Sunday, 24 June 2012

Mont Saint-anne, Canada World Cup

It was a tough day out for the kiwi guys yesterday, I'm really disappointed with my ride and are trying to figure out what went so wrong so can pull it all together for next weekend 
The kiwi chicks on the other hand were amazing, Samara Sheppard winning her first World Cup in the U23's, riding everything totally smooth and powerfully after the thunderstorm at the start of their race, and amber Johnston pulling her way though to 3rd in the Junior Girls after having one of the biggest crashes right in front of us on the rockgarden, catching most of the fall with her face.  

The course all week had been dry and loose, with holes getting bigger and bigger and the rock getting smoother. I was stoked the night before to hear and see the Thunderstorm come through as it turned the course into the same state that Signal Hill in Dunedin is in at the moment, and I love the how Signal hill is at the moment. 

I was amped up and managed to get up to the 3rd row on the start grid far to one side. The gun went and we hurled straight before turning sharp right up a grass ski slope for about 40 seconds. I got a good boost up there and went round the outside of people to be in the top ten. But from there it just started to go wrong. I was giving it everything standing up and trying to push the gears I know I can push but nothing was coming through. By the time we got to the first singletrack I was in about 25th so was still able to ride the rockgarden and everything else. Too bad the same couldn't be said for the uphill.

My technical riding was there riding past people on the technical flat, and niggly uphill bits as the roots got more and more muddy, but it was the climbs that were just letting me down. I re found my plot in the 3rd lap and kept fighting hard even though I was not on full cylinders and was no way in hell going to DNF no matter how bad it was going. 

Ended up battling through to 37th in the U23 in the end 3 places behind Brad Hudson. Really disappointing as I had so much focus on this race, not hugely from a results point of view, but are most gutted because I know that was not my best performance I'm capable of.  I guess you have tough days and it's how you pick yourself up from them so I'm still smiling, stoked to be here and well change a few things to make sure Windham next Saturday gets a hiding. 

Now just letting Nigel get ready for his race with him, anton and Tom Filmer on the front row should make for a good race. Get up kiwi's.

Will have pictures and video to come when internet isn't so patchy. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Beaupre - Mont St-anne

20 hours of flying then some more driving we finally made it to Mont St-anne in Quebec. The flight was good, little hectic making the connection in Vancouver to Montreal, but we made take-off by 4 minutes and got to our place in Mont St-anne eventually. So good to get out of the winter with the temperature here about 30 degrees warmer than NZ. That combined with the sun rising at 4am and setting at 9pm has taken some adjusting but slept in till 7.30 this morning.The first day we rode to the very top of Mt St-anne was about a 40 minute climb in the heat but was worth it for the view and the awesome descent off the top.

Have been being tourists as well, checking out waterfalls with some dodgy stairs up a cliff. Quebec City is about 30 minutes away and have been in to check it out, the old fort and views over the river.  As it gets closer to the race now we're just chilling out more during the day riding early, and nto doing much during the heat of the day.
Yaroslav getting his boost on
The track has been set up and it is good to be able to get on the track with not much traffic at the moment. The course itself is super rocky and rooty which suits me perfectly as a real bike handlers course. It loops back on itself quite a few times which makes it more spectator friendly and ensure some good tight racing. We will be doing 5 laps of the 5.2 kilometre track, but are looking at lap times around fifteen minutes for the fast guys.

There is hardly any passing on the track so the start will be crucial. Registered today and was given number 52 and thought i was starting number 52 on the grid, but looking at the start list it looks more like i'll be around 28th somewhere around the 5th row. There is a total of around 70 guys in the U23 category so should be good and will be amping to get a good start

The race itself is on Saturday morning at 9am here time, which in NZ is one am on Sunday morning. There is no live video coverage of our race but there is live timing at . I cannot wait to race as it has been awhile against racing the best in the world, and are keen to put a good performance in for my first race in the U23 category.
Entrance into rockgarden 

The internet is very dodgy here  and will get some solid photos up soon

Thursday, 14 June 2012

To Montreal

I’ve finally finished up my exams and am on the way to Montreal to get ready for the first World Cup round at Mt St-anne. I’ve been told that the course there is similar to Bethune’s in Dunedin so have been training hard smashing out the laps, feeling really good.

I can’t wait to get out of the cold my last ride yesterday was in 2 degrees, riding up through the snow was cool, but not ideal build up for the Quebec summer. She’ll be right though, last year I went from -3 to racing in 27 degrees in Val Di Sole, so I know it can be done. Huge thanks to Marky mark in R&R Dunedin for getting the rig running perfect, can’t wait to get on it and give it everything.

Leaving Dunedin this morning, tropical 1 degree on the left TV

The support I’ve had for this trip has been huge, from cheeky chats with lads to the amazing help from some big organisations and the laughs from Mr Kerr. Every little bit has helped me put it all together while studying from the deep south and I cannot thank people enough for keeping me on track. I want to put out some good performances for everyone who’s said goodluck, helped me out in training and been there from the start. Will keep it posted once we get to Montreal and have a look at the course, try get some footage out.


Monday, 4 June 2012

Sickness, Selection and Study

The last few weeks have been super busy getting ready to go off to North America, getting all the last minute admin sorted. I'm leaving on the 15th and can't wait!

I'm travelling with Nigel and Paul McDowell landing in Montreal and going straight to Mont St-Anne to get ready for the World Cup at 9am local time on the 23rd June.
From there we will head down to Windham in New York State in the US to get ready for the next World Cup round. Us under 23's are racing at the same time as the juniors on the 30th there, so will be good run around for all of us kiwi's chasing each other at the same time.

The bike has been getting some TLC and with the help of Marc and the crew at R&R Sport Dunedin it's now running some bling with nice new XTR running gear, ready to race. 

Training was going well but the cold Dunedin flat cracked me and I came down with a painful chest infection that had me off the bike for a week. In that time I was able to do some study however for the upcoming exams I have to do before I take off. I am now looking after myself a lot more healthwise as I was losing the plot slightly not being able to ride.

However when I was sick I received some great news on Wednesday morning, being named in the U23 New Zealand Team for the World Championships in Austria later in September.
I was stoked to hear this, and really happy to see some reward from the summer of racing. With some uncertainty regarding selection criteria this year it was good to get some concrete evidence and  if I can put the results out in the US after this sickness I will be up to have a crack at the euro superstars in August/September.
Also in the down time, I was able to make a horrible mash up of the go pro footage I got while I was out procrastinating up Signal Hill in the Dunedin sunshine. 


Friday, 1 June 2012

Mike Montgomery

Trying to not make this just another XC blog,

                                           This is what a real GoPro video looks like....

And Aaron Gwin who "auto piloted" a 7 second win at Val Di Sole last night