tough day in france

world cup round 4,la bresse,france

so my first bad race of the year went down in france over the weekend.everything leading up to the race went perfect and i feel like i got my taper just right with coach jeroen swarts help.i alo loved the course in had a long sustained climb and a long technical descent.most days it was pretty slick out there too which caused a lot of pre race injuries.

we kicked off at our normal time slot of 2pm and as always the pace was crazy.i managed to get over the first climb in 5th and felt good as we setup for the first dh.this however would be where my weekend took a turn.i got rammed from behind and pushed of the track.stunned at first,i could get took awhile for me to get back up to the trail and once i got going i realized my front tire had come off the i rolled down to the technical zone and changed a wheel.once i restarted i was pretty much last.i had to reset my goals for the day and just focus on scoring some points.the leaders were already a long way up the road.for the first two laps i think i walked most of the course.its crazy how congested it is at the back of the legs were good though and i started picking off a lot of riders.i had a smooth race from there and by the end i managed to move up to 24th.satisfying as i must have been in the 120s on lap 1.

this week is even more exciting than the olympics for me.i get to marry the love of my life,cherise on saturday and enjoy some time off before the second half of the season starts,



world cup round 3,czech republic,move mesto na morale

just ten days after arriving home from my last trip abroad it was time to pack my bags again and head for a small town 2hours from prague.nove mesto seems to be a small town nestled between big farms of yellow flowers-rape seeds i believe?

anyway the course here rocked last year and so for the 2012 edition we got to do the same track with some bmx jumps thrown in.these were great until i did a no footer in practice by mistake.i didn't get my feet back to those pedals so this meant i 5minute time out at the bottom of the trail...

except for that hiccup i had a pretty smooth week leading into the world bike setup was perfect and my body was feeling great.i was confident of having another strong race.

on sunday we kicked off at 2 10pm.not sure what the extra 10 minutes was for but it was.the start loop incorporated half of the normal loop and some long climbs,it was important to have good legs from the gun.i managed to stay in the top 5 the whole way round and soon we were a group of 6 off the front on the first lap.myself and teammate jaroslav made the split along with nino schurter,florian vogel,marco fontana and ralph naef. for the first few laps we had many riders attack and lead the race but ultimately the race came down to the last two laps.heading into the last lap it was myself,nino and jaroslav fighting for the win.i tried a small tactical attack on the pavement leading into the first climb but it was nino who countered and i just tried to hang on from seemed like jaroslav had dropped off the pace as i kep trying to fight on nines wheel.on the last climb i thought i had something left until my legs said no.i had to let go and jaroslav got back and onto nine's wheel.i rolled in for third from there while jara had to settle for 2nd.

it was a great day out for the team as we won the team prize and i moved into 2nd place overall in the standings.jaroslav now sits in 3rd.

this week were in la bresse,france for the fourth round.should be another cracker!



back on the program

i made it back to sa after loads of traveling and not too much training this week.its always hard to find motivation when i arrive home ,but not on this trip.ive drawn alot form having a good start to the year aswell as getting constant programs and feedback from dr jeroen swart at psience2sport.
this meant i was back in the saddle and smashing quality sessions in no feels like ive slipped right back into my pre season, train ,eat and sleep,repeat.its been nice being home and sleeping in my own bed.the weathr has been great so getting over jetlag was a breeze.cherise also gets home this week so itl get even better.i have about a week more of training left before leaving to czech rebulic next week for the next world cup.

olympic training and sea otter

i just finished what felt like a whirlwind week.after the race in houffalize we drove straight to brussels where my japanese team-mate, kohei and flew to london on monday morning.we traveled there to train on the course set-out for the london olympics later this went well and it was a worth while trip.on tuesday i headed back to belgium and got to spend a day with cherise and do some good training.

on thursday i was back in the air and on my way to was a long trip and on friday i kicked off the weekends racing.first up was a 20min short track race and i managed to keep up with the leaders for around half the race before jetlag got the better of me.on saturday things went abit better and i managed to stay in the lead with eventual winner geoff kabush until about 20min from the end where i once again ran in fatigue.

the wwkend however was alot of fun and it was great catching up with the guys from specialized head office.this week i make my way home and reume some strucutred training to prepare for the next world cups,maybe ill fit in some golf.



uci xco world cup 2,houffalize, belgium

its been a tough two weeks getting over the fatigue i aquired at the epic.even though we had an awesome week it still takes so much out of you and as if that wasnt enough i suffered some bad stomach flu followed by a head cold upon arriving in a chilly belgium.

weird thing was i was making pretty good power on the bike and just took a few extra recovery days.i also met up with cherise in houffalize and that was super good for my moral.

the course in houffalize was brand new for this was super steep on the climbs and the descents and did i mention it was freezing!my weeks training went pretty smoothly and the team was great as always.

race day dawn quickly and we kicked of at 2pm on saturday.the start loop was brutal.500m on tar followed by a super steep and loose ascent.i managed a good start and sat in around 5th for most of the start loop.on the first full lap the gaps were opening and i got gaped alittle as nino schurter and julien absalon made their move.i was stuck in 4th with manuel fumic on my wheel.i had good power but not alot of snap to accelerate.this meant ui just rode steady and tried not to make any mistakes.on the last lap my legs realy came on and i almost bridged up to marco fontana who finished in third but it wasnt to be.i came in 4th 1min 2o down on winner julien absalon.

this week im doing some course recon in london for the games later this year and at the weekend ill be racing in california at the sea otter classic.

till then



absa cape epic

what a few week.i hardly know where to start.after a successfull world cup i flew down to cape town to start prep for this years cape epic.we had a solid week of training and resting in stellenbosch before heading to meerendal for the start of the race last sunday.

prologue 27km

the prologue has always been a stage we aim to win and this year was no different.chrsitoph and i were super motivated and went hard from the gun on the 27km course.i didnt have the best legs and had to let suzie do most of the the end we won,but only 14sec seperated us from 2nd place.we did however go into the rest of the week with confidance.

stage 1 ,115km

stage 1 is always super hard as the route is traditionally a big tester and the field is still fresh and looking to make a hard effort at the front.we rode near the front for the first half the race and then the teams around us got swallowed by the heat and tough 45km to go we were alone and stretching a good gap and in the end we won by a few minutes.

stage 2 ,119km

the stage was an easier day after the first two days as it was quite fast and flat over the first half and had minor rough steepish climbs near the end.we made the pace hard there and got a small group away to the finish.we had a hard sprint for the win and came home safely in 3rd.but importantly losing no time on the overall gc.

stage 3, 147km

this was the longest day ever in cape epic and had a massive amount of climbing spread over 4 peaks.on the 3rd climb around 70km to go team 360life attacked in the feed zone and suzie had to work hard to come across the gap.from there on we shared the work with them until the last climbs where suzie put the hammer down and eventualy rode away.i was eager for the sprint and managed to stay ahead of the other team to take the win.

stage 4, 124km

this was a very underrated stage in the race booklet.after the big day before the legs were also rather tender.we climbed up to the famous charlies heaven peak and then faced a tough 30km stretch in a strong headwind the front we were joined my multivan merida and 360life for the last 30km.everyone paced realy hard and we had stretched a good gap to the riders behind.with 5km to go we attacked hard leaving both 360life and merida behind.the end of the stage saw us riding some sweet singletrack through the caledon botanical gardens which was a real treat.

stage 5 ,115km

wet,wet,wet.the only real way to describe this stage between caledon and oak valley.the stage started pretty fast along winding jeep track and open gravel roads before we got to botrivier and the road started pointing skywards regularly.the main element of the stage though was the weather.over the last few kms it becme very cold agin and here suzie attacked yeat gain.with 15km to go only the team of bulls2 remained at the front with us and we eventualy outsprinted them for the tied with our most stage wins in an epic and a time gap of around 27min to the second team on gc.

stage 6,85km

it might only have been 85km but it was hard and had the most amazing terrain.we decided to have an easier day and team 360life capitalized by taking the win.we followed a few minutes behind and it was a stage which i realy enjoyed.the views and singletracks on this stage put a smile back on everyones faces.

stage 7,64km

the grand finale sees the riders head from oak valley to lourensford via the sir lowrys pass and the famous "wagon trail" that lies there.after an easier day on the previous stage we attacked the stage from the gun, setting a hard pace at the start.our goal was defend our big lead by heading into the last 30km at the front of the bunch,however our pace was good enough to win the telkom hotspot and head into the last 30km with a good lead.we didnt want to just give it away and kept our heads down to try and secure the stage.this was quite a chellnge as we wanted to stay cautious on the rough stuff.luckily we could keep opening the gap on the climbs and held on to take our 6th stage win on the fields at lourensford infront of an electrefying crowd!!!

it was an awesome week in which we had a great time.the team pulled together and we delivered.thanks to all our sponsors and supporters who make the racing possible for us.thanks also to suzie for a great 8 days!

i now go home for a few days before heading to belgium for the next world cup



season opener

pietermaritzburg mtb world cup round 1

tthis weekend was nothing short of spectacular.the organisation,atmosphere and support next to the track was amazing.i had some great prep coming into the event and was super motivated to do well.

the pmb world cup was the first big focus of my season and my training built all the way to this event.i was in great shape and team specialized made sure i had the best equipment behind me.

the nerves were pretty hectic.with all the support comes alot of stress aswell.i mnaged to turn this positive and focus on the task at hand.i knew i needed a good start and managed to hit the first single track in the top 10.on the sirst lap i slowly moved up the field trying to also not spend too much too early.on lap 2 i got into the lead group and from here it was a fight between myself,mauel fumic(cannondale factory) and nino schurter (scott-swisspower).the pace was unrelentling and we seemed pretty evenly matched until manny dropped with two laps to was,as it was the previous weekend,myself and nino,head to head.he was slightly faster through the rock garden section and forced a slight advantage at the end of the second lap.i gave it my all to close on the last but just could get to him,settling for 2nd.

it was a great feeling to be on the podium again after a tough season last year.thanks to everyone for the support and kind words i received.this week its on to the epic,psyched for the 8 day race...


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