Pretzen-Jaminca, Austria/Slovenia - EWS Round 4

27/06/2018

Turned up in Petzen, Austria. Brendan Clarke (Bubbleys) booked a couple of us privateers a house for the week (huge thanks bro!). Big Lez (Shane Leslie), Selfie (Daniel Self) and Ameal (Emil De Vries) all checked in with Brooke and I.

 Sam and Emil sport the Ground Effect-Zerode twin set.

Sam and Emil sport the Ground Effect-Zerode twin set.

 

For some reason Selfie and Lez chose to sleep in the same bed, good on em. Headed over to rego to catch up with everyone and pick up race numbers and a complementary staff top (definitely a keeper). Brooke cooked up a seriously good spag bol while I cleaned and stickered my bike with a starry blackhole enduro stickerset by hasdesigns.pt, how gooood. Finished the night off with some carrots.

 
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28/06/2018 Prachy Day One

 Spot the actual car.

Spot the actual car.

Emptied Morty (the van) out and filled 'er back up with bikes on bikes for a day of prachy with Big Lez, Bubbleys and Selfie. Tracks were wet and slippery, but not too bad. Stage One and Two seemed bound to blow out come race day and three was an absolute gem! Got home for some RC car time and went over the bike, changed to shorties (looking to be a wetty!). Headed around to Bubbleys, Dees and Nikis for dinner, and carrots.

29/06/2018 Prachy Day Two

Jumped outta bed and loaded Morty for a day of prachy. Some big ol' liaisons made for a hard day out. We had a bit of a wait to ride stage six, so took out the RC car for a hoon on the world's biggest flow trail. Finished off the day on the bike with a pedal back home. Headed to Bubbleys, Dees and Nikis for dinner again (holla) then a lotta bike prep for tomorrow's racing (packed some enduro carrots).

Looking forward to it!

 Photo Sven Martin

Photo Sven Martin

 Photo Sven Martin

Photo Sven Martin

30/06/2018 Race Day One

Mushroom omelette for breaky, el-yumo. 10am start, how good.

Had some quality talks with the MC before dropping into the liaison to Stage One. Somehow a bunch of us missed a turn along the way, ended up following our noses to the start with an extra climb and couple of extra ks (more training for the World Cup cross country). Stage One was one big pedal and a lotta slippery rooty corners, I had a pretty bad brain mechanical down this and found the ground three times on the way to the bottom.

 Photo Sven Martin

Photo Sven Martin

 Photo Sven Martin

Photo Sven Martin

 

Back on the normal liaison for the following stage. Feeling mega bonked so early on in the race, not the norm. Drunk about 10,000 litres of Xeno energy drink at the feed station and got the juice back. Stage Two was much like stage one, except somehow a lot more fun (I think one prepped us). Had a good time down the steep sections and then just as I got to the pedals I jammed my chain on a stump and it bent out the chain tensioner (this is close to impossible with how tight it's tucked away, but Enduro always finds a way to wreck stuff). I didn’t realize straight away and pushed for a bit, Big Lez came past and gave a holla, finally realized what had happened and got to bending everything back and jumping back on to finish the stage, catching Big Lez who just blew his whole bike to pieces lol. Unfortunately lost a big chunk of time for the overall on this stage.

 Photo Sven Martin

Photo Sven Martin

 Photo Sven Martin

Photo Sven Martin

On to Stage Three, feeling well-bonked on the way back to the gondy. Another 10,000 litres of Xeno - whatever it is - and some carrots. Three was nice - long and steep, consisting of barely any pedaling (what a stage). I had a fun time down here keeping things very safe and under control, onwards to tomorrow.

01/06/2018 Race Day Two

9.30am stage start, carrots on my mind.

Missing Big Lez (Shane Leslie) this time, biked off to stage four (already practised this route). Had over two hours to get there with a nice hike a bike at the end. Four consisted of fresh-cut loamy lines through low-growing shrubbery and a few open sections with slick roots and tight turns. Aimed to ride consistently, make no mistakes and test out the shoulder after yesterday. All went well. Not my best effort, but a good confidence boost.

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 Photo Sven Martin

Photo Sven Martin

Into the mines for the tunnel liaison, 20min of tunnel vision passed a couple of molemen on the way through. It was cool for 5min and then it just got cold and narrow, so the peloton took off to get outta there asap. 

Another hike a bike up to Stage Five to watch people making new lines - enduro asss m8. Stage five consisted of grippy clay with roots, highspeed steep sections with chicanes and minimal peddling, holla. I felt comfy and was finally riding my bike like normal, a couple of mistakes lost some time, but stoked to get my best stage result with a 23rd. Back home to the pits for some shnackies and a gondy up to Stage Six to finish the day off.

Stage Six had a good gradient the whole way down with a mix of Stage Three and a good amount of loam 'n' roots. I started out feeling good and strong and getting my lines, but 2 mins in I heard the classic ssssssssss, as the rear tyre went down. Was still keen-as and kept 'er going to get 68th after 14min of riding the flatty out (the Enve held up, ayo).

Stoked to salvage some positions, from yesterday but bummed for what could have been. Happy to see some speed there and catch up with everyone and ride some sick trails (minus Stages One and Two).

Brooke ended up racing the Challenger and finished third!! How gooood :D.

 Brooke on the podium. Photo: Sven Martin.

Brooke on the podium. Photo: Sven Martin.

02/07/2018

Woke up feeling like a potato as per usual after four days of big ol' rides (my favourite thing to do), combined with bubbles b'day festivities (happy birthday bru). Packed up the team Zerode van and drove off to Lake Bled, Slovenia (maccas first (sin)) and a carrot. This place is amazing, would recommend. Special mention Nikki Clarke lol.

03/07/2018

Woke up early for a run around Bled - a very busy tourist town that seems completely empty at 8 in the morning - some exercises and carrots before a big day of tourism with everyone else in the 11am rush. Am now at a bike park in Slovenia and have no idea where we are (just followed Bubbleys in the car).

It's one of the best stops so far!

 
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