Friday, March 2, 2012
2012 Australian DH Championships
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: