Sunday, September 27, 2009

Schladming videos



DH practice

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Worlds Racerun pics

Heres some pics of worlds racerun that i found if i had a 4th one it would be me on the ground, haha pretty rad shots though!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Schladming World Cup Finals Report

So on tuesday we packed up the camper with all the bikes and gear myself Tomy and Brook and headed off from Florence. We drove the whole way through and didn't arrive in Schladming till 1am, lucky for me I got to sleep the whole way catching up a bit after a big monday night out in Florence.

Tuesday we got to check in at the hotel, and then headed up to walk the DH track, I had heard many good things about this course but had never been till now and upon inspection it looked awesome, It was rough already and practice was still yet too start, so I knew it was going to get wild. We had a quick look at the 4x track too which also was really good with some good dh style sections in it and a couple of big jumps. The next day was the start of a busy busy week for us, as we had dh practice for most of the day the late afternoon had 4x practice as well, I wanted to learn the Dh track pretty well so I punched out 7 runs and it was going real well except it was probably the most physical track I have ridden in a long time and you hardly even had to pedal, it was littered with holes and braking bumps the whole way down it. After Dh practice finished I felt like I was done for the day..but had to go off to 4x practice.

The 4x track probably had one of the most different uplifts I've seen at a race before, First you had to go in an Elevator to the top of a carpark then walk across to the next lift which was like a really small gondola on rails..then finally you got to the top. I did a run with Brook and looked at the course a bit, Brook decided to go straight for the big doubles without checking them out, he got the first one good but then nose cased the 2nd getting thrown over the bars and some how came away with nothing more than a bent front wheel..put me off hitting the 2nd one till later in the practice session though, I reckon I must of seen around 15-20 people wreck themselves on that jump! The rest of practice went well and the track was super fun to ride I was stoked with it as it was a step away from the usual BMX style track.

The next day was the biggest one of the week for me, first up was Dh practice and I had a shit time struggling to find the right settings with my forks, and was just getting bounced all over the place spending a fair bit of the time on the ground..So when qualifying run came around all that was on my mind the whole down was just to stay on the bike nothing more really and my run felt really pretty average over braking in turns and blowing out a few corners I was surprised to have come in 27th and knew I now had a bit more up my sleeve for finals. Brook had a rough day blowing his hand off in the steep wood and going over the bars..just missing out on qualifying he now had some anger to use for 4x though!! 4x qualifying went pretty well for me, apart from one mistake up the top sliding out before the rollers and riding them like I was on a moto. I was happy to qualify in 17th place and Brook went really well too coming in 30th not bad for us considering there was 110 starters in 4x, we were both happy to have easily made the top 64 cut.

The next day was another round of Dh practice and I put some different forks on to try find the right set up, as on this course suspension set up was crucial, I did 3 runs and by the end of the session my bike was feeling dialed thanks to a bit of Tomy Tuning, I was stoked after struggling with it the previous day, now I was just looking forward to finals time! I spent the rest of the day resting up in the hotel trying to find some fresh energy for 4x, and It was really good to have a little bit of a break as my body was really starting to feel the effects of how rough and long the Dh track was. I got a couple of practice runs in for 4x and even tried to do a couple of gates to try minimize the damage for racing, mine and Brooks gate would be some of the worst out there I reckon most of the girls would beat us out, we got something to work on for next year though.

My first heat I was up against Filip Polc and some other guy that was probably a bmx rider as he had a good gate but couldn't corner to save himself, he held me up a bit and each time i had a chance to pass I couldn't find the space until he pulled to side of the big jumps and I passed him by jumping them. So that was me through the first round, the 2nd one was never going to be easy and my gate was tough with Prokop, Polc and Longden. I got a shit start due to Will Longden beating me out then slipping a pedal and swapping out in front of me, stuffing up the move I had planned for the 2nd turn, 3rd turn I tried to make a move on Polc but swapped out and lost my speed and had to follow him through the jumps, and then nearly got him on the last corner but just missed out..was some of the most fun racing in a while though. Brook pulled some sick moves too and made it all the way to quarter finals nearly to semi's with a last turn move that just didn't stick..So I finished in 18th and Brook in 12th next year we might even learn to do gates..

The day was the big one, DH Finals day. I put in 2 pretty solid runs in the morning, although there were now some holes in the middle of turns that were nearly axle deep it was going to be hard to put down a solid race run without any mistakes. So in finals I tried to tone my riding back a bit and in some sections I felt I did a bit much, but its better than crashing, I was also not feeling as fresh as I would usually be for a race run as I had done so much riding in the one week. But all in all I felt I had a pretty reasonable run but not like I had been riding in practice. I did have one big moment and it was on the easiest part of the track the jump in to the finish, somehow I managed to clip my pedal on the take off and got sent in a nose dive no footer, I have no idea how I pulled it back and it certainly would not be the place to crash as you were going around 50k on hard gravel..I was lucky I guess, even the commentator couldn't believe I pulled it off. So I finished up 22nd my best result this year, just missing the top 20 due to my last jump swap out. Good to finish off the season with a good result though.

There was the usual after race party and everyone was getting in to it, all pretty happy to have just finished what was a really long season. Im now back in Italy for the Doganaccia Double DH race this weekend and then will be heading home to NZ next tuesday can't wait as I have been away since the start of march. Anyways will have some other stuff up in the next couple of weeks and get a few pics up in the next few days, Finally thanks to Tomaso and all my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto, Formula Brakes.

Keep doing it...Whatever it is..


Monday, September 14, 2009

Caldirola Italian Cup Final Report

So over the past weekend was the final round of the Italian cup series, held at Caldirola near Genova. Myself and Brook travelled straight there after getting off the plane in Milan, and were both pretty smashed from the 30 hours travelling from Sydney, there so some sleep was first thing on the cards for us. The next day we checked out the course and were not overly impressed with what we saw the top section was super flat with a big pedal out of the start, and the rest of it was really wide and fast but lacking any technical sections, we did a few runs after walking it and pretty much got all our lines sorted in about 3 runs. There were a few jumps in the course that were pretty fun, especially one big triple that would of been about 40-50foot to a flat landing made for some harsh bottom outs but a few laughs as well.

The next day we did a few more practice runs and got the course dialed, so did some runs on one of the other tracks which was probably better than the race track, as it was off camber turns the whole way down. Caldirola probably had the slowest chairlift ever and with only one person chairs, there were huge lines for the lift, although they had just finished building the raddest luge on rails, me an Brook got to try it out and raced each other down hitting some mega G's on a few of the turns.

Then race day rolled around and it was a early start for us with practice only from 7 till 9, earliest I've got up in while thats for sure haha.. I did 2 runs with Brook and all went well apart from on the 2nd run a kamikaze rider tried to take me out when we were passing him, I don't know what was more funny that or the fact that he was wearing MotoX boots, theres certainly a few guys rocking some "out of it" riding kits over here!

So finally after watching the thousand other classes come down the hill it was time for my qualifying run, I set off pretty well putting in the pedals but held back a bit in some sections to save some energy for the race run, I qualified 3rd half a second off fastest qualifier Nathan Rankin with Marco Bugone keeping the Italians happy in 2nd. Brook was in 5th place and had saved some for the final as well.

It was the final that wasn't meant to be though...with thunder and lightning, hail and rain all coming in at once, just when they were down to the top 15 riders. We were all pretty much still running dry tires too as thats all we had on and no one had tear offs! It was one wild run probably couldn't count with both hands how many "moments" I had, I snapped my chain about halfway which was shit left me coasting the rest of the way to to the finish. I was just happy to have finished the race and to get out of my saturated clothes. So it turned out the lightning had caused the timing to go down for the last 10 riders, which I was kinda happy with as then I wouldn't get smoked by the random guys that had dry runs, but it still would of been good to have seen our times in the I ended up 3rd and Rankin took the win, Brook took 5th and the junior win not too bad of a weekend. Roll on Schladming for World Cup Finals though!!

Thanks to Tomaso and Alberto for keeping the bike tip top, No thanks to Hotel Vittoria for the rabbit grade food and rock hard beds..Finally thanks to all my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto, Formula Brakes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Canberra Worlds and pumptrack worlds videos

Here's a couple of vid's over the week at the worlds, and one from the pump track worlds.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Canberra World Champs Wrap up

So after spending a week in Canberra riding Bmx and relaxing a bit, after a pretty full on 2 weeks in Whistler that consisted of 100 runs and 5 races, the World champs week finally kicked off on the monday beginning with the track walk.

We greeted by a very similar course to last years World Cup event, although there were a few changes in the bottom section to help hold more speed in to the rather flat final straight. As we walked the course we were entertained by a very drunk Donny, who made the trip over to Oz to support the boys and have a good time a decided it would be a good idea to crack a bottle of vodka at 10 in the morning, at least he made DirtTv's web video with his antics walking the course, although some of the national teams were really wondering what he was up to...

So tuesday was our first day riding the course, and it was pretty fun but at the same time a little too easy for a World Champs course virtually the opposite of last years Worlds in Val Di Sole, Italy. So after 3 runs of the course I pretty much knew where I was going, and also knew it was going to be one huge week of practice with 5 days of practice. The next few days I took it pretty easy making sure not to over do it, or get bored of the course, only doing around 2 or 3 runs each day.

After my first day's practice I had the first of and hopefully what will become and annual event, the pumptrack world champs. It was held in the backyard of local bike shop owner Gazza, where he had made the most of the little space he has and built a really tight pumptrack. This was an underground event as the yard could only hold a maximum of 200 odd people so it was invite only and with Northland boy James on the gate uninvited had no chance of getting in. By the time qualifying was about to kick the yard was packed out with people the BBQ was sizzling and the majority of the crowd was enjoying a few cold ones. Many of the top World Cup riders showed up to give it a go, there was the likes of Minnaar, Peaty, Bryceland, Lopes, Kovarik, Fairclough just to mention a few all there battling it out with the locals.

My qualifying run went alright but with the crowd going so crazy and loud it was hard to keep it smooth, even though there was a no pedaling rule you still got up a huge amount of speed up and it became really hard not to make a bobble on a turn or in the rollers. Many riders took advantage of the rerun rule after crashing out, I went pretty well out there reppin it in my Jandals or thongs as the aussies call them, I think I qualified in 5th spot. No surprises with the fastest qualifying time going to Brendan Fairclough as he is certainly no stranger to a pump track with one in his own backyard in Guildford, 2nd fastest went to top aussie junior Rhys Willemse with Sick Mick Hannah taking 3rd.

By the time finals rolled round the crowd was amped and they cut the finals to only the 15 best riders which made so some tough competition and for finals there was no reruns so there was only one chance. Many of the first few riders felt the pressure and made mistakes or simply crashed out. I was a little over excited in my run with all the crowd being so loud and made a few little mistakes which slowed me down a bit, but I was happy to have put a time in. I think I was 4th which isn't the best place to be, but I wasnt worried as it was such a fun event. Brendan Fairclough was robbed of the win after his pedal disconnected the timing in his super quick first run and he was forced to do another one when he was already tired. Sick Mick Hannah took the fastest time and the 2 n half grand that went with it, in front of local hero Timmy Eaton taking home 1000-bucks and 3rd went to another local Dave McMillan who put down an amazingly fast time for a 15 year old kid certainly deserving of the 500 dollars cash prize money.

So what a way to kick off the Worlds week, thanks to all who made this event happen, and all the awesome sponsors who put together an awesome amount of prize money, and cheers to Gazza for putting it on in his own backyard. Hopefully someone continues it on next year at Mt Saint Anne Worlds!

So then after that it was just a cruisy schedule of DH practice till friday when there was the timed training runs. My timed training run went ok although I overshot the last jump in the triple treat section landing on a rock losing most of my speed, then at the bottom on the new triple triple section, some reason maybe our aerodynamic NZ race kit was going way faster than on other runs and landed on the take off of the 2nd triple, I swapped out big time but somehow managed to ride it out, but lost all my speed for the final flat section. So I was expecting to finish around 40th and to finish 23rd I was pretty happy with that as I now knew I had sometime up my sleeve. Cam Cole qualified in a very impressive 5th place, and in juniors my team mate Brook was in 3rd, I was gutted to hear that Aari Barrett had gone down in the rocks breaking his finger and was quite possibly not going to be racing on Sunday.

Saturday was a good rest day with only 1 hour of practice, I walked the course before our session started and sorted out all my lines, then my practice session went as planned and i was feeling real good on the track, and my bike was so dialed thanks to Tomaso who had travelled all the way out from Italy to look after myself and Brooks bikes. I was looking foward to the race the next day, and couldn't wait to just get it done..

Sunday rolled around quicker than ever, it was Worlds race day the race that only comes around once a year, that one chance for glory. And Glory it was for my Team mate Brook Macdonald taking the gold medal in style with 1.18 seconds to spare over the home town favorite Shaun O'conner, I couldn't believe it myself that Brook had done it, gone a smoked all those clip pedal riders on a really pedally course. It was probably the sickest race to sit and watch that I've been to this year. I have to mention Aari's effort as he rode with a broken and dislocated finger, and was apparently on a flyer when he front flatted coming in to a turn and went over the bars in one of the fastest section's, he still finished the race, a tough kid with some real tough luck in the space of one week. George Brannagin and Daniel Heads finished in very creditable 7th and 8th spots especially since they both are 1st year juniors, watch out for them come Mont Saint Anne next year.

So after watching all the juniors race, I had to go get ready and head up for my own run for some reason we headed up way too early and i was at the top for around an hour and half before I left the gate, which wasn't the best really but I was really pumped for my run and knew what I had to do. I started off really well and rode the top section as I would have wanted maybe bit loose but it is World Champs. I was on a real good run till I hit a loose slightly off camber turn and somehow my front wheel slid out from under me forcing me to put it down, although I kind of half saved it and continued on now trying make time back up, I didn't get much further till I had a decent crash and ended up on the floor..race run over..I didn't even want to get up. My week had gone perfect I had no crashes all practice then to have two in my race run I was pretty gutted about it...but somedays thats the nature of racing.

So I sat at the finish for a while wondering why my day had ended like this, there's no one else to blame but yourself in this sport and some days its pretty hard, but you just got to keep looking to the next race. I was stoked to sit at the bottom and watch the one guy I've always wanted to see win worlds, actually do exactly that...Peaty is a legend, not many 35 year olds win an elite men's world championship. Seeing that alone made me not worry about having a bad day, and turn it in to a good night, which it sure was.. many whisky's were downed toasted to Brook and Peaty the two names of the night. I even had a good run at the casino so the night came with no cost other than the hangover the next morning, things don't get much better than that.

Cheers to everyone who has made this event possible for me, especially Tomaso, Chris Mildon, Adrian Armstrong and John Kircaldie and anyone else that helped me out. Cheers to Azza and Dossy for letting me crash at their place for a few nights as well. Finally thanks to all my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto, Formula Brakes.

Im now back in Europe for the final Italian Cup this weekend and the World Cup Final in Schladming the weekend after, should be a good end to a long season. I have some pictures and video from worlds that I will put up soon when i have a good internet connection.

Keep doin it!