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Tuesday, June 19, 2012


My final race was also a big one with probably the best field I have raced against this trip with most of the top twenty Elite riders in the world turning up to get in a final hit out before the American World Cup rounds.

I travelled early to Granichen on Wednesday so that I could get in some good practice on the course and was able to get to know it pretty well by race day. We had an average week with lots of rain but the good weather turned up with super hot sunny days for the weekend.Thankfully most of the track was under tree cover which offered a bit of respite but with 8 laps of a 4.5km course it was going to be a testing day.

The race started off with an approx 2min climb and then hit the first section of single trail very early so it was a bit hectic with lots of dodgy suicide passing on the insides of corners and close quarter racing as everyone tried to ride several rides abreast down the narrow trail. I wasn’t supper happy with my position after this but it wasn’t too bad and after gaining a couple more places round the first two laps I was sitting just inside the top 30. I ended up in a small group which stayed pretty much together for the majority of the race.

I rode quite consistently enjoying the course which was quite a good one and not too dissimilar to what we race on in NZ. I did find the pace tough through the mid section and had to dig deep to hold the wheels and stay with the group on the climbs. I was able to recover a bit and when I saw that the two riders I was with were starting to suffer a bit more than me midway through the 2nd to last lap I made a big effort to  drop them and try and gain a few more positions. I was able to catch another rider from up ahead but was also overtaken by someone else and coming into the finish I was fighting with one of the guys from my bunch right to the line. I was able to hold him off in the sprint and so finished up with 27th place overall and was close to the U23 podium with a 4th place finish. So a solid end to my trip. Big thanks to the Gemperle family for their hospitality this week and help at the race.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Swiss Bike Trophy

The race in Bern is a really cool event, the Gurten park overlooking the city is a pretty unique venue and it always draws a top field of Internationals and of course the best Swiss riders. The course was fast without much technical difficulty but it did have a really nice downhill with heaps of berms and a few jumps that reminded me a lot of home.

We had some rain in the morning but it stopped several hours before our race and the course dried out a fair bit so pretty much everyone showed up at the start with their dry tyres on. However before we had even finished the first lap the rain turned up again and the course deteriorated quickly and got worse as the race went on. The dry tyres caused plenty of loose moments and I was lucky to get away with just a crash into a padded tree avoiding any serious damage but also went through the tape twice on the same off camber grass corner. We also had to do some running with a new section of track purpose built for the event becoming super greasy and although I tried there was no way I was getting up it with the tyres I had on. Even running up it was hard enough. Normally I enjoy riding in challenging conditions like this but this time it was a tough day and I never really got going. I just didn’t have the legs and struggled not feeling my usual self particularly on the climbs where I was unable to get into any decent rhythm. I ended up 29th which wasn’t a disaster considering how I felt but definitely not what I was after coming into it.