2013 Mountain Bike World Champs

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2013 Mountain Bike World Champs

On Saturday, the 24th of August at 7:00am, it was time to depart on my Journey to the Mountain Bike World Champs in South Africa.  After many hectic weeks of organising and preparing myself, it was a sigh of relief to be finally on my way.

Travelling there was quite the ordeal, as it required 3 plane trips and a lot of time sitting in the car. Both Chris Hamilton (Local Bendigo rider) and I were pretty thankful to arrive at our accommodation in Pietermaritzburg and meet the rest of the Australian World Champs Team. The team was comprised of Downhillers, Trials and Cross Country riders. These people became our family for the next week and a half and it was good to get a perspective of their chosen discipline.

First day was Safari day, which was exciting as it was what we all really come to Africa for ;). Basically we paid money to rally the rental vans in an oversized paddock whilst observing the amazing wildlife. We got to witness most of the big 5 animals, it was something I will not forget.

After the Safari, it was business time as we had two days, to learn the course inside out. At first learning the technical course was pretty intimidating, as you had to share it all the competitors and pick your lines through some of the most gnarly ‘A’ line sections imaginable.  The course was dry and dusty, with two main climbs, being about 4min in length. In the descent there were 3 main technical sections being ‘Rapid Rocks’, ‘Sharka’s Playground’ and the ‘Tree house’, each required 100% commitment and concentration. Just making it around the course, ‘cleanly’ was going to be a challenge, let alone race 90 fit blokes around it.

Before long, it was Thursday morning the day of the race and it was hot! Our race was at 11:30am and the temperature was set to reach 35 degrees. Waiting to race, was a nerve racking experience, with conversations becoming eerily short as everyone tried to get In there zone. My warm up went well and pretty soon I was lined up 72nd on the grid raring to go. After some tense moments, ‘Bang!’ the gun went and in was on, but not for long as a 100m down the track the was a massive pile up. This crash worked in my favour, as by the first time check I had jumped from 72nd to 33rd, but this was short lived as I had a bumpy ride down the, ‘tree house’ and after the first lap I was in 55th position. I later regrated passing so many people on the first lap, as I think I got a little bit too excited. For the rest of the race I hovered around this position, just trying to pick riders off in front of me.

Nutrition was one of the biggest factors in the race; as I witness many riders simply blow up and pull out, due to lack of hydration and fuelling. Throughout the race I sipped on Torq Energy and consumed Torq Gurana Gels, making sure I was topped up on Carbohydrates and electrolytes. Without the support from Torq Nutrition Australia I have I doubt, that I would have faded in the latter part of the race like so many other riders.

Crossing the line was an amazing feeling and a relief, as all the training had paid off. I was just happy to have a solid race, with no dramas and lay it all on the line. 

I would like to say thank-you to my Sponsors, without their support my dream would have become a reality.

  • Torq Nutrition Australia
  • Monza Imports
  • Adidas Eyewear
  • Sram Australia

Also I would like to thank my family, Bendigo Mountain Bike Club, Cycle Concepts Bendigo and Coach Mark Fenner for all the nurturing and help over the years.

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