When it comes to the Cross Country Eliminator Aussie Paul Van Der Ploeg is a natural. Oh and a World Champion. However with a recent shoulder surgery and not a single XCE race since Pietermartizburg last year, the odds were against him.
The weather was no picnic either, the heavens opened up and the rains poured down. From the start line there was about 3 metres of hard wooden boards and then the real fight for traction began. There simply was not a 100% chance to lay down power bar the finish straight, it was all about picking your chances and staying upright. …View More
2013 XCE (Cross-Country Eliminator) World-Champion Aussie Paul Van Der Ploeg and XCM (Cross-Country Marathon) Champion Aussie Jenni King recently traveled up to Sunny Cairns to check out the course and venue for the upcoming World-Cup being held in April. They were treated to an amazing, bright, vividly green layout and were blown away with the brand new courses. They both highly commended the level of technicality and variety in trail for the course, appreciating the changes of riding style and the buffet of line choices and ‘technical a-lines’ making up multiple passing opportunities as well as offering some spectacular viewing for the crowds! With all thumbs up, we look forward to seeing them back repping the rainbow jerseys and bringing Australia home to gold!
So the world cup series for 2012 has been run and won. Nino managed to clean up with a win at the world cup final and the overall series (even after missing 2 rounds). It is safe to say that he is an absolute machine and the clear favorite for the Olympics in two weeks….
For me the World cup in the French ski resort of Val D’Isere was always going to be hard. At 1850m altitude and with a relatively non technical climbers track I was in for a tough day even if I was feeling good.
Preparation was pretty standard for the race with nice weather all week then to make things interesting the morning of the race rain decided to sweep through the alpine valley. It cleared then rained and repeated this process for most of the day. The women were pretty lucky, but as the call up started for the mens race it was becoming clear that the mud tyres were a good option (thankfully I had already made the cal for safe tyres, while others chose to risk it with the dry tyres).