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2013 OCEANIA DOWNHILL CHAMPS - HOBART

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I travelled to Hobart, Tasmania over the Easter Holiday period to contest the 2013 Oceania Downhill Mountain Bike Championships. We (Dad and me) arrived on Thursday and right from the word go we knew it was going to be a bugga of a weekend particularly when Budget Rental did not have our Van available which was booked in early Jan 13! After spending 3 hours sitting around at the airport we finally got our vehicle and headed to Sandy Bay to check-in to our accommodation and build the V10 which went without a hitch. We headed to the track early Good Friday morning for all day practice.

The track had not changed over the past few years but was really loose, dusty and challenging - as were the 50kmh+ wind gusts which were hitting the open areas at the bottom of the track! I was just getting into my rhythm on about my 4-5th run and as I hit the 50' tabletop near the bottom of the track - everything went pear shaped! I think I got hung up in a wind gust and when I hit the lander, both hands slipped off the bars and I got body slammed into the track including a 'scorpion' and then ragged doll off the track into a 3' gutter running alongside the track. I knew I was injured pretty bad because my lower back was screaming in agony!

The Paramedics arrived and checked me over to ensure nothing was broken (bloody amazing!)and then took me back to our Van. I did not give myself much chance of riding for the remainder of the weekend but Dad insisted that I treat myself with an ice-bath, heaps of anti-inflammatory tablets, pain killers and later, heat pack treatments.

Saturday I woke feeling pretty beat up and sore but decided to head to the track to walk around to try and get some movement happening which eventually started to happen. I elected to kit up and head for the start line for my Seeding/Qualifying run knowing that I only had to break the beam and I would have another 20 hours to recover further. Only problem was that when I broke the beam there was no transport left at the start line so I had no option but to roll down which took 14+ minutes but didn't cause me too much problem.

Sunday we headed to the track believing we had several hours of practice before race time but as it turned out, I managed to get one only practice run before race time which meant that I had a total of 6 runs on the track since Friday morning. Being last in Seeding/Qualifying meant that I was first over the start line in Elite Men and I just put it all on the line without crashing. I had a good run and came over the line in a respectable 3:20 and held onto 2nd place through until the last 10 riders came down. In the end, I placed 8th and given my lack of practice and injuries I was pretty stoked particularly with riders like Kovarik, Brosnan, Moir, Kannan and McMillan in front of me.

Once again, I would like to thank my supporters - NSDynamics.com.au, Santa Cruz Bikes, Elka Suspension, Chunked.com.au and Mavic Equipment for helping out during the past season. Time to rest up and get ready for the Qld State Series commencing May before heading to Whilster later in the year for Crankworx.