Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Whistler Crankworx report so far..

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.


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