La Thuile, Italy - EWS Round 5
Nice to have Mum and Dad visiting us for a couple of weeks. It means having a ‘birth fam’ and an EWS ‘adopted fam’ for the next round of racing in Italy. Good excuse to play more touristing, and there’ll be double the yelling in La Thuile.
Up and at ‘em with an easy pedal up Avoriaz and down super Morzine in the morning, then Brooke, Mum, Dad and I left Morzine headed towards Chamonix. We headed up Mont Blanc for some tourist action! Then made our way to La Thuile to chill and prepare for a big four days.
All images by Sven Martin
19/07/2018 Prachy Day, Tahi
Awoke nice and early for breakie with the rents before checking the messages for the morning, quickly getting changed and heading out to catch up with (Daniel) Selfie and Alex Holowko for some prachy runs on Stage One and Three, the tracks were a wee bit damp making for some un called for jibs. We got the morning of practice done, I spruced up the rig before having having light refreshments. Alex, Selfie and myself then piled into the Norco van (cheers Blenki) and headed up the other side of the valley to prachy Stage Two, my favourite stage for sure. Stopped by the pizzeria for some fuel with the adopted fam, headed home, and then took the birth fam around to the adopted fams house for dinner, thanks Dee! Bed.
20/07/2018 Prachy Day, Driez
Woke up feeling good,
yesterdays prachy was one of the easiest so far, it had long stages, but the liaisons were chill, thanks to a chairlift assist. Had breakie with Brooke, geared up and headed out for another day on the bike .
Headed up to stage four and teetered my way down before getting into a big hike a bike mission to Stage Five, actually my kind of thing, I was liking the liaison to manys disgust then straight up the chair to Stage Six and the day was done by mid day (this never happens). Got the bike and gear all ready before chilling with the adopted fam to watch ‘Now You See Me Two’ (second viewing). Tidied up before heading out with the birth fam for one of the best meals yet (totini cheese wrapped in bacon, melted on polenta, yum).
21/07/2018 Race Day, Uno
Huge amount of rain over night - wholley cow - thunder, lightning, rain, sideways rain, torrential rain, hail, more lightning.
An email was even sent out from the EWS talking of plans to avoid this rain. Turns out it wasn’t too bad in the end. Breakie with the fam, got out all my Ground Effect gear today to avoid getting caught empty handed out on track. Jumped on the lift headed to Stage Three (stages were reversed in order to magically stop/reverse the bad weather???). Stage three was a well ridden in track with an alpine section to begin with before heading into a rocky, rooty, niggly trail all the way to the bottom, I crashed in the first corner… great start! I had a reasonable flow for the rest of the stage, but one more niggly crash on some slippery roots. Great stage, but it definitely broke some people. A two hour liaison up to stage two, and without stopping we only made it five mins before start (a lot of people didn’t make their start times).
Stage Two was seventy five percent alpine and the rest trees and a pedlly, false flat, rooty section which blew the doors off me. I liked this stage the most and had a good run with only a couple of tiny errors - so much fun!
Stage One was just a chairlift away, but the rain had begun to creep over the ridge line and the jackets came out. It managed to start raining five minutes before drop time… churrr. Stage One was fresh track with off camber rocks everywhere and a whole lotta roots with added log rolls into steep sections. Add rain to this for a hugie starter pack. I had a really fun run down this stage and felt in control/outta control (due to the wet). Unlucky for us it stopped raining straight after we finished the stage. Good day out, but the arms are feeling it a bit!
Back home to chill with the birth fam and head out for another round of delicious snackies (repeat of last night).
22/07/2018 Race Day, Rua
Huge changes in the race plan due to many complaints from day ones load and physicality (didn’t know that was a word). The order of stages was now jumbled. Did the usual morning tributes, then into it.
We caught a lift up to start with Stage Six, an all out speed kinda track with quite the hard (about seven minutes) pedal which completely blew everyone up (that I talked to anyway), and then dropped us back into three more minutes of techy steep dirt sections with tight corners. I had a pretty good stage on this one and kept everything upright, a good way to start the day.
We caught the lift up and made the liaison to Stage Four, a half new alpine trail mixed with an old open farm cut single trail. I managed to lay er down sideways on the way down, but without losing too much time.
Cruised down the hill to a revised Stage Five which consisted of a flat 30 second pedal on grass and nothing else, definitely a highlight of the weekend and good reason to be eating so many carrots (the goal is carotenosis). I got pumped in this stage - haha - 3 seconds off the leader, but one hundred and twentieth :)).
Onto Stage Six again, but without the pedal. It turns out Jordyn Prochyra and I had not only been riding together all weekend, but were now on the same time (down to the second) heading into this final stage - its crazy how that happens. As Jordyn is Australian the pressure was on to defend some positions from the Aussie. I had a good run with only a couple of small mistakes and just managed to pip him by 5 seconds. Holla holla.
Race done. I finished in 48th, which is my best result of the season, holla. Big dinner out with pretty much everyone, making for a grand night out in La Thuile!
Back in Morzine to catch up with Jamie (Nicoll), Elena, Teresa et al, and to start the prep for a big ol’ trip to Canada in a few days. Squeezed in some rap video mr world wide thing with the Pivot crew that evening was a bitta fun.
Piecing a couple more things together for the trip to Canada and catching up at Jamie/Elena’s house for a bbq with a whole lotta good m8s. Morzine is definitely a place that feels like home (away from home). Big ups to Jamie and Elena for putting up with us.
Packed all day, said goodbye to the Morzine crew, and then drove outta town. Turns out Maccas do a pretty good caeser salad (if anybody was wondering). Let the sleep deprivation begin.
Booked the van into long term parking but turns out the underground parking and our van do not fit. We left Morty with them anyway, aha. Got on the plane, found a good movie called ‘The Isle of Dogs’, from the same maker as ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ - would highly recommend both these movies.
Am currently on the bus to Whistler after many delays and the sleep deprivation is hitting hard, Good to know we are in good hands with the Bathgates on arrival (thanks Chazmaz, and Bathgates ya legends).