Cross Vegas Is Coming

I am Pleased to announce that I will be competing in the upcoming ‘’Cross Vegas’’ race held in Las Vegas, America on Wednesday the 10th of September. I am beyond excited to be lining up in the same race as World #1 Lars Van der Haar and #2 Sven Nys as well as the American National Champion Jeremy Powers. I have been training hard over the past 4 months in preparation for this event and hopefully can have a race to remember for the years to come. With a 25 000 strong crowd expected and the race being held at 10pm at night I honestly don’t know what to expect. I am not the only Australian rider going this year with two of my Focus Bikes team mates going as well and also NSW State Champ Garry Milburn. There has been a strong local scene in Newcastle now with a lot of publicity and sponsors jumping on board what is the newest most exciting sport to hit our shores. The race will only last 60 minutes consisting of a predetermined course of 3.3km with obstacles placed around the course making riders either get off or have to navigate their way over them without falling off in front of the screaming fans. As the days count down to the race the excitement is building and I cannot wait to get on the start line and show what I can do!!

cycling-vic-21jun14-3999

Photo Courtesy of (www.ridingfocus.com)

Port To Port Documentary 2014

If you missed  The Port To Port Documentary a few weeks back be sure to check it out below. I was lucky enough to not only have the race in my backyard but to also be the featured rider.

A big Thanks goes to the Port To Port media team. Focus Bikes Australia, Breakaway Cycles and Mum and Dad.

Get your entry in early because it sure to sell out in 2015 !!

 

National CX RD 5 – Adelaide

After another early arrival at the event site to set up the Focus tents and flags I found myself helping set up and marking out the course. This was a god thing as it was very clod and gave me a goo insight into every little bump and undulation that laid around the course. After about an hour’s work it was ready to go and I headed for the comfort of the Focus setup and started to relax and watch the early riders start their practice and warm ups

2:00PM – Time had flew and I had had a very long and thorough warm up this time using a lemond trainer that Team Mate Mark had spare at his house. Soon enough I was on the start line with some 70 odd riders lined up behind me and for the first time I looked around and realized that a lot of the riders next to me and also behind me were very well respected riders in their own eights and I knew wit was going to be one mighty tough race.

The gun when off and I got a great clip in and was off I was pretty much at the front going toe and toe with Chris Jongewaard around the first sweeping right hander and into what would be the finishing straight. My legs felt great and I didn’t want to get swamped by riders trying to move up so I put in an attack immediately leading into the first narrow section of the race course. Coming into the technical climb and descents called the roller coaster. I managed to get a small gap of a few meters that I managed to stretch out to about 15 meters a little further on. I started to get a rush of adrenaline seeing everyone lined out just trying to catch up any gap in front of them but lucky for me I got a clear track for the first lap. Soon enough the very minute gap I had was pulled in and a lead group had formed as I moved straight into second not letting anyone else other than Chris J in front.

2:10PM – A large group was forming with a slight easing of the pace along the wide open straights allowing those who had a slower start to make up valuable ground. After about a lap or so at this pace it was quickly brought back up in speed as riders recovered and started to attack trying to reduce the size of the group. Unfortunately when you feel like you have recovered in a CX race chances are everyone else has as well and as soon as you attack they will just ride straight back up to your wheel (at least for the first half of the race while everyone I still somewhat fresh)

2:25PM – The constant changes of the lead made for different paces being set every lap with gaps starting to form when exiting the technical sections I knew it was starting to get a little bit harder for some riders. I sat in and tried to say every bit of energy I could by not pedaling or just trying to carry more momentum into certain sections. This would later com in had when the attacks started to come later in the race.

2:35PM – No one front the front group of 8 or so riders had been dropped yet and as we moved onto and open fire road section former national champion Alan Lacone attacked getting a small gap as the other riders tried to respond. The group started to stretch and riders were dropping the wheels in front and I knew that I had to try and get around the two riders in front as they were leaving a bigger gap that wasn’t coming back at all. A lap passed and the group was pretty much nonexistent and almost in the exact same spot where he attacked was Alan on the side of the track trying to fix some sort of mechanical issue.

After this As soon as I could I quickly passed the fellow riders as we moved into the more technical part of the course. I tried to hold my speed through the steep climbs and descents and into the rollers and barriers where just after was some off camber muddy corners. I was on the front of the group of three and tried riding the section faster than I normally would looking for the green grass as I knew that was where I would get traction and it worked I got a gap as the riders behind slipped on the darker grass and mud. This was all in need to get a small gap and start putting some distance in between myself and them.

2:40PM – I was sitting in as far as I knew was the top 5 and could see a rider just up ahead only about 10 seconds in front. I came through the start finish getting told that I was in fourth and started to try even harder to catch the rider ahead. I was feeling quite good and strong through the most part of the race and I seemed to be making up ground on the rider ahead.

2:50PM – Another lap had passed and I was within a couple of second of getting onto 3rd places wheel. Even a simple mistake from him and I would have been right there but that was no to happen and he had looked back I the finishing straight and seen me coming and turned on the after burners to put more of a gap back into me. This was pretty much the final straw with me not having much of a fight left in the tank to make up such a gap in only two short laps I just rode a consistent pace trying not to make any mistakes and whilst not letting the riders behind myself catch up.

In the end I finished with 4th place in RD 5 of the Elite Men CX series race and was quite happy with the result as I have some big races yet still to come. Thank you goes out to Mark and Anna Chadwick for the hospitality, The Focus Boys, Two Wheel Industries for the AGU Body Products and My Parents.

Australian MTB Team Application - Christopher Aitken