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April 12th, 2022

2022 World Cup #1, Petropolis, Brazil

Ross Bell

It was the first time I’ve ever raced a World Cup in Brazil and I was excited to get there and get amongst it. Arriving in the middle of the night after a long travel from NZ it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. When the sun rose it basically confirmed that we were! We were staying in a nice villa up a dirt road climb about 15mins ride from the track in the middle of the jungle, a nice place to relax and hang out away from the hustle and bustle of the racecourse.

The track itself was very fast rolling (at least when it was dry) and had plenty of big features littered around the track such as drops, jumps and large rock rolls to navigate.

Ross Bell
Ross Bell

As the days went by, I was feeling better and better and less affected by jetlag. I went to bed on Thursday night looking forward to racing the first short track round of the year the next day only to wake around 1am feeling feverish, achy and with a bad stomach. Things were only worse in the morning, and I had to make the call to sit out the short track in the hope of being better for the XCO on Sunday. With the state I was in I was not confident of getting any racing in at all during the weekend but thankfully I had improved enough by Sunday to take to the start line for the cross country.

As I hadn’t started the short track, I was starting from the 4th row which meant I had a lot of work to do early on. I was quite boxed in early on so wasn’t able to move up as fast as I would have liked but kept it calm and steady on the first 2 laps to remain within 30secs of the leaders.

Ross Bell
Ross Bell

On lap 3 things really started to unravel and I had a huge loss of energy as my illness started to catch up with me. I contemplated pulling the pin but eased back by about 30-40 secs a lap for the next few laps before feeling a little more normal again for the last 2 laps, rebounding to cross the line in 16th place.

Not too shabby all things considered and enough points in the bag to guarantee me a start in the Albstadt World Cup short track. Onto the next!

Ross Bell

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Cycling has always been a huge part of my life as I have been riding ever since I could walk. I see mountain biking as an adventure and a challenge.
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There are many things I love about mountain biking – the people you meet, the skills you need, the concentration it requires, race strategy, the opportunities to explore new places and countries.
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