August 23rd, 2012

Spain

Today was my last day of training  in Spain before heading to Switzerland tomorrow to spend the week there training and racing. I have had a great week here in Spain riding in some of the most amazing spots on some of the best tracks I have ever experienced. I have been very blessed to have been hosted here in Granada by my manager Martin Whiteley who has showed me all the sights and provided me with a great base to train from. I’m especially grateful of the pool after my training rides! The temperature here regularly reaches 40degrees Celsius in the afternoon and just a couple of days after I arrived it reached 44degrees Celsius, a far cry from the snow, rain and cold that Christchurch turned on for me while I was last home!

We took a trip down to the centre of town for dinner a few nights ago and I was blown away by the beauty of the city. The grand old buildings, cafe’s and churches were so large and well crafted with intricate carvings and when you realise that these buildings were built almost 700 years ago it makes it quite hard to comprehend and very awe inspiring. The history behind many of these European cities is sometimes unimaginable. Two nights ago Martin and I took a drive up the highest sealed road in the world which is in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range just behind where we are staying in his Audi RS-5 which was good fun! There is a high altitude training centre up the road a bit above 2300m which I had a look around. Martin tells me that Cadel Evans often spends time there training, they have an Olympic size swimming pool, high tech testing facilities, accommodation, catering, gymnasiums etc for all the top athletes and national teams that train there.

Maybe I will spend a bit of time up there in the years to come doing some altitude training. We then stopped for dinner at an amazing restaurant on the way back down the hill where I tried some of the local Spanish blood sausage….AMAZING. I am currently watching the tail end of today’s Vuelta de Espana stage and I will then have to pack my bags for my flight tomorrow. We are heading out to another one of the great local restaurants tonight, can’t wait. All in all the training is going great and I am feeling in really good shape. This Sunday I am racing in the final Swiss Cup round in Muttenz, Switzerland which should be a good test as most of the top juniors will be there and will therefore will be a good gauge of my form heading into the World Champs. I’m Looking forward to continuing onwards with my journey through Europe!

August 18th, 2012

Overseas adventures

Well it’s been a while since I have updated my blog and so much has happened over the past few weeks and months. Prior to leaving New Zealand on the 11th of August (my 18th birthday) I was busy training 6 days a week, and with school added in as well, my training was done in the late afternoon/evening. I arrived in Waterloo, Wisconsin for my first ever ‘Trek World’ show which absolutely blew me away. It was incredible to see inside the factory where all my carbon bikes are built by hand. The level of commitment and passion that the people involved in Trek showed towards cycling was great to see and gives me real satisfaction in the brand I am riding.

I spent 4 days at Trek World where I also spent time training, trying out the 2013 Trek bikes, dealing with a few mandatory media responsibilities and signing plenty of autographs at the big opening show with the other Trek riders. It was amazing to meet and get to know plenty of other top Trek athletes that I hadn’t met before such as Jens Voigt, Katie Compton, Ricky Carmichael, and catch up with all the other athletes over the weekend. After that I flew out to Malaga, Spain where I was met at the airport by my manager Martin Whiteley who then drove me to his house in Granada a couple of hours away. The temperature here reached 44 degrees Celsius yesterday, the hottest I have ever experienced so all my training is done in the early morning or late evening while the temperatures are cooler than the 40 degrees it reaches during the afternoon! I am well looked after here and am really enjoying exploring new places of the world.

Yesterday we took a trip downtown to get some sushi for lunch, have a look around and do some grocery shopping which was cool and tonight we are heading into town to get some dinner at one of the top restaurants in town. The training is going great and I feel in good shape, I’m looking forward to the week ahead and then the upcoming Swiss Cup race in about a weeks time in Switzerland. Living the life!

July 2nd, 2012

2012 World Cup # 6 Windham, USA

Just like last week it was another early start for the Windham, USA round of the MTB World Cup. This was to be my fifth ever World Cup race and I was aiming to continue my perfect World Cup record and take win number 5 from 5. By 9 am the mercury was already soaring as the Under 23 men took off followed by us juniors only 2mins later. Starting just behind the under 23 men was something completely new to me in World Cup racing but luckily I was used to starting behind our Under 23 and Elite riders in NZ for our National Cup rounds etc so I was well practiced in picking my way through the field. I manged to pass 42 of the 53 riders to work my way up to 11th in the Under 23 field by the end of the race and was the first junior man by over 3 mins. The last two weeks have been perfect for me, everything has gone exactly to plan and I am loving the team environment.

It was great to see Aaron yet again prove his dominance in the Downhill by taking the win in front of his home crowd. Justin Leov, long time pro and team mate, also announced his retirement yesterday after a long and successful season.  Mathias got his first World Cup podium of the season taking 5th in the elite mens XC so team spirits were high. As I write this I am sitting in Albany airport waiting to begin the 40hr journey home to NZ where I will then spend 5 weeks training and studying hard at school before heading to Europe in mid August to add the finishing touches to my World Championship build up.

Thanks to my coach Dave Plew for keeping me in good shape, my family and all my supporters back home, I can’t wait until World Champs in September!

June 24th, 2012

2012 World Cup # 5 Mont Sainte Anne, Canada

This morning I raced in the 5th round of the UCI MTB World Cup in Mont Sainte Anne Canada.  The track was damp in the trees due to the rain on the couple of days building up to the race and this only got slipperier as the race went on as mud from the riders tyres was dragged over the rocks and roots. I decided to run a larger volume 2.2 tyre due to the large amount of protruding rocks etc and they paid off giving a nice smooth ride. I had a good start and soon took the lead before entering the first singletrack  which then popped out onto the first main climb of the lap. At the top of the climb I had started to open out a gap on the riders behind me and from there onwards I didn’t look back. Midway through the race my front derailleur started to play up due to some sand and other muck jamming it up and not allowing it to drop down out of the big ring.

This forced me to big ring a few climbs I hadn’t particularly planned on but in the end it didn’t cost me much time and I went on to win by about 6mins over the Canadian National Champion in 2nd and the American rider Keegan Swenson just behind in 3rd. I am really happy with how the week has been and with how I rode and can’t wait for next weekend in Windham, USA!

June 16th, 2012

Quick Update

The past couple of weeks have been very hectic with snow, ice, rain and schoolwork all combining  to make training time hard to find! I managed to fit in a lactate test at the University of Canterbury on Tuesday the 12th which at least allowed me to do a hard training session indoors and out of the cold. Over the past few years I have used the lactate test as a good checkup as to how my training has been going and it allows my coach to fine tune and make small adjustments to my training where he feels necessary prior to upcoming races. It hurts a lot! My mid year exam block felt like it went well but I will have to wait and see until I get the marks, I really want to do well at school this year so I can put it behind me in 2013 and the years to follow and just focus solely on my career as a cyclist.

I also raced in what will be the final night race for me this winter at Mcleans Island on a chilly Wednesday night, taking the win again and giving the legs a quick blast before I head away tomorrow to Canada. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming World Cup rounds, It’s been a while since I raced my last one in South Africa so I am looking forward to testing myself against the top Europeans once again. I look forward to updating you on my travels and results along the way!

 

June 5th, 2012

Welcome

Welcome to my new website! It’s been awhile in the making – thanks to Ben and Norm at Metasolutions for getting it all sorted; they’ve been an awesome team to work with on this project. Take some time to look through, I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to keeping everyone updated with what I’m doing. I have recently found the time to get out into the back country to explore a bit and get some good training miles in. We are lucky to be blessed with such a good natural playground here in New Zealand, so get out there and make the most of it! I have also been doing the winter night racing series at Mcleans Island to help with my speedwork building up to my next overseas trip to Canada and the USA in less than 2 weeks. I fly out of here on the 17th and can’t wait to get back into some top racing action and get some quality training time in.  Right now I am in the middle of my mid term exam block at school where I am working hard to achieve some good results. All in all everything is looking good at this stage of the year!