Home About Me Pictures Contact

Team Photo

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back In Action.

I am now back on my feet again after a couple of mixed up weeks. I was able to sort out a new Bike with the help of Rudy Hauser the Swiss Santacruz distributor. He has been awesome, with firstly getting a new frame and then helping to organise all the components to go with it, we have been able to get the bike built up pretty much the same as my last.

My first ride back on the Santacruz was so good, especially after a week or so on a borrowed hard tail, it was great to get back on the fully again. I had been keeping up the riding and running but decided to take advantage of the situation and have a couple of weeks of easier training to recover and get fresh for the last block of training in the run in to World Champs.

I had originally planned on travelling to the Czech Republic in August to race the 6th round of the World Cup series but have now changed my plans and will stay in Switzerland until the 17th when I will head to Italy for the final round of the World Cup series in Val di Sole. I have managed to suss out a couple of local races during the next few weeks that I will be able to use to keep my race legs going and hopefully get a bit of form before Italy.

I have a lot of people I would like to thank for getting behind me and helping me out over the last little while. Gaz Sullivan for his support and help with raising donations and everyone else who has contributed to the fund. The Rotorua MTB Club. Bike Culture. Stylie at Hyperformance hardwear for coordinating a new bike with Rudy over here in Switzerland. I have also had a lot of help from the Huguenin family in Neuchatel. Xavier for lending me a bike for a week. And now Jerome whose home I am currently staying at.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Coupe de France and Geneva Robbery

Last weekend I headed to France for a round of the Coupe de France race series. I arrived after a long train journey from Switzerland on Thursday and was able to get out on the track for a look around on the Friday before race day on Saturday. The venue was high at 1800m above sea level and this added an extra element to what was already a hard course. Also it was longer than what we have been racing recently and lap times were 19 to 20mins in duration. It was a great location, right up high in the Mountains and we were treated to beautiful weather each day although because of the altitude it was still a bit chilly at times. The track was a good test with a nice mix of climbing and descending and in practice I was riding well and feeling confident for the race.
Unfortunately I had a horror start. As the gun went and I put the power down to move off the line my chain came right off the big chain ring. Initially I thought I had broken it but thankfully it had just fallen off. By the time I got going again I was dead last and with 106 starters I had a fair bit of catching up to do.
I was able to make good progress back up through the field taking advantage of any chance to overtake. I may not have made many friends with some slightly dodgy passing manoeuvres but within two laps I was up into the top 30. I could monitor my position each lap with the aid of the timing board at the start finish line and although it got harder to gain places as I moved up inside the top 20 I could see that I was racing well. The last couple of laps were especially hard as the constant passing accelerations I had been making all race began to catch up with me. Still I picked off a few more riders and after a bit of a battle up the last single trail climb I finished up in 11th place. In the end it was actually a decent result but a bit frustrating as I knew I would have been capable of much better.

Anyway way on Sunday as I made my way back into Switzerland I got robbed as I was leaving Geneva train station and ended up with up with one of my bags getting stolen. I was a sitting duck really with all my gear, spare wheels and bike etc. And it happened so fast. One second I had it and the next it was gone leaving me in pretty bad situation as the bag contained my passport, wallet and phone.
After a visit to the police station to report the robbery I ended up at a local hostel. As I had no money I couldn’t get a bed but I was able to sit down in the foyer and spend the night there. I endured a pretty rough night trying to sleep on a wooden bench and awoke early only to find more bad news as during the night my bike had also been stolen as well. So now I was really stuffed. At least the New Zealand embassy is located in Geneva and I was there as soon as it opened that morning. Unfortunately they couldn’t really do much for me until we sorted out an emergency travel document which would take a couple of days. With no money I was looking at facing another night out on the street. Thankfully I still had my laptop and so had been able to let people know what had happened.
After spending the majority of the day sitting around in town I headed back to the hostel where I was able to access some free internet. Things started to pick up from there and I got some good news. Someone had found and handed in my bag to the police station and I was lucky in that it still contained my passport and drivers licence. Later on I also managed to meet up with Richard Anderson who had travelled back from France to help me out. Now that I had my passport back there wasnt really any point in hanging around and I was quite keen to get out of Geneva as soon as possible.

So things are not too bad for me now. We are staying with friends in Nuechatel and I have even been able to borrow a bike so I can keep riding until I sort my own one out which hopefully will not take too long.
I would like to thank everyone for the help and support I have received over the last few days. After this little set back I am very determined to get on with things and carry on with my races and hopefully achieve some good results at the upcomming World Cups and World Championships.