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Friday, March 2, 2012

2012 Australian DH Championships




Hi All,

The last 2 weeks have been a little crazy. I finalised my deal with Lapierre, Fox and Shimano just 2 weeks before heading to Adelaide for the 2012 Australian Mountain Bike Championships. My bike arrived on Wednesday, put the bike together with my new Shimano and Fox parts on the Thursday, thanks to Liam from FTR for your help and support, and drove the 20 something hour drive to Adelaide.

I hadn't had the chance to ride my Lapierre or test my shocks until the first day of practice at the Championships. After a bit of fine tuning, I was ready to ride and did a few runs with my Unit team mate Chris Kovarik. All the pros were here to race, and it was good to see the best in Australia turn up for this event. World Champion Sam Hill was here, plus Bryn Atkinson, Jared Graves and Mitch Delfs. My first few runs were a bit hit and miss. The temperature had hit 41 degrees and man it was hot. The track was dry, slippery and dusty, and this made for some hairy moments for not only myself, but for most of the riders.

Seeding day: Saturday was finally here and I spent most of the day still trying to get use to my new bike. Not one run was perfect, and I was starting to worry. Saturday afternoon came around and it was time to get the seeding done. I took off from the gate and spent most of my trip down the hill just trying to hang on. When I came across the finishing line, I ended up in 6th place with a time of 2.05.27, which was 4 secs off Troy Brosnan's time. I knew then things had better get better if I was going to be on that podium come Sunday. Beating Troy lately is hard enough, without having to race him on his own track, so i knew I was going to have to have to find something, to try to catch Troy

Race Day: My first run and I was starting to feel something special for my Lapierre. Things were starting to click and although my runs weren't perfect, I was starting to feel confident. I didn't do too many runs that day as it was still hot, and I wanted to save my energy for the race. The time to race was now here and I got up to the starting gate and looked down the course. I told myself that it was "Now or never" and I just decided to go for it. I had put myself through enough hell over the years with putting too much pressure on myself, and this was the time things changed. It was time to go out there and have fun. That is exactly what i did. I relaxed and let my bike take me to the finishing line. Everything about my run was perfect. There was not one mistake and my whole run was smooth. I crossed the finish line with a time of 2.01.92. I sat on that hot seat and sweated my way through each rider coming across the line. One by one, I watched the pro's come down. Mitch hit the line with a 2.04.40. I was safe. Next it was Jared Graves turn. I think I held my breath as Jared hit the line with a 2.04.20. At that moment, I knew at worst I was going to come 3rd. Gotta be happy about that!! Next it was time for Sam Hill to come over the line with a time of 2.01.19. My time in the hot seat was up but all I could think about was how close I was to Sam Hill's time. I have to say that my confidence level went through the roof at that moment. Troy Brosnan ended up taking the win with a time of 1.59.05. To be standing on the podium beside Sam and Troy was a very proud moment. Finally I believe in myself and finally I deserve to be up there with the best.

Thanks to all my sponsors, Lapierre Australia, Fox Suspension, Shimano, Unit, FTR.


here is a video:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

2011 Val Di Sole World Cup




Hi All

so after a month of training in whistler I headed over to Val Di Sole, Italy for the last round of the world cup series.

The track looked promising, it was steep, rough and dusty and a whole lot of line choice! the first day of practice was good, I had solid runs all day but new lines were appearing by the seconds. After a few unexpected diggers, I was getting a hang of the track, and enjoying every run. Breathing in dust doesn't get any better!

By the time Friday came around it was time for qualies. My run was good and I kept it smooth and took it easy, and came in to 35th position. I was happy with that, as I knew I had some more time up my sleeve..

Sunday was race day, I had good runs all morning and was feeling confident, I knew that this track would suit me down to the ground, so I was more then ready for the final.. but straight of the gate my run didn't quite go to plan, I blew a pedal off the line and was trying to get clipped in down the start straight, got it back together and dropped into the steep section at the start, hit my line wrong and ended up a bit in no mans land. After that, I got everything together and just relaxed, came into the finish before I knew it, and I had put down a solid run in 3rd spot. After the finals were over I had ended up in 23rd position which I could not be more happy about, it has been my first world cup for the season and after a long break off the bike I was stoked, and also a good lead up to the World Champs!

This week I have been training in Morzine - France with the Australian junior team which has been a whole lot of fun, then heading off to Champery - Switzerland, on Monday to start preparing to ride for Australia at the World Championships.

I'll keep you posted on how training is going.

I just want to say a big thanks to Tomaso and Alberto Ancillotti from Ancillotti bikes. You guys believed in me and gave me a second chance to come there and ride your new Ancillotti DHY 2012. The new DHY 2012 is perfect! Thanks heaps for all you do for me. I really appreicate it and will never forget it.

Thanks also to, Dogannaccia, UFO, Renthal, Maxxis, Unit clothing, For the riders, Pro Yamaha, Style MX.

Check out the video of part of my race run!!







Friday, April 1, 2011

Unit Photo Shoot


Hi All,

Here is one of the pics from the Unit Party Photo Shoot in December. We had 2 houseboats, 3 wakeboats, 2 helicopters and one big water ramp. Good times!

I got to meet one of my favorite bands BLISS N ESO plus drink heaps with the Unit Sponsored riders and staff.

Unit not only make the best clothing, but can throw a wicked party as well.

Thanks Unit.

Cheers
Rhys

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 Oceania Championships - Shepparton, Victoria.






Video of finals and my interview.


More Mountain Biking Videos


Hi All,

Just headed down to Shepparton in Victoria last weekend, to race against some of the best Aussie and Kiwi DH mountain bikers for the Oceania Title.

I flew into Sydney on Wednesday morning and my mate Ryan Hunt picked me up and we drove the 7 hours to Shepparton. Practice was Friday and this was the first time I had ridden the track. The track was really dusty with alot of rocks and I'm pretty sure there wasn't one berm on the track. By qualifying on Saturday, the track was really chopped out and just to put together a smooth run was a mission on its own.

Qualifying: I was the 6th last person in Elite to qualify and this meant 200 riders had gone before me and the track was really blown out. I started off at the gate and I did nothing but blow out all the turns and couldn't link up any sections. I spent most of the run sliding and stuff all pedaling. In the end I qualified in 7th place, which I must admit, I wasn't too upset because I knew I could approve alot on my run as long as I could put it all together in the finals.

Finals: Sunday was a chilled day for me. I wasn't nervous at all. I somehow knew I could win this race if I could put it all together. The thought of racing against Cameron Cole, Josh Button and other big named riders, didn't phase me for once, and I had a inner confidence that I could do well. I got up to the start gate in my finals run and was super chilled out and it was almost like I was riding for fun and not an important race. I took off out the gate and ended up stuffing up one of the first few turns, and I ended up saying to myself "Chill out, don't worry about it and put it out of my head. Before I knew it, I was at the bottom of the track heading for the finishing line. Once I crossed the line, I looked at the board and noticed I was in first place. I sat on the hot seat and waited for the next 6 riders to come down. One by one the riders hit the finishing line and my time was safe. As the last rider come down, I was watching the timer count down and couldn't believe my luck, when I realised I had won. My first 1st Place in a elite race against some of the best riders in the world. I'm stoked!!!!!!

I would like to thank my sponsors for all their support. Giant Australia, Fox Racing Shox/Tekin Suspension, Shimano, Fortheriders.com, Unit clothing and pro yamaha.

Cheers
Rhys

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Underground Race 2

Hi All,

It was straight up underground format, so no number plates, no bunting, no insurance and no rules! Riders including Mitch Delfs, Ben Cory, Rhys Willemse, and a dozen other freakishly fast crew traveled from across Australia for the two day event. All taking place on a brand new track in a top secret location in the mountains of New South Wales. Timing was taken care of by FreeLap watches with an open jam format meaning any run on Sunday counted. This meant the anté was upped continually as day went on. In the end Ben Cory took top honors and a big handful of cash. Check out the webclip for more...

Check out the magazine preview for Issue 22, which includes a full article on the event here:
http://issuu.com/holmes/docs/r_v22_preview

Follow Revolution Mag on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Revolution-MTB-Magazine/122440332999?sk=wall

Filmed and edited by Ty Bowmaker (DownhillDomination):
http://downhilldomination.pinkbike.com/

Revolution Magazine: Underground 2 on pinkbike.com



Cheers
Rhys

Monday, March 7, 2011

For The Riders Grand Opening:

Timmy and Tomac serving customers:



Chris and I relaxing:

Timmy and Tomac(Michael) have been mates of mine since I started riding. When I first met the guys,they were a tiny out-of-garage business in the bottom of Tomac’s parents house. I've just spent the last week helping move in to the new store.

Their passion was mountain bikes and that passion grew into a small but pro shop in Brisbane. In between racing and riding, they grew the business and now have a strong online store presence. This past weekend they moved about 2km down the road into a larger space and man is it pimp!!!!

Just wanted to say congrats to them and that this shop is the Best Mountain Bike Shop in Australia! And not just because they are mates but for the professionalism they offer from product, customer service and mechanic work to just being there for the mountain bike community. For The Riders is really for the riders.

Thanks guys for always supporting me.

Cheers
Rhys

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aussie Champs






Video from Aussie Champs:



More Mountain Biking Videos


2011 Australian DH National Champs from Scotty Z on Vimeo.




Hi All,

Just got back from Adelaide after racing the Australian Championships. What a great weekend!

I'm so happy to have place 4th overall. Its been a tough few months with broken bones, but I'm happy to say I'm back to near best and even though I made a couple of small mistakes in my race run, I was really please with this result. My confidence is coming back and I'm really looking forward to racing this year.

Thanks again to my sponsors Giant Australia, Fox racing shox, Tekin suspension, Shimano, Unit Clothing, Pro Motorcycles Yamaha and For The Riders. Thanks for making my job so much easier.

Here are the top 5 results:

1. Michael Hannah, QLD, 2:02.36
2. Joshua Button, NSW, 2:04.27
3. Bryn Atkinson, ACT, 2:04.33
4. Rhys Willemse, QLD, 2:04.41
5. Ben Cory, ACT, 2:05.66


Cheers
Rhys

Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 Australian Champs - Adelaide

Hi All,

Tomorrow I will be flying into Adelaide to take on the best in Australia this weekend. Sam Hill, Mick Hannah, Bryn Atkinson, Shaun O'Connor and Chris Kovarik are just some of the riders I will be competing against. I'm hoping for a top 5, but we'll see how I go. This is my first real race back from a broken arm, and I've been doing alot of training to get ready for this race.

It's been a long hard road back but I'm finally fit and ready for this race. I won't be traveling overseas this year to race the world cups. I was going to ride for Ancillotti again but unfortunately they couldn't get the funding for the team. I didn't really try to find another team as I had decided to take this time to train, and race the aussie series and then head over to Canada for Crankworks with some mates. All my efforts will be getting ready for Canada where I plan to be at my fittest. I plan on getting noticed again like I did when I got that 13th Place at Maribor world cup as a junior 2 years ago.

So I will be back, better than ever... I now have a point to prove to not only myself, but for teams to finally notice me as a rider with potential.

Will keep you updated from Adelaide.

Cheers
Rhys

Friday, December 10, 2010

Claire Buchar: Rhys Willemse Rider Profile

Claire Buchar: Rhys Willemse Rider Profile: "Rhys asked me to do him up a rider profile/proposal after his mum saw one of the ones I've made for Chris Kovarik. Rhys is super talented, h..."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2009 UCI DH World Championships - Mt Stromlo, Canberra, Australia

here is a vid I found from the 2009 world champs. I'm featured 1.30 min into the vid.