Been another hectic week out here in Morzine. We literally arrived back from Puy St Vincent, spent a night up in Avoriaz with the Napier crew, one day training on the Les Gets track and straight off to Sedrun in Switzerland. The training in Les Gets was really good fun. Tom Farrow made this little edit of it. Most of it involves us cutting corners and getting disqualified but was good to get some 4×4 practice. The track has been improved heaps with wu-tangs, kickers, step downs, tables and rollers since we got back so I shall try make an edit in next week or so.
Bloody early start to load up the battle wagon and a 6 hour drive all the way through Switzerland to Sedrun. Stopped of at Ikea on route for meatballs and a kinder eggs but the highlight of the trip was passing a place called ‘Chur’ which all my kiwi mates will appreciate!
As for the race we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We were hoping for a smaller field than at Puy but another race which was meant to be on the same weekend in Isola ended up being canceled so heaps of riders came over for this one instead. We arrived a day early though so we got to head up and have a look at the track which psychologically is massive advantage. Spent a good few hours practicing rollers and starts too.
On Race day we had to be on the lift at 6.45 am to get up to the track which meant it was still pitch black and made the ride down to the next chairlift interesting. Was pretty cool being at the top of an Alp way before anyone else had even considered getting out of bed!
The clouds started to rise so during course inspection it kinda made things massively tricky to try and pick lines. Some of the features look pretty sketchy and would end up claiming a good few victims.
The course was as follows
- Out the gate dropping into a small ‘swimming pool’ like feature which kicked you out into a steep step down kinda feature.
- 5ft wu-tang with a 15ft drop on the other side.
- step down rollers
- 5 rollers. Either double first two and second two and pump the last, double first two and pump the rest or the safe bet was to just jump them all.
- right hand berm
- left berm into gap jump
- rutted out right hand berm
- big roller
- left berm
- step down
- table top
- gnarly right hander which got nicknamed ‘Jimbo’s corner’ after he scoped us a dream line!
- fast sweeping left hand
- 2 rollers
- small kicker
It was a pretty fast track the whole way down and Jimbo’s corner required a huge speed check if you wanted to carry any speed through to the finish straight. As practice started the first girl dropped out the gate and 40 secs later the course had to be closed for 10mins after she crooked herself in the last section. Then the course opened again but not for long as the 3rd lass out ended up having to get choppered off the track after going down in the last section again. This resulted in the officials wisely changed the course and making it safer.
Once practice got fully underway the clouds lifted and the track started to get good. After a safety run though people started to try and figure the fast line through the rollers in the first section. For about an hour is was stop and start as rider after rider crocked themselves which required another chopper and a good few blood wagons to be called. Marlies Neuner, our team mate, ended up having a pretty nasty crash in them resulting in a trip to the medical center and a broken wrist, should be a fast mend though which is good news. Due to all the set backs the organisers decided to cancel the next days race and just run 1 race over 2 days which was a good shout, slightly frustrating but right decision.
So after qualifying runs it turned out 4 of us had made it to the finals the next day with Kyle ‘G-Unit’ Wise putting in a stormer of a run! Huge boost to moral for all of us to make it through. However, this did also mean another 5 am start the next day…….
So come finals the organisers had made some more changes to the course to try and cut down on people ending themselves etc. So they mellowed out the 3rd roller in the 1st section which we all thought meant we would be doubling, pump, double but after a couple practice runs doubling and pumping the rest was still the fastest option. Come the heats Kyle ‘G-Unit’ Wise put in an epic start and two of the others went down which we all thought would guarantee Kyle going through. However in the second last corner his binding strap broke and he went flying into the safety netting. Really unlucky result as this kinda stuff never ever normally happens but just reinforces the fact you should always check your kit before every run. Would turn out all four of us would get knocked out in the first round but still a good result for us. Definitely a step in the right direction and stoked for the next race. Goal now is to qualify for every race we enter. Not as easy as sounds….. trust me. For full race results check out this link.