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MATT'S REPORT FOR MARIBOR
Well we arrived in Maribor, Slovenia on Monday night ready for a couple of days riding at the Maribor Bike Park on some tracks near the world cup course. Tuesday and Wednesday Brook, Cam, Luke and me went and did some runs on a couple of sick tracks underneath the dodgy gondola that felt like it was going to rip off every time. The tracks there were sick, heaps of fast sections and heaps of natural doubles in the trees to get wild on so it was heaps of fun.
Thursday was time to stand in line for a couple of hours then finally register, and then it was off to walk the track. The track was looking sick it had a bit of rain/hail on Tuesday night so she was in prime condition, although the rock garden was looking like it could get a bit wild the rest of the track was looking nice and rough and was looking like you would have to get you’re throttle jammed on to do well. After track walking it was of to the swimming pool at our hotel at the top of the hill to get out of the 30 degree plus weather. After a few bombs and Aari getting his arse out the old Slovenian dude got a bit wound up and we got banned from the swimming pool for the rest of the stay! not ideal really.
We woke up on Friday to another 30 degree plus day and the first day of practice. It took me a while to learn and get into the track but by the end of the day I was feeling not too bad and Turner was loving life! After practice me Cam and Rankin walked the track again and found a few things that would make life a bit easier.
Saturday it pissed with rain all night and all day and the track was slick as an Italians hair do and first run down the dry tires weren’t really hooking up at all so it was time to put some spikes on. By the time I put my spikes on, watching some people coming down covered in shit, and listening to the thunderstorm they decided to close the gondola and the rest of practice and qualifying was cancelled because of the thunderstorm and the river running down the track! So it was back to the hotel for an afternoon of lurking.
Sunday the sun was back out but it was still a bit nippy at 7am when practise started for the day! Got a couple of runs in and it was a cutting up good except the roots and rocks were getting covered in mud so you get sum big swaps going on without even seeing it coming so she was a bit of fun!
Qualifying run rolled round quick enough and my aim was just to have a clean run down and get into the main. I got most of the top stuff alright had a few we moments but I was still upright then I came into the rock garden and jumped the rock double in the middle and must of landed on something and got a big old swap on and rode the seat the rest of the way down and stopped beside the tree at the bottom wondering how I was still alive! So me and turner kept trucking after our wee moment and decided we had some time to make up if we wanted to ride in the afternoon and about a minute after that I came into a rooty left hander with a bit much pace and took a big old digger/cartwheel so after that I thought it would be all over so I just rolled to the bottom trying to wipe the mud off my grips. It turned out people were having even more trouble than me up the hill as I ended up in 69th so I just slipped in to the top 80 that go thru to the main. The other kiwi boys also had pretty average runs with Ancilotti team riders Brook and Wyn just missing the cut with crashes? But Justin Leov flew the flag and ended up in 2nd.
Next up it was race run and I decided to change out to dry tires as the sun had been out all day and the track was drying out a lot and the dry’s would be a lot better on the rocks and roots. Race run was going pretty good through the top until I was exiting the rock garden and noticed my chain had snapped so I had to roll the rest of the track and ended up in 49th so I was pretty pissed about that as the seconds I lost not being able to pedal would have bumped me up quite a few places!
So all up the track was sick but my luck on race day wasn’t so sick!
Me and Rankin and his team mate are in Pila Italy doing some riding at the moment then were off to an Italian cup this weekend so will hear from me after that.