Archive for the 'Team' Category
I’ve been to Val di Sole once before, for the World Cup last year, and it’s safe to say it kicked my butt. It was such an eye opener. It was the roughest, most rooty, difficult track I had ever ridden down…and it was bone dry.
This year we were in Val di Sole for the third round of the IXS European Cup. They track builders did a great job, and really changed up the track. There were plenty of new sections that linked into some of the more challenging older sections really well. Fridays practice was dry, with some moisture coming through all the fresh loam, that made one or two of the roots a bit slippery. But overall it was rad! Rain was forecast for Saturday, but luckily it didn’t rain, so seeding was dry. Val di Sole is a very physical track so I decided to take it pretty chilled in my seeding run. I made some mistakes in my run and just took it easy to the bottom. I seeded 44th about 15sec off the pace. I knew I could go faster, and there were still a few lines I wanted to have a look at before racing on Sunday.
It rained quite a bit on Saturday night and so the track was a bit more slippery for my first practice run on Sunday but it wasn’t too bad. I managed to ding my rear mech somehow in that run, and we ran into a few complications while fixing it. In the mean time the rain began to come down. I got everything sorted and managed to head up for one last practice run before my race run. I wanted to see how the rain had affected the track. Unfortunately another rider had a big crash on course and so the track was closed for about an hour. This meant I wasn’t able to get another run in. I made a decision about what tires to ride based on what others could tell me, and headed up for my run, not knowing what to expect – only thing I knew was that it was going to be a challenge getting to the bottom.
The track was as challenging as expected and about a 1/3 of the way down, a big tree root that was way more exposed than before, got the better of me, and I went over the bars. From then on I just cruised to the bottom, as fast and as safely as possible.
All in all it was a pretty disastrous race day for me, but riding Val di Sole in the wet isn’t something I will forget any time soon. I am stoked to be heading into Les deux Alpes healthy, and I am hoping my luck will change for the better this weekend.
Schladming is arguably the most popular track that’s been raced on in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. I love everything about the place. The people are rad, the area and the setting is amazing, and most importantly, the tracks here are unreal.
I had been looking forward to this race ever since I found out it was on the calendar. After some midweek bike park laps, and some epic 20 man trains down secret trails, it was time to get down to racing. We walked the track on Thursday and had a look at some of the changes they had made. I had heard rumours that they were going to re-open the old World Cup forest section, and they did. It was an addition that made the track even better than it already was. There was a huge field of about 300 elite men and there was a really competitive front end of the field with World Cup Winners, and the odd World Champ or two in the mix as well.
Rain on Friday, made the big open grass turns at the bottom pretty sketchy at times, but Schladming is one track that is amazing in the wet and the dry. The weather was looking like it was only going to get better so I just had a ton of fun on Friday doing runs in the mud with the other SA boys.
The sun was out in full force on Saturday, and the track dried out very quickly. I felt great on track and after a few hours off, I headed up for my seeding run. I decided to take it pretty relaxed and try get a good flow going and see how I ended up. I had an alright top split but I knew I could ride it a lot better. I made a few mistakes in the bottom piece, and I seeded 34th with a time of 4min:04. I was 16th at the top split though so I knew I had the speed on track to get the result I was looking for.
I looked at a few lines on race day, worked on my setup a bit and tried to get things dialed in for my race run. After a few more hours of waiting , it was finally race time. Once again I had an alright top section and was 28th, but I still didn’t ride the way I know I can. I didn’t make any big mistakes at the bottom but I was riding pretty tight and I was a bit messy. I pushed as hard as I could to the bottom and ended in 43d with a time of 4min:03. I definitely was looking to do a lot better. It’s a bit frustrating that I didn’t put together the run I know I am capable of, but there are still a lot of positives to take away from the weekend. Val di Sole is next and I can’t wait!
Pics by: Raffi DieWaldfee
The excitement had been building up ever since I found out that my first European race was going to be in Maribor, Slovenia. Maribor was the last race I did in Europe last season, and it was also the first race after our bikes were stolen. I borrowed someone else’s bike last year, just so I could ride, and still had a great time, despite the torrential rain. So I knew that this year was going to be good! I went into the weekend confident, that I was on a rad bike this time, and that I would have a good time no matter what the weather gods threw at us.
After a few “issues” we ended up leaving for Maribor a bit later than expected on Thursday. After our late start we thought we would arrive at our accommodation around midnight, but that soon changed when the GPS decided it didn’t want to navigate us through Slovenia. After some map work, and a whole lot of guessing, we eventually found our place, and managed to get into bed at around 3 on Friday morning.
Even though I was slightly sleep deprived, waking up on Friday wasn’t too difficult because I knew that I was going to get the chance to thrash down one of my favourite tracks. Fridays practice was a bit slippery in places, but on the whole, the track was really good! Come Saturday morning, things were slightly different. The full spikes went on, the rain suits came out, and the roll offs worked overtime. Although the conditions were wet and cold, and the track was lacking in grip in areas, Maribor never disappoints, and I had a huge grin under my helmet the whole time. Its just rad! The ruts got deep and the holes got big. I had a shocker of a seeding run, after some issues with one of my cleats. I seeded 54th.
A lot of wind and very little rain saw the track dry out quite a bit on Sunday. By the time race runs came about, most sections were pretty dry. This made the track a lot rougher and harsher on the hands, but the conditions soon became more similar to what I was used to, and I felt good on track! I chose to run a full spike on the front, which looking back was unnecessary. Dry tires would have been the best option. I had a solid race run, with some loose moments here and there, but on the whole I loved the conditions, and I had a fairly good run. I finished 33rd, just over 2 sec off a top 20. The field was stacked with fast guys, and it had one of the largest fields of riders I’ve ever been part of.
The track was ridden out, hard, fast, and definitely challenging. All in all I had a ton of fun, and came away with a good result to build onto going ahead into the season. Next event for me is the Dirtmasters Festival in Winterberg, but before then, a day in Bad Wildbad on the DH bike, and possibly a ride or two at Winterberg is in order.
With the merge of Sports Nut Gmbh and Hostettler AG, things are pretty frantic around here, and the guy’s are working flat out to keep things running smoothly. After a cancelled flight, I arrived a bit later than expected. A weekend of sightseeing and being a tourist around Stuttgart went down, and then I joined the the crew at Sports Nut, bright and early on Monday morning. It’s been a really exciting few days, with team bikes being built, kit being sorted out and plans for the season being made.
After all of the team stuff had been done, I decided to get involved with the more hands on side of the company. It was great to work along side and get to know all of the guys who operate behind the scenes. They are a great bunch of guys who are really committed, efficient and passionate about what they do. I got involved in as many aspects of the shipping process as I could – from unpacking containers of bikes, to putting orders together and even packing up the boxes. So if you get a package that isn’t quite up to the usual standards, its probably one that I packed Kidding!
The Team and myself are gonna be at the IXS European Cup in Maribor this weekend. Time to get the 2014 European season underway! Check out the post below to see some pics of the Team bikes.
Until next time…
70 Starter aus vielen europäischen Ländern waren bei den Kroatischen Meisterschaften auf der Insel Losinj am Start. Zwischen steinigen Passagen, Pinienwald, hohen Geschwindigkeiten und einer traumhaften Kulisse in Richtung Meer ging es den 1,7 km langen Kurs bis ins Stadtzentrum von Veli Losinj hinunter. Und wieder einmal war es ein unvergessliches Erlebnis, wie herzlich man hier als Österreicher angefeuert wird.
Die Trainingsläufe am Samstag liefen nicht ganz einwandfrei, weil meine Reifenwahl nicht die richtige war und ich dadurch einige Defekte hatte. Umso mehr war ich für den Sonntag motoviert! Bei optimalen Reifen erlangte ich beim Seedingrun den 7.Platz.Ich wollte vor allem den Finallauf so gut wie möglich absolvieren. Und es ging auf, 6.Platz bei so einem großen internationalen Starterfeld –ich bin zufrieden!
Nächstes Cuprennen findet in Marburg (SLO) Anfang Mai statt.
See you Boris
The 2nd round of the SA National Series was held in a small country called Lesotho, that is surrounded by South Africa. Its a very mountainous region, and is pretty high up. The track and the place we were staying was about 3200m above sea level. This was the highest I have raced at, and the air was noticeably thinner than I was used to – half way down each run I would be out of breath. It was a great event with all of the riders staying in the same place, and even better was the fact that we were using a T-bar ski lift to get to the top of the track. This is the first time I have ever used a lift to get to the top of a DH track on this continent. The track wasn’t my favourite – it was very slow and tight, and as soon as you got up to speed, you were shut down by a 180 degree flat corner. It definitely wasn’t up to international standards but it was fun nonetheless.
These slow tracks aren’t my strongest point – I prefer tracks that have a bit more speed to them and get ridden out a bit more. It was definitely a challenge and one that I didn’t quite manage to master. I came away with 4th on race day, after a pretty average run. I was really hoping to place higher, but at the end of the day, I had a great time on and off the bike. Next up for me is a small local race this coming weekend, and after that its time to prepare myself for Europe! That chapter of my life starts on the 7th of May. I can’t wait!