Sunday, 29 July 2012

Getting on the CX buzz

Word on the street is that Cyclocross is the new black this winter in NZ. Today I jumped on the bandwagon and have to say, had a bloody good time.

For those who don't know what cyclocross is, you take a road bike, chuck some mud tryes on it and go race a 2 km course that has barriers, stairs, mud, logs and whatever other obstacles you can come up with, for about an hour. Fun aye??

Huge cheers to Aaron McGrouther for letting me give his bike a spin. Took it out around Bethunes yesterday for a first spin and loved it! I have taken my road bike down a few MTB tracks before but the slacker head angle and beefer tyres made it a lot more enjoyable on the CX bike.

I was loving the late 3pm start as it had been a late messy one watching the olympics and rode over three mile hill to the course. My knee has been playing up lately with some big miles on the road in build up for World Champs, and had to take a day out on friday to let it rest. The physio's have told me my patella is not tracking correctly on my right knee and is causing irritation and inflammation with every pedal stroke. But the exercises are helping heaps and a change in bike set up has made it a bizzilion times better.

The course set up by the Cycleworld guys was mint with a bit of everything in the 2 kish loop. There was a decent turn out and was loving playing on a new bike. Mcgoober was out there taking photos and had promised to show some moto action during the race.

I had an awesome time out there and was awesome catching up with the real chilled group of dunners riders.

It was a perfect race for training for world cups, getting off and on quickly and smashing yourself up some steep gnarly crap. I felt awesome and was loving putting the hammer down and managed to lap everyone just on the last lap!

Ballet on bikes
For next time gloves could definitely be an option and my own CX bike for next winter could be crucial,

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Watch This Space

After coming back from the States with some valuable lessons learnt, I now know what it is going to take from not just a riding side of things to take it to the best in the world.

In the short term I have been able to get some amazing local support from Foodstuffs SI Community Trust, OUSA and the Skegg's Foundation to make it possible for me to fill my selected spot in the U23 World Championships team which before was financially impossible. So thank you so much to them for supporting me and I am heading to Switzerland on the 20th of August to stay with Jo and build up for the World's on the 7th of September.

In the mean time with some amazing help from Scotty, this site will undergo a more professional look to help boost props and help get my name out there more.

For now it's into the books to finish off missed exams and get training for the big one in September

Monday, 2 July 2012

Windham World Cup

After a tough race at the Mont St-anne World Cup in Canada it was time to drive 700 k’s over the border to Windham NY state. Windhan was another ski town but had recently been devastated by massive floods last winter we were told. It was bit of a hick town but everyone was nice enough and was a mint week leading up to the race with around 30 degree days every day.

We were staying with the rest of the NZ team over here this time, so was good times had on and off the bike. The track itself was the complete opposite to Mont St-anne. It was a twelve minute climb up to the top of the chairlift on a grass slope then back down again. There was nothing technical what so ever and with the start being a kilometre down the road in the centre of town, leading straight into the main climb it was going to be all about climbing well and handling the heat. Usually I wouldn’t rate myself on something with so much climbing and no technical, but Silas has had me out on the road big time lately so was feeling good as soon as I got into my rhythm. With only one race under my belt due to sickness since Oce’s I’d learnt my lesson from last week and was planning on building into the 5 lap race in the heat.

Luckily we were starting at 9am on the Saturday we were first race up and was called up 30th on the grid. I got a good start pulling through gaps up the road well but was hurt from a lack of intensity in my training when the push came for the singletrack. I knew I had a huge base to take me through the race so just settled into my rhythm. I was passing people every lap and caught and past Matt on the third lap to be in first kiwi in the field.

The fast loose descent was getting more and more blown out but was loving it and was making the most of racing the best in the world. By the end of the 5th lap I had made my way to 32nd and was first kiwi in U23’s. I was happy with the race even if the result wasn’t quite what I was aiming for when I started the build up for this trip. I was stoked to feel good in a race and now I know with a proper build up I can really give it a good shot with three more years after this in the Under 23 grade. I realise what it is going to take and are going to have to make some big decisions soon.

The other kiwi’s in the XC were awesome anton smashing again, Nige in 9th and Filmo in eleventh in the Junior men. Amber Johnston had another awesome race to get 3rd in the junor girls with Sam Hope in 7th. Samara had a rough day in 6th (?) while Jolando Neff smashed the rest of the U23 chicks to win again.

For now it’s time to finish off my exams back in Dunedin which should be a laugh, but not before checking out NYC on the way home for some down time away from the bike. It has been an awesome but too short trip, and have learnt so much from the experience about my racing and myself. From the build up in Dunedin to putting it together on the race track, I honestly could not have done it without the support of everybody who has helped me along the way. So thank you to you all and I hope I can give something back in return someday. Especially Paul and Nige Mcdowell for putting up with me and my chat, it was an awesome few weeks cheers you legends.

I am trying to get the coin together to represent NZ at the world champs in September, I have been successful in some attempts and it is looking good, I may be running some fundraising events in your neck of the woods soon so keep an eye out. Until then