Monday, July 28, 2008

Vallnord bike park, Andorra



Pinner going large on the world cup track at Vallnord. This park is a bit more developed than La Molina and had just hosted a World cup race. Yes the one with the Atherton domination.
It has some tracks developed by some of the worlds best riders including local hero Cedric Gracia, previous world number one Anne Caroline Chausson and some big Northshore and a whopping great 4x track. Along with the recent world cup there hd just been A Maxi Avalanche cup race that Tom participated in. The track was wicked, steep, then flowing and then some pretty horendus up hills but still very good.

Boy like Pinner, First riding trip abroad and he loved it.



Ian sending it for the New Devon Army


Just hook it on and go to the top. This is the way to ride big mountains.

All the rest of the info here: Vallnord

La Molina, Kona bike park,Spain

Actually no photos from here just yet.

We arrived here to find that there was an open weekend with the Kona clump team including John Cowan, Grant "Chopper" Feilder, Andrew Lacondeguy, Luis Lacondeguy and others all taking sessions and guiding some kids down the trails. I gave a tube to one of the Dirt jumpers how had a flat right at the top of the dh tracks.It was his first time riding dh. Didnt cath his name though but we saved him a long walk.
This place is wicked and was some of my favorite riding from eh whole trip.
The trails included the Catalonian Champion ship dh track which was some of the steepest riding ive ever done. Fast, Loose and rocky with a bunch of tech thrown in. 1.7 km long with 350 mtrs of vertical descent.

Check it all out here:http://www.konaworld.com/08_bikeparks_lamolina.htm

I think from the Kona site it was the 2009 product launch. Still i had my trusty stinky so no need for a new bike just yet.

Spain and Andorra are shaping up to be my favourite places to go ride. Check it out soon.

I thought i was in Spain, not Utah



Any one seen the Roam dvd? This was half way down a 14km descent on the out skirts of La seu d'urgell Spain, just down the road from Andorra. Coro told us about this natural descent and we had to do it as it was our last day. He forgot to mention he had never ridden it on his mtb, only on his motocross bike. Real free riding. The pics dont do it justice as to how amazing the scenery was and how rough and steep the trail was. The top section (below) was just like the sand stone of Utah and perfect for jumping.



Crazy moon land.



Arty flower shot.



The trail was not quite as sweet as honey, it definatley had a sting in its tail.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Victorious.



Chris "faggot" From Green Badger racing, not sure where Chris finished but he did despite a few off bike moments and mechanicals.



Adam "Pinner" Price. Boy did good, not known for his love of peddling his Giant Glory up hill Adam rode very fast down and placed 11th over all for juniors. Top marks mate.





Mud sweat and no gears. Savage racing conditions. The Brits should be used to this yet we still haven't had a winner here. Except for Danny Hart, 1st place juniors and he's only 16!!





Podium action. Men's finalist's

The main event.


Wooo, line x! Yup that's almost right at the back of the second wave of 400, only 750 riders to get through to claim my first place!


The only pic i have of race day before the bad stuff. The weather was crap to say the least. It goes like this: 5am start to make it for my start time, raining and generally stormy weather around the mountain, top cable car not working, queing in rain, getting cold, confused as to whats going on due to poor communication from race staff. Heavy rain, i mean heavy making the track, now not starting on the glacier very very wet and pretty dangerous. After 4 hrs of waiting and not getting any nearer the top of the mountain, 2 hrs past my start time i gave up and pulled the race. No snow, no race. For me it is all about the mass start from the top of the Glacier, not an extended version of the qualifier.



Remy Absolon Redbull sponsored winner of this years Mega blazing the field.


All was not lost though. For the main event the riders that managed to get up the mountain before the hypothermia set in were treated to some sunshine as they sprinted the final section through the town.


Yeah, all was not lost, with support like this who wouldn't peddle faster?




The final 100mtrs had some of the closest racing. For most of the bottom section of the course this is some of the widest track and the only place to pass. A few big crashes right on the finish line proved its not over until you cross the line.

Mega Avalanche 2008 Qualifying heats.



The boys on a scouting mission a few days before the race. L-R Andy Iley, Ian Putt, Tom Klampfer,Philberto, and Adam "Pinner" Price.

Before the main Mega race there are qualifying heats, your start position for the heat is determined by when you signed up on- line, i was quite early and got a race number of 244, this meant I started on the 3rd line of the second heat. A pretty good start position as it meant not too many people in front and the track wouldn't be to cut up. Although the hundreds of riders down it in the days previous had already seen to that. To qualify for the main race you need to finish in the top 50 of your qualifying 200. All i had to do was stay in the first 3 lines of my heat. Easy...




The official race jersey, not every one gets one of these bad boys, only the early registered. Not wearing the too small jersey got you a nice time penalty. It was a snug fit to say the least.

Early doors up the mountain, Qualifying started Dome des Rousses above Lac Blanc at 2800mtrs, there the track wound down through the famous switch backs where most of the carnage happens, as 200 excited and position hungry rides explode off the line its a mad dash for the best lines round the first gigantic loose and rocky corner. I fared OK but Phil starting in the same line as me had a massive pile up which eventually cost him his seeding.
More photos to come when i get them from none riders. I got way OK only to see Tom whizzing past from 4 lines back. Should have had my seat up.

A few crashes along the way, in the snow at the top due to slow moving traffic, over the bars on a long off camber traverse that i had ridden well all week, and a huge high speed over the bars crash floating a nice rooty section in the swoopy wood section near the bottom slowed my final time by a couple of mins, i should have peddled harder up the hill (fat chance) but over all a good ride with plenty of effort got me in to the second batch of starters for the main race.


Qualifying time 38.40.13 mins 80th in my heat and 34th in Masters for my heat. Happy days.




The finish line in Bessy d'Oz at 1250 mtrs.
Tom got over the line in just over 30 mins . Qualifying 10th. Very good. So Tom, Ian and Adam all through to the main event. See what luck they have in the next edition of 3bsports



Mr Andy Iley having just finished his first mtb race of any sort! What a way to start. High Five!

Monday, July 21, 2008

3bsports on tour

Yup, I'm back from a two week trip to the French Alps for the biggest Mountain bike race on the planet: Mega Avalanche. Instead of going to the planned following destinations of Switzerland and Italy we ended up in Spain and Andorra!!? Only the other side of Europe then!
So check back for lots of exciting blog action coming soon including the Andorran bike park reviews, wonderful natural Spanish trails, hot springs, hippies and more!