This time of year is always a nervous, anxious one where I am continually caught getting way too excited about the approaching race season and feeling good on the bike. After a couple of months worth of gym work, riding and bike prep, the start of the race season is almost here and it takes your breath away for all the right reasons.
2014 was a tough one on a bunch of different levels. Starting the season with the best form I had ever had and after already missing the majority of the 2013 race season, I was hungrier than ever to get some runs on the board. Hitting the ground before the show had even started was another rude wake up call. I went on to spend all season trying to figure out just how close to the limit you need to push and how to become a world class racer. The experience and race execution of Jerome Clements and Jared Graves is something to be admired and if you pay close attention, extremely insightful.
By the time the seventh and final round arrived in Italy, I had my confidence back and was performing at a level I was happy with. I found myself back within the top 10 overall heading into the final stage and all of a sudden a whiff of the podium or top 5 was in the air. A bizarre mechanical issue would rudely rip this ‘whiff’ from me and slide me back to 80th for the weekend and 26th overall for the series. Sometimes during races, shit happens.
Unexplainable shit that drives you crazy and all you can do is put it behind you and carry on.
Over the Christmas period I was lucky enough to head back to Wollongong to get married and enjoy Christmas and some summer sunshine with family, friends and my beautiful wife. It’s always nice heading back to my hometown after the race season and being able to check out the latest trails, hang out with the family and catch up with mates over a beer or three.
Now that we are well into the new year, it’s all about the grind and making sure all of my I’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. I am lucky enough to have signed on with the Giant Factory Off Road team for another 2 years, which is a fantastic opportunity and something I am extremely grateful and stoked for. Being able to ride and race my bike all over the world with one of the biggest and best companies in the world is truly amazing. Having such an opportunity and a team that believes in me is incredible and just adds fuel to the fire during the preseason slaughter and makes the work that much more enjoyable and satisfying.
Being so close to the season start, I’m in touch up mode with my training programs and refining my workouts as much as possible so I can be on the start line in Rotorua frothing and in the best shape I can possibly be in. My main focus for 2015 is to be consistent and get the runs on the board that I have missed out on the last 2 seasons. This is my 3rd season now of racing the Enduro World Series and it’s go time. Time to put ‘em up and have a red hot crack. Having the first round in Rotorua as part of the Crankworx events is awesome. The Crankworx events are amazing and they really know how to put on a great event that is seen around the world.
Not to mention being able to check out the amazing trails in person rather than read all the epic reviews of how good they are. Kiwis know how to make some killer trails and produce some world class talent so no doubt the Rotorua event will be one to remember.
2015 is shaping up to be a massive season of racing and I can’t wait to share it with you all.