Last weekend I raced at the final stop of the LINES Austrian Gravity Series. It was an one day event with optional training on Friday, but the main event was on Saturday.
I did not race there before so I was not quite sure what to expect. But already after the first run I was absolutely blown away by the track. Steep, rough, short, fast. Pretty intense track to race on, because there was no room for error.
So after the training on Friday I was not really sure how to ride all the parts of the track, but the key to go fast was to just let it wide open and hit the breaks at very specific points.
On Saturday I had quite a big OTB (over the bars) but thankfully the whole track was covered in LOAM which made my fall quite nice. This track stoked me up for finals. The only problem was that there was just one run to set your time. I don’t mind to set it all on the line but it is wierd on a pretty new and for me unknown track.
So what happened was that I just wanted to ride as fast as my bike and me were able to handle the track. But just after entering the top woods section my rear wheel slipped of a turn and this caused me to crash followed by a huge timeloss.
Nontheless it was one of the most interesting races I have ever done and I am really fired up to race more Gravity Series next year.
Some time ago I raced at the IXS Downhill Cup race in Götzens. Different than at the National Championships we were able to get out of the gondola at the middle station. Why now? I don’t know but it certainly would have been good when we had that at the Nationals too.
Anyway, the race was kind of a late decision for me because I had a sports week in the week of the race. This meant I would arrive a bit late to the race. But as it turned out I was just in time for the training to start. I did some runs and already knew it would be a great weekend. The most difficult thing to make was the jump from the Enduro bike onto my Downhill bike. Pretty different bikes.
After Saturdays training I got 32nd in Seeding which was O.K. when it was my 7th day on a bike in a row. I was a bit tired but fired up for Sunday.
Sunday was wonderful weather and great track conditions. I went up for my racerun with pretty much sorted out lines and my personal target set. After a f#+?ing good upper part I pedalled hard and did not use my brakes much which caused a pretty big timeloss. This timeloss happened to be me missing the long wooden bridge with high speed. Oh man, I was devastated. But yeah, its always the part where you least expect it. Nevertheless I ended up 53rd which is not too bad with this type of mistake.
Next up: Mariazell Bürgeralpe
So not long ago I raced at the IXS EDC finals in Brandnertal. Usually they are held in Leogang but for an unknown reason Leogang did not make an IXS EDC this year.
I knew Brandnertal from a race back in 2016 and I knew that this track was one to remember. Long, hard on the body and scary in some bits. And the forecast also was a bit of a challenge that weekend. Rain over rain over rain.
Friday was an interesting day where I did not know exactely where to ride. Saturday after the trainingssession I had pretty much all my lines sorted out and was ready to throw one down. I rode well and made only one huge mistake, which was more of a relief than a huge crash and time-consuming mistake. This set me up for a 54th in Qualifiying and that meant Top80 training for Sunday.
On Sunday the weather was a bit better and it stopped raining completely throughout the day. I went up for my racerun really with two thoughts in my head:
How am I going to ride the first turn?
How will I survive the steep-roots-bit?
Both went unexpectetly well and I managed to pull out a 43rd overall. Stoked to end the EDC series on a high and hungry for more years to come.
Next up: Götzens
One of the best races of the year was as always the Austrian National Championships in Götzens. I was so happy because the last years there was always a bit of a problem with this race. But having just a normal Nationals was just awesome.
Only problem was that we weren’t allowed to get out of the gondola at the middle station which meant that we had to ride the whole upper part to until we could finally get to the original start of the track.
But this was the Nationals, you just ride.
The weather was very good and the track turned out to be perfect. Fast, technical, long. As it should be.
Fridays training was good and coming into Saturday I had a good feeling on the track. There was just one section which caught me out on Saturday. I crashed there and got a pretty good hit from my stem which made me bit my tongue so hard that I bled for several minutes strait. This made breathing a bit more difficult but it was O.K. Seeding went well and I landed good in the Topp10, I think.
Sunday was the day. I was up to speed, felt comfortable and ready to throw down my run. But things did not go as well and I ended up making some costly mistakes. Not the best weekend but sure one of the coolest.
Next up: Brandnertal
After racing a lot of Downhill races this year I also took part at the 4X World Championships in Val di Sole.
This year I knew how everything is going to happen. I was really happy to be there. The track had some good and interesting changes in it. I spent a lot of time dialling in my lines and getting up to speed. This year the other riders were stronger and faster than last year, but I managed to get into the 32-finals again. As always a pleasure to represent you country and have a fun time racing.
Unfortunately I had a pretty big mistake in my first race run which ended my chances of getting a bit further than last year. I think I got 29th in the finals or so. Not bad but could have been better.
Oh well, what can you do.
Glad to experience stuff like this.
Ride on westagil
This year I was lucky enough to get invited to race in Leogang at the UCI MTB World Cup. I already had the chance to start at the first World Cup in Losinj, CRO, but really was too busy with school and work to get there.
But after getting a second invite I couldn’t say no! So lets start into a week of new adventures.
This was my first World Cup as an Elite rider. I was very nervous and happy at the same time. After the track walk, which was very strait forward I knew what I would have to do and started both of my trainingssessions with good expectations. I did not have problems with my bike. Some bits of the track were a bit sketchy because of the rain that happened during the night but it was all dry for sunny. I stood up there, wanting to do my land proud. But just after a couple of seconds I already made a mistake in the first section which costed me important seconds. Non the less I carried on. Everything was going well until I started messing up the exit of the technical woods section. I was on a bit of a different line and had not so much exit speed. I pedalled hard and as soon as I hit the first jump I noticed that something was wrong. If you push into a take-off and you feel you rear wheel move, you are most likely to have a flat. And that’s what happened to me. My first flat tire in a important run. Damn, but that’s racing. There’s not much you can do about this.
Awesome experience and onto the next one.
So after having many super serious and hard races it was time to have a bit more fun and time on the bike. What better way to race at the Glemmride Bikefestival in Saalbach.
My goal there is always to put down stormer runs. So starting with the Pumptrack on Friday I felt really good pumpin‘. I managed to get into the semi-final and with the best time of the day into the finals. But do you know what happens when you push? Sometimes you win – sometimes you loose, and this time I lost, but got 2nd so what can you say?
Next up was the Downhill training and Seeding Run. The track was perfect as always, but one of the more uncommon problems was that some marshals were not informed correctly about how and when to use the yellow or red flag. But what can you do. I managed to put myself into 5th in Seeding which was absolutely great! I felt like a king haha ;). Put the race just so happenend to be the next day.
So next up the LINES Mag. Bike-Pull, the most important competition of the whole year. In this competiton you have to pull LINES Magazines on a palette with an old „Wofnradl“. Harded than you might think. And even if there were guys like Steve Schneider or the Strongman of Saalbach, I got 3rd. Don’t ask me how, I don’t know, but I am happy about it.
So after having one of my best weekends the last race was up – the Downhill. The training was just awesome and good times. I went up, wanting to get awawy with the podium (sounds so professional and serious but I just wanted it so badly!). The ticks went down. 5…4…3…2…1…0, But at the 0 I wsa already out of the gate and 5 secs into my run. It went by so fast and before I could say „Glemmride“ I put myself into 3rd. Stoked af!
So after all that I was really very happy with how erveything went!
next up: Brandnertal