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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Home Again.

After almost four months away from home it's good to be back. Unfortunately the weather hasn't been too flash but I've been having a break off the bike anyway so it hasn't been all bad. The last couple of days however have been great and hopefully a preview of the summer to come, can't wait.

We went and watched the mighty BOP take on Otago last Friday in the ITM Cup and I really enjoyed it, the first rugby game I have been to in a couple of years so it was nice to get back into it and despite the weather it was an action packed game especially the first half with plenty of tries and the Bay came through to take a comfortable win with a try in the final minutes.

I am already rearing to go and now that day light saving has kicked in I will start riding again in the Whaka forest. I will probably take things nice and easy for the next week or so but I am looking forward to the NZ summer race season and will get back into the training in October.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

World Championships Mont Sainte Anne, Canada.

Mont Sainte Anne is probably one of the most famous venues for Mountain Bike racing in the World and this year the World Championships coincided with 20 years of world class events held at Mont Sainte Anne which is quite an achievement given Mountain Bike racings short history.

I arrived in Canada good and early to acclimatise and get comfortable on the course. Getting to know the track was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the very dry conditions which were so extreme that some sections were very similar to trying to ride in the sand dunes at the beach. Mont Sainte Anne is known for its technical nature and it lived up to its reputation this year with plenty of challenging terrain and the now well known rock garden. A couple of tough climbs, combined with the bumpy rough single track were quite hard on the body making it a tough track to race on.

Starting in 32 place I was forced to line up in the middle of the grid which is often the worst place to be as usually any crashes that are going to occur happen in that area. But fortunately I got off the line well and dived round the outside of the first couple of corners gaining places as everyone tried to take the shorter inside line. From there it was flat stick to the first hill. I lost a few positions for a while but made it back up to 34th over the line after completing the start loop, which was pretty good by my usual standards and with six full laps left things were going well.

Things were pretty frantic for the next couple of laps as a very quick pace was set by the leaders. It was a case of hold on as long as possible. I struggled for a while dropping back into the 40’s but once things settled down a bit after the first part of the race I was able to get into my own rhythm and I started to ride a lot stronger and made good progress moving back into the mid 30s.

However despite nothing actually going wrong, I felt I wasn’t ever really able to get to maximum spark and as the laps ticked by I couldn’t make any further progression up the field. My end result of 36th was not what I had been looking for at the World Championships. Still despite being a bit disappointed with the way this race went I still have three more years left in the U23 age category. So I have time to progress up towards the pointy end of the field and all things going well a podium finish in the next few years.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mont Sainte Anne

I have been in Canada for just over a week now. The travelling wasn't too bad, a busy night of packing following our last race in Switzerland and then an 8 hour flight to Montreal airport before finally arriving in Mont Sainte Anne after a 6 hour drive. I have found slotting in to the time zone over here easy enough and certainly a lot better than if I had come direct from New Zealand.

The Worlds course is very good. It has a bit of everything on it but probably the best feature is its technical nature. A couple of good climbs will split the riders up nicely and then you really have to be able to keep the speed up through the rooty and rocky sections if you want to do well. It has been very hot and dry here lately and the track is super dusty and it is a lot of fun to ride. I have been able to get plenty of time in on the course and know it very well now.

A bit of rain is forecasted for later on in the week but if anything that will be good as it would help pack down the dust and would make things slippery enhancing the difficulty of the track.

Race day for me is Friday so I still have a few more days left but I am feeling good on the bike and especially on the track and can't wait to get into it.