it was just too much for this course, Its one of the best bikes to go downhill but not uphill!! Luckily enough for me Kieran Bennett stepped in to help and lent me his Intense Tracer which was the perfect bike for this type of event. After a coupe of practice runs I go the course sorted and was ready to go. The race started on saturday morning and was a mass start one of the first mass start Downhill race's i had done, I had to start from the 2nd row which made it a bit more hard to get up to the front before we hit the technical DH sections some of which were scary to ride on these shorter travel bikes. I got out of the start pretty well which for some was chaos as there were a few riders that went down, Set in to a comfortable pace and was sitting around the top 5 when we hit the only hard and sharp climb on the course, everyone went to sprint as Brian Lopes was setting a crazy pace out the front, I tried to stay in the bunch of riders but eventually ran out of gas and had to stop at the top of the hill cause my googles had fogged up, so i set off again only to slide out on a wooden bridge section and go down. I managed to catch back up a fair bit and crossed the line in 4th in my first enduro DH event I was also first rider on flats as most were using clips. Not a bad result but I would have loved to have gone one place better as 3rd place took home 700 dollars prize money,maybe next year... Lopes smashed everyone and showed us really how fit he is, 2nd went to local Matt Ryan and 3rd went to Wellingtonian Chris Johnson an Xc racer turned gravity junkie nice work mate!
Saturday night saw the slopestyle boys come out and show us their stuff, I think there was around 25,000 people in the crowd which was awesome to see the sport getting so much public attention. Nelson boy Kelly McGarry threw down some awesome runs and netted himself 9th place which was rad to watch. Andreu Lacondeguy got a little unlucky with crashes in both runs but still won best trick with a 360 flatspin seatgrab indian air, he is probably one of the best there is always throwing sick style, another that has sick style is Brandon Semenuk a Whistler local who put together enough for 2nd place behind winner Greg Watt's who went huge and landed everything perfectly and took home the biggest check! Was great to watch this event as its the first time I have seen a world class slopestyle competition.
Anyways so after the Enduro there was no time for rest i had to go home for lunch and swap bikes then head out to try get the Canadian Open Downhill course sorted as the race was the next day, I was so tired from the enduro race that all i could manage was a slow run stopping and checking out all the lines. The course was really one of World Cup standard and had a mix of rocky, fast, steep, tight, and a few jumps thrown in as well for good measure, I was loving the track although was a little too tired to be as focussed as I would usually be for a race. Sunday I really got stuck in, in the practice session and managed to get 5 runs in the 3 hours which was good to learn the track as I hadn't had time to ride with all the other events I was doing. My race run wasn't till around 5 30pm and by this time i was starting to really feel the effects of doing 5 races in one week, I didn't have the energy left to really push as i usually would a race but I still got down the hill all the same the crowd was so sick! Drunk Aussie's make an awesome crowd where ever it may be in the world. I finished in 19th which wasn't the best result but I was happy with that as I knew I didn't have any energy left to give it anymore than that. Sam Hill absolutely destroyed it taking the win by 8 seconds over Brendon Fairclough with Canadian Steve Smith in 3rd, Aussie Josh Button showed he can run with the big boys in 4th good job mate!
So thats my 2009 Whistler Crankworx experience over, It was one of the best weeks of riding and racing I have had in a long time, and was certainly good training for the upcoming World Champs in 2 weeks time, I cant wait for this event the crowd will be one of the best you will get world wide! I now have a few more days in Whistler before i fly out to Australia where I will spend a week training before World Champs kicks off.
Finally thanks to all those who made this happen for me my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto.
More updates soon
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
So after Bromont I flew down to Vancouver, then waited for my bag to arrive..which ended up not happening so I caught the bus up to Whistler with my bike but no bag. Thanks to Air Canada second time they lost my stuff in 2 weeks, it seems they must be good at it.
So after arriving in whistler i met up with nelson boy's Reuben Miller and Des, I would be staying with them for the next few weeks in whistler. The next day i went up the hill with Des and he showed me round a few of the better tracks on the hill, the first things I noticed was the huge amount of people in the village and on bike's up on the hill, it definitely looks like the sport is growing here for sure! And the other thing was how rough the tracks were there was braking bumps on the uphill sections, it certainly beat up your bike. I even got to do the famous A line track which was a laugh and you had to get the scrub on the whole way down as the jumps could of been a fair bit bigger.
The first race to kick off the mega week, that is Kokanee Crankworx was the Dual slalom. The track was perfected groomed and pretty much looked like a downhill pump track, Id heard the slalom at crankworx was awesome so I just had to do it, and luckily Reuben lent me his hardtail and I was sorted. The first few runs were kind of awkward but as soon as you got it dialed in it was good times and flowed real well, although it was going to be hard to race as it was hard to go much faster than anyone.
The next day was a busy one for me, I had dual practice in the morning then dual qualifying, then after that i went home got the dh bike and went and did two practice runs on the Garbanzo race course which is probably the longest and most physical race track I've ever ridden, its about 15 mins long and full of braking bumps, rocks, and roots. Even the flat bits were rough as making it real hard to get the pedal stokes in to hold speed. So after Garbanzo Practice it was home to swap bikes then back to Dual, a couple of practice then racing kicked off.
My 1st race was easy as the other guy crashed and gave me the advantage for the 2nd race, although I blew out a turn and finished just behind him in the 2nd race I wasn't worried as I knew I would go through anyway. Well that's what I thought anyways somehow they had managed to make a mistake and put the other rider through instead of me, even the other guy couldn't understand how although he wasn't keen to tell them thats how he felt. So that was my dual over and not by choice, I was pretty pissed off about it too as you can imagine, but they had made a few other mistakes with the timing as well.
So the next day was Garbanzo race day, I went up and got one run of practice in in the morning and got all my lines sorted. Then it was a big wait till racing got underway as I didn't start till the end of the day at 5 06pm. I spent the day resting up as I knew I would need as much energy as possible, as the course had a few uphill and flat sections that really took it out of you. The weather looked like it was going to turn sour and rain, It seem DH races haven't happened that much this year without the weather playing havoc. But somehow it held off enough to leave most of the track dry, bar the top section which was really slick! I set off in my race run and made quite a few mistakes in the top section, but after i got in to a good rhythm I managed to hold it together pretty well most of the way down. The flat sections really smashed my legs there were a few places where i knew I should be standing up on the pedals but just didn't have anything left in the tank.
It was probably one of the hardest races I've ever done and wasn't at all like a normal Downhill race, this was an endurance race. I was happy with how I went as I certainly hadn't prepared for a race like this but had fun all the same, and ended up 14th getting super loose off the last drop! The fittest man took well deserved win that being fellow Kiwi Justin Leov, probably the hardest working rider in the business, 2nd went to Chris Kovarik, and 3rd Sam Hill. Reuben Miller rounded out the kiwi's in creditable 21st.
Anyways so thats how my Whistler Crankworx experience has gone so far. Tomorrow I have the Air DH race, a race down A line which would be much more fun if it was a chain-less race but should be good times anyway, although A-Line certainly isn't no race course. Finally thanks to all my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, Formula Brakes, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto.
More updates to come soon.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
So after Mont Saint Anne last week, we packed up all our gear and got ready to leave but before we left we had a session at the Go Carts in MSA which was sick, mega carnage in the 20min main event with a maybe 15 Downhillers and 4x riders racing it was good times. After that we had a short 3 hour drive up to Bromont which is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but is a pretty cool place all the same with maybe 20 DH tracks on the opposite side of the hill to the WC track all finishing up next to a huge water park that was absolutely packed the first day we got there it wasn't even the weekend either and there was maybe 10,000 people there making the most of the mid thirty degree day!
So the first day riding in Bromont didn't set off so well for me while filming on some of the other tracks that I'd never ridden before, and on the first shot of film I slid out in a rock garden and slammed my hip and side in to a sharp rock, finishing my day of riding and giving me a mega hematoma which is still coming out now. So I spent the next couple of days before practice started resting that up and packing in the ibuprofen tablets. On the wednesday we walked the course and I was pretty impressed with it although it was a little short it had some sweet steep rocky technical sections in the middle that were cool the bottom was a little flat and plain tho but what can you do..
So practice kicked off and I was enjoying it although it was so short it was still pretty hard to piece it all together and I did a fair bit of pushing back up to get my lines sorted and everything dialed in, then on my timed run in the afternoon I was on an alright run when I had the funniest crash I've had this year, It was on this tricky rocky slab section that must of collected a lot of riders over the weekend I reckon, I came in drifted on the rock then had to take a foot off and try to correct it then hit a hole both feet came off the pedal's and I went off a drop sitting on my top tube which had me Wide eyes.... brown pants, as Ox would of put it, but some how I managed to save it pretty well and got away with it, certainly made for amusing viewing check it out here il upload the video in the next few days..
So next day was qualifying, and i thought I was going to have no problems getting in the top 80 cut and I rode well...much too slow and made a few mistakes had a shitty run and took my LCQ ticket in 73rd. I was pissed with that result and disappointed to be that far back but it was seriously probably the tightest WC i'd been to time wise. Although I did go fast in one section setting the 5th fastest speed trap for the day ha-ha. I certainly knew I had change that result around as it wasn't where I should be!
So around came race day and I did 2 runs practice dialed all my lines in and felt a lot better on the bike. Being 73rd qualifier I was 7th to drop from the gate so had to head up a bit earlier than I usually do, and felt like no time at all from the end of practice till start of race run, I headed up early to get a decent warm up in, cheers to Adam at Maxxis for letting me use the wind trainer, I got myself in the right frame of mind and was real psyched to go get it done. I was so angry after qualifying so shit that I just put all I could in to it, I went probably the hardest I have this year straight from the start and was going pretty good, I held it wide in the steep section and got loose as..the crowd was going so it got me going a bit harder again, I made one bad mistake sliding out on a berm and lost some valuable time on a track this short there is no room for any mistakes, look at Steve Peat yesterday for example leading at the split till one mistake in the rocks and finished 7th 1.6 down on the win. Anyways the rest of my run went pretty well and I was happy with It but I didn't get the hot-seat which I had wanted but I knew I was on the pace. I ended up in 32nd place which isn't my best finish but still at a race this tight I was happy enough with that. Sorry haven't got any pic from this race yet, but will upload some in the next few days, anyway heres a rad one of me from Velovert of me a Maribor.
Anyways so I've just woken up from the after-party which was pretty wild as usual for an WC after-party! Now Im off to do some riding before I leave Bromont should be good times, next stop for me is Whistler where I'll be racing at the Crankworks which should be rad. More updates to come soon. Thanks to all my sponsors for keeping me on track, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, Formula Brakes, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto.
Keep it lit