Cairns World Cup
We had been looking forward to the Cairns World Cup for months and months. We knew that it may be the only World Cup we can get to this year so it’s kind of heart breaking when you put all your eggs in one basket and it doesn’t go super amazing.
We drove the battle truck up from Brisbane, 2 day drive. Little did we know, we were really heading into battle, what a race! We opted to drive so we could bring our trail bikes and explore some rainforest km’s before all the WC madness began. We’re on a tight budget so it worked out cheaper than flying, getting raped with excess baggage and renting a car etc. Cairns is such an amazing place to visit, let alone as a mountain bike destination! “Mountains”, fresh water gorges, epic rainforest, the reef, all the wildlife. Definitely one of our favourite places in Australia.
The Cairns track in itself was actually pretty basic for a World Cup track. In the dry. Fun berms and corners, technical sections, rock gardens, plenty of roots, high speed jumps, whoops, sprints. Bit of everything, quite normal. Add the rain and rain and rain and rain and it just became a mess. The volcanic soil in Cairns is the greasiest dirt can get when it’s wet. Spread it across already slimy rocks and roots and no tire tread or compound can help you. And because the track was not the steepest, it became so physical as you were fighting through the roots and muck. At times, you felt like you were going backwards and you were putting all out effort in to keep your momentum.
Despite the conditions, we were having a lot of fun and we were both riding great. So good to reunite with old friends, to be a part of the incomparable DH World Cup atmosphere. The crowds were wild, obviously, Straya. So much good energy around the place.
Things went wrong for me in my quali run. The infamous rock garden, which I was getting through alright, hurt me. Pretty bad. Slammed super hard and barely remember getting down to the bottom. Brought me back to the car accident just over a year ago. Couldn’t believe it. Same shoulder, ribs and pelvis all flared up again and fuzzy vision, headache. I basically knew then that any chance of me performing to my best ability was over. Race day, my body was in healing mode. It was tired, slow. Head was fuzzy, it was hard to tap into mental strength. And did you ever need it! I wasn’t sure if it was going to be safe for me to ride. So I went to find out. Went up for a practice run and it was pretty horrible out there. Picked my way down carefully. I decided that at least I’d be a part of the madness. Was going to have some fun. Race run, I slayed the rock garden! Even gave a little fist pump to the deafening crowd haha. But I pretty much felt like a muppet the entire run, crashing a bunch, pedals stuck on roots etc etc. If you couldn’t manage to keep your flow, it was just exhausting. Can’t even explain. But because I had such a shitty run, I made myself stand up and sprint the entire last stretch through the finish. No sitting allowed. Even though it felt like my bike weighed 500lbs caked in mud and my wheels would barely turn. It was my birthday and I wanted to feel like I put in an effort and that I didn’t give up. And it just goes to show how crazy the conditions were for everyone if I could finish 10th after an adventure like that!
Mr. Speed Trap:
At least he knows he was going quick somewhere! Chris took out the speed trap but had a run off the track in the lower woods. “Just kills your momentum every time you make a mistake in those muddy slow conditions and makes it such a battle, physically, to try to get going again. I was overheating at the bottom, I had to take my goggles off for the last sprint. Even though I ran off track Im still pretty happy with how I was riding and 31st is alright considering.”
Congrats to all the top riders and respect to all the privateers as it was especially a hard 3 days in the mud without big team support.
Special thanks to NSDynamics and Zelvy Carbon for sharing your pits with us! Glad to have a place to hang with all that rain.
We are migrating north next week, back to Whistler! Looking forward to starting another summer season.