Saturday, April 2, 2011

WRAP UP - Aussie National Downhill Series - Aussie National Downhill Championships - Oceania Championships 2011

Hi all,

This is a wrap-up of the 2011 Australian National Downhill Series, Australian National Downhill Championships and Oceania Championships.

National Series

The 3rd round of the National Downhill Series was held at Mount Buller, Victoria in early Feb on a very wet, cold and windy weekend. We arrived on Thursday amid pouring rain and high winds which continued through the whole weekend with Saturday's practice being cancelled as it was considered too unsafe for the chair lifts! Seeding and Race runs were held on Sunday and apparently the timing system did not record my seeding run and therefore I got to be first over the line for my race. It was a very difficult track made even more so by freezing temperatures and snow (in mid summer!)which I am not used to. My race run was conservative to say the least but I managed to finish 6th which I was pretty happy about considering the conditions!

Australian National Downhill Championships

A couple of weeks later Team Banshee Australia descended on Adelaide, South Australia to contest the National Championships at Eagle MTB Park. Conditions here were in stark contrast to the previous event with the track being loose, dusty and blown out by race day. I had a good few days practice without any major issues going into seeding and placed 4th for the next days race. My race run was measured and whilst I had a few moments of concern I still managed to place 4th behind Connor Fearon, Troy Brosnan and Brandon Yrttiaho - a good result in my mind. I would like to acknowledge Under 17 team rider Lachie McLaren who took his Legend onto the Podium in 3rd place - well done Lachie.

Oceania Championships

Off to Shepparton for the Oceania Championships & round 4 Australian National Downhill Series (combined event) 3 weeks later and on arrival we were greeted with a track at Mount Major (renamed Mount Minor!) which was fun to ride but just not up to standard for a Continental Championship! All that aside it still had its fair share of super technical aspects including loose rocks which moved when riding over them and caused me a fair bit of grief with pinch flats and crashes. I seeded in 8th place and rode conservatively in my race run to finish 7th which I was OK with given the closeness of times between 1st and 7th. Troy Brosnan took the win with Conner Fearon in 2nd place and Brandon Yrttiaho in 3rd. The final round of the National Downhill Series was held in conjunction with this race and as a result I managed to finish 4th overall for the Australian National Downhill Series 2011.

I have been selected into the Australian National Downhill Junior (long) Team to contest the World Downhill Championships at Champery, Switzerland in September 2011 and unless something drastic happens I hope to be selected into the final short team come July 2011. My results for National and Oceania events for 2011 are:

Australian National Downhill Championships - 4th Under 19 Male
Australian National Downhill Series - 4th Under 19 Male
Oceania Downhill Championships - 7th Under 19 Male.

Now for lots of training and National Camps in the lead up to World Champs and our precursor race at Val di Sole World Cup round and an IXS Cup round in Switzerland. I am also happy to acknowledge that Chris Kovarik of Kovarik Racing has agreed to coach and mentor me over the coming months.