For 2013 I decided I wanted to do Crankworxs as I missed out last year due to injury. The race in MSA is always around the same time as Crankworxs so it was good to be able to make a trip out of it and do the two events in one go. First up was the 4th round of the UCI World Cup in MSA, this is a track I have always liked due to the nature of the track. It is full on the whole way down and has some amazing jumps, technical forest sections and wide open rough sections, all the makings of an amazing track.
Practice didn’t go that well for me on the 1st day, I was feeling quite jet lagged and couldn’t really get into it. I tried to get all my lines sorted and did 4 runs. After this i decided to walk the track again to see if any new lines had opened up. Qualifying day rolled up and after a few more runs of the track I was feeling a little more confident. I had quite a scrappy qualifing run which I wasn’t too happy about but ended up qualifying 56th position so it was good to know I had more left in the tank for finals. I had changed up some lines on saturday practice and was feeling quite good for finals until I had a big crash which sucked but I was only scraped and bruised so was good to go for Finals.
I was looking forward to finals, I had a few solid practice runs in the morning followed by a dip in the river and some food and I was ready to go. My race run felt ok, it was quite safe and I was hitting all my lines. I came across the line only 3 seconds quicker than my quali time and ended the race in 69th place. I was quite annoyed about this as I knew I could do better than this but just played it far too safe in my run. It was a hard pill to swallow but a good lesson learnt!
12hrs later and I arrived in Whistler, got the Nukeproof Pulse built up for a 2nd time and headed straight for the trails. I was blown away by the finish line set up over looking the Joyride course, it all looked like something out of a video game! After I got my lift pass I headed straight up the hill for some Garbanzo practice as we had limited time the following day (2hrs to learn a 14min track!)
Race run time for the Garbanzo race came around and I wasn’t quite sure how to approch it as I had never done a DH race with a track that long. I just tried to pace myself the whole way down and hit the little lines that I managed to remember. I came down after a descent run and ended up coming 21st in the Pro men class which I was quite happy about. Looking back on it I probably could have pushed harder as I didn’t feel totally spent at the bottom. I’ll know for next year!
Next up was the Air DH race which was a race on the famous A-line track, I had done a few runs on this track before the race and didn’t quite know how to approach the race run as it was just table tops and berms the whole way down. I gave it a go and ended having to much fun the whole way down with all the hecklers and couldn’t resist throwing a few whips. I came down and finished just back on mid pack which I wasn’t really happy about but looking back on my run I din’t push hard enough and the result showed!
The last race for me was the Canadian Open race which I was excited about as it was the only real DH event and was a UCI category race so there was a few UCI points up for grabs. The track was a mixture of tech forest and massive jumps. The biggest being the 60+ ft finish jump. After a few days practice I was looking forward to my race run and felt I could put in a good time. My run was going really well I was hitting all my lines and was pushing the whole way down. I then tried quite a risky line in the main forest section and lost my front wheel and went down pretty hard and bent my pedal in the process. I sat at the side of the track for a while as I was a little shook up and then finished my run and sent all the booters for the crowd. I was quite annoyed about crashing as it was the one event that I wanted to place well in but I guess thats racing !
I headed back down to Vancouver to visit some friends before flying out the next day and even managed to get in a cheeky cross country spin early morning before my flight !
Thanks again to all my amazing sponsors for all their support – Chain Reaction Cycles, Nukeproof, Schwalbe, Contour, 100% Eyewear, Crank Brothers & Mucky Nutz.