Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ventana's 09 Pro XC Debut

Ollie shows his eagle-like focus on a drop.
Travel on the Fuego was frequently maxxed out on the technical Wellington course.

In his first Pro Elite hit-out of the 2009 season, Oliver packed his El Fuego into its cordura case and jumped a plane for Wellington. The final of the North Island XC cup was going down on a gnarly Mount Victoria course, and afficianadios of 'real' mountain biking would not disapprove of the course. Highlights included ring popping pinch climbs and all manner of fast descents with drops, jumps and roots thrown in to keep things loose.

Overnight rain left the track greasy as a greased pig but Wellington turned on a stunner with the course packing down and drying out for an all out speed fest in the afternoon.

Hooking a loose line round Hospital Corner at the back of the course.

The start sent riders on a hot lap of the velodrome before sending them up a gradual climb to the summit. With an abundance of young under 19 riders keen to show some pace the tempo was just as hot as the sunny summer Sunday afternoon.

Disaster struck on the first descent with Oliver's drink bottle ejecting, leaving him dry as a prune. Despite the heat he kept his cool, finally finding his feeder Joel on the 3rd lap and downing nearly an entire bottle in the space of 50m!

With consistent pace throughout the race Oliver pulled off a respectable 9th placing in the large field. A great start to the pointy end of the season with plenty of races to fine tune the form before his target event, the Nelson National Championships.

A big shout to Joel the pro-feeder, Rhys for the bed to crash in and Bela for her mean pre-race pasta.

Mountain Pedaler out

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