On Saturday I woke up at 03:30 to do something never done before. I decided four hours earlier that I wanted to ride the trail which leads to one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway: The Pulpit Rock. The trail is pretty much defined as unrideable. That’s not something I care about, and I looked at it as a great challenge.
The trail is 3.6 km from the bottom to the plateau. It consists of big boulders and stone steps. Some parts are rideable – the normal way. But, most parts you have to jump step by step. Kind of exhausting, but after a while I got into the rhythm, and I actually enjoyed it.
I only made errors three times, which resulted in three dabs. Two dabs at the very start, in the easy parts, guess I wasn’t completely awake. Then I got one error at the very moment I could see the cliff. Lost focus. A part from this, I had two times off the bike – on purpose. One time because I had to get rid of my jacket. It was quite cold in the morning, but I guess you can imagine I got a bit warm after jumping around like an idiot. Second time off the bike was when I met this artificial wooden staircase almost at the top. Where you are going down! The steps are so worn, they have no edge left. It wouldn’t be possible to jump backwards step by step. And, riding it head first would result in a crash, as it was wet and very slippery, ending up in a sloping rock plateau. Not any smart idea. The rest of the trail I rode 100%, no cheating, no periods off the bike. We filmed the entire ride, but due to limitations with the cameras, we had to restart the recording a few times. I guess watching the entire two hours is something for those very interested. Hook me up if you want to see it.
I really appreciate all the positive feedback from this «stunt». So stay tuned for things a bit more crazy in the future. Next adventure to be published very soon!
After completing a 4900 km roadtrip in the Peugeot, I’m finally home for a few days. The trip started with Euro champs in France. Not the best race, both organizing and riding wise. The sections were really sketchy and often dangerous, and my motivation wasn’t 100%. Ended up with a 15th place, which is not my worst result, even though my 9th place in Italy last year is something a lot better.
Drove from France to Austria via Switzerland. Stopped a few days at Jerome Chapuis’ place, got some good riding done. Thanks to Jerome’s parents for the best hospitality!
Then over to the highlight, the world cup in Vöcklabruck. Good sections, good organizing and good riding from me. Won my group in the quarter, and rode almost as good as I should’ve done in the semis. Ended up with my best ever world cup result, a 12th place. Really stoked on that, very motivated for the next one in two weeks time (Albertville, France).
The world championship is slowly approaching, now 23 days ahead. I feel my level is constantly improving, and compared to last year, I’m a lot better. Hopefully I can manage to get out my potential in the worlds, not really happy with my 19th place in both 2015 and 2014.
Videos from the world cup here:
I have been very busy with lots of stuff not related to progression and performance on the bike lately. Organizing the Norwegian Championship and -Cup, organizing trials at the Extreme Sports Week, moving in to a new flat, lots of shows and driving to shows (like 12h each way kind of driving). On top of that, I hurt my knee pretty bad at the ESW, which resulted in me being unable to maintain my normal training regime for 1,5 week prior to the world cup this weekend. It’s safe to say that my expectations weren’t sky high.
But, I also thought that maybe a 1,5 week break from riding could give me a boost in recovery and some kind of a blank slate. Though it felt strange to warm up the day before my quarter finals in Les Menuires. I was lacking technical confidence and stability, and my knee was painful. But, really, how much skills can you loose in 1,5 week off the bike? Not much, I guess. I realized it’s mostly a mental kind of thing, and changed the whole situation to my advantage.
I started the quarter final in the worst possible way. First section, and I got one point of the first obstacle. Just silly, wrong choice of technique, and a very slippery concrete element. Then, when I jumped down the last obstacle of the first section, I messed up, maybe I slipped a bit, and landed almost two wheels at the same time from a around two meters high drop. Boom, and my handlebar snapped (non-Echo) straight off. Luckily I managed to save it with one dab, and could roll out the section with only two points. Then some super stressed 20 minutes were next up. Mads Lexander did a great job as a minder/filmer, and he ran down to our flat to find a replacement handlebar (that’s tough at 1900 meters). In the meantime I removed the broken bar, brake levers and grips. We did a good team job, and 22 minutes into the quarter finals, I was riding section number two.
With a 70 minutes race, lossing 20 minutes in one section is dramatic. Also, the race was held at those already mentioned 1900 meters altitude, so you need a bit of a break between the sections. Luckily we managed to stay cool, and with the exception of a dab in section two, I cleaned everything else for the rest of the race. With a total of three points, I was number three in my group, and directly qualified for the semi finals. Krakow redemption time on!
The knee hurt a lot after the race, and I went to the pharmacy to get anything that could enhance its condition. Ice, compression, pain killers and some natural medicine the pharmacist recommended. Placebo pills at best. Ready for semi finals.
Last year, the semi final sections often had a bit too big obstacles for me. Luckily my winter training has given me a lot of progression in this area, and only a few obstacles where on or just above my capacity. I started the semi final the best possible way, by zeroing the first three sections. In the end I got four fives, and two single dabs I could’ve been without (rolled off the pedal once). This gave me an total of 22 points, 10 points from the finals cut. A 14th place, which is my best race result ever.
After a messy trip home with a GPS fail (drove on a red flow through the entire Geneva downtown), delayed flight, missing bike bag and missing the last airport express train and thus missing the tram home, I woke up to the awesome fact that I’m now ranked 11th in the world, only five points form being top 10, which is a huge goal of mine. So motivated for the Euro champs and next world cups this month, better ride well to deserve this ranking.
Enjoy the videos from the race in Les Menuires, filmed by Mads on the Ricoh WG-M2, and edited by me.
Featured image by Marco Patrizi.
Check out these awesome race photos by the young talent Stian Vesterinen. Such a great weekend in Norheimsund, so happy to win both races, and not to forget the new participation record in a Norwegian trials race, both days.