The Gravity Cartel supported Major Cycles/Banshee Bikes Team visited Europe to attend round 2 and 3 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Below is a race report from team racer Bastien Major on both events.
Since last season, the team made the move on the big scene and now focussing on international events. This trip was the first big test of the season! Sam Thibault, our Elite rider was our only representative during the round 2 in Fort William, Scotland. For round 3 in Leogang, Austria, the team was complete with Sam and Daniel Shaw, our junior rider.
UCI World Cup #2 - Fort William, Scotland - 6-7 June
This was the first World Cup race for Sam this season. According to his total of UCI points at that time he was ranked 120 on the series and so he was able to train and ride with the fastest in the Group A. A good thing for Sam!
For 2015 the track received some new weird and really muddy section...and the weather during the week-end didn't helped. Rain, wind, rain, wind...oh and mud! The weather was so bas on the second day of practice/Qualifications, the UCI decided to cancel the practice and postpone the qualies for the next day.
After only 6 runs on the rough and difficult Fort William course, Sam wasn't fully ready for his Quali. Struggling with few sections and rolling the dices on some...he was hoping the best for his quali sunday morning. Fort William was a tough one for everyone and Sam included. During his quali he had 2 big ''near crash'' mistakes that costed him couple seconds and ended up just outside the top 80 in the 85th place. Better luck next week in Leogang...See ya Fort Bill!
UCI World Cup #3 - Leogang, Austria - 13-14 June
The team was out in full force for the race. I was there with the boys for taking care of their bikes, equipment, giving advice on line choices and shooting the event.
After a good (dry) track walk on Thursday, Sam and Dan were feeling good for this one. Just couple minutes back from the track walk a massive downpour washed the track and the Leogang Area. Friday morning practice were going to be interesting! Mud or dry tires?
After couple laps Dan was feeling really good on the course. Unfortunately it wasn't the same for Sam...During his first practice lap, he charged a bit too hard in a section and went over the bars in a rock garden near the bottom of the course. He hurt his left shoulder and his presence in the start gate tomorrow for qualies wasn't assured. After couple ice/warm treatments, pain killers, electrode massages and a support tapping Sam went for his qualification like a real soldier. As he wasn't in his top shape and his shoulder was hurting, he wasn't able to push it to his 100%. He ended 112th but still, he was happy to be one of the fastest Canadian attending and just taking his run was a good thing for him. Daniel, our junior had a good week-end on the track and was confident for a good placing during qualification. In Junior, Top 30 goes into Sunday finals. The bad luck wasn't over for this race...Dan hit a pedal hard in mid-course and wasn't able the clip-in for the rest of the track. He was 2nd in the Speed Trap!
That's it for the first Eurotrip of the team for 2015! It didn't quite go as we would have hoped but we had good times and the boys are coming back in Canada with more UCI World Cup experience in their baggages.