So the past weekend saw the third round of the Italian Cup series at Campo Felice near to L'Aquila the Italian city that was ravaged last year by a huge earthquake.
We arrived late on thursday evening after a seemly endless 9 hour drive down from Aosta, it was also probably one of scariest drives too, Im not known to use the "Oh shit handle" but the Italian drivers certainly had me gripping it! after the drive all that was on the cards was dinner and sleep. The next day we headed up the hill to check out the track and after walking it, I wasn't overly excited but riding it was different and after the first few runs I was into it ,some bits could of been better but it was really loose due to all the rocks which made it pretty fun. I spent the afternoon filming it for WynTV, I was lucky enough to have George Brannigan to be my cameraman as he is currently out for a couple of weeks with a broken finger.
The next day was another practice day but it was a easy track to learn so I was pretty much ready to race, so we didn't ride till after lunch and did a few runs got it dialed then went to session the air pillow jump that they had there, similar to a foam pit and it was good for a few laugh's and to kill sometime, I got the 360's down on my DH bike which was sick. That night we had a go carting session at the local track near Campo Felice which got cut a bit short as everyone just got too loose at one point there were people all over the grass and some going the wrong way on the track, I perfected the wall ride in the cart which was a good laugh.
Then it was race day we had to get up early for a change to get a couple of runs in before qualifying, I had a couple of good runs and felt good on the track. My qualifying run certainly didn't reflect that though I set off and got caught out on one of the loose gravelly berms up top, I lost the front then slid a fair way on my side, I got up and kept going and tried to make some back but that is near impossible on a short basic track like this, I ended up 8th and knew I had to keep it rubber side down for the finals and I could do alright.
So after a full italian pasta lunch and a bit of a chill out it was finals time, I did a bit of a warm up at the top to the sound of some full on lightening that was going on, at one point just before my start it looked like it was definitely going to rain but luckily somehow it held off. I set in to my run and was super cautious in the top turns to make sure I didn't blow them out and lay it down, I rode most of the track like that trying not to make any mistakes and felt that I wasn't really quick enough, but I finished on a 2.30 run and surprisingly took the win over fellow kiwi Matt Scoles in 2nd making it another kiwi dominated Italian Cup, bet it must be starting to get to them too when they can't win their own races..
That finished off a pretty awesome weekend, Im now chilling for a couple of days in Rome to check out the city and then head back to Aosta and get some riding in at Pila. I would like to thank everyone that makes it possible for me especially my mechanic Alan and to all my awesome sponsors, South Star Shuttles, Infamous Designs, T.H.E helmets and clothing, Backflips.co.nz clothing, Rockstar Racing, Taranaki Elite Athletes Foundation, Leatt Brace, E*Thirteen, Kenda Playbiker Team, Lapierre Bikes, Burgtec, Fox Racing Shox and last but not least Mum and Dad.