World Cup South Africa – Thursday

Alan Milway is – amongst many other things – Danny Hart, Stanny and Ben Reid’s personal fitness coach. For 2011 he’s travelling the world with Danny and keeping him in tip top shape. He’ll be keeping us up to date all season with live updates!

Here’s a slightly late update from Alan from Thursday (SFA is a long way from Bristol, it takes a while for these things to dribble down the interweb pipe!)

“Today was practice for the downhillers – a long session from 8am -2.30pm. However with the fairly convoluted uplift riders were only getting four, maybe five runs in. The weather has been hot and humid – sticky and overcast which means a lot of sweaty riders and the need to fuel up very regularly.

The track is drying up a bit (is wasn’t ever wet after last night’s rain, but has some spongey sections) but it looks like more rain on its way tonight.

First run down, Nathan Vials went over the bars on the steep rocky shoot and it looks like he has a broken collar bone. The poor guy had to endure over an hour strapped to a back board whilst the medics worked out how to get him down. Not good for the poor guy. I also hear Jess Stone was taken off to hospital, but don’t know the full extent of her injuries at time of writing.

I am no photographer, so will not try and capture the images from the hill, but bring you another angle on things from the pits:
Oakley have got a good hospitality set up, and a sweet matt black Jeep out front. Oakley have the style and are giving a lot of attention to their local South African Superstar Mr Minnaar.

The pedal section in the middle of the track is obviously very tough, but as it makes up a fair proportion of the track, bikes are being set up for this: Tyres pumped up harder (into the 30’s), seat posts higher, and Gracia even has a Rock Shox Reverb extension seat post fitted. Also note his different looking tyres.

Brendan is running a reduced cassette- only 6 gears on this one. Sam Hill looks to be running the same. Their bikes look much steeper than many of the others.

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One of the guys hanging out with the Rock Shox crew clearly doesn;t have bikes on his mind – a copy of Playboy for this guy to while away the afternoon…

With a Cross Country event also taking place, there are lots of xc riders out practicing and riding around the venue. However none grab the attention like Emily Batty.

Steve Peat is still one of the most popular riders around, these kids were stoked to each get a high five from the man himself. Tracy Moseley, World Champion and surely odds on for the win on this track. Says she is feeling abit rusty on the bike, but I’m sure the results won’t show that come Sunday.

The uplift trucks take a scenic route through a sugar cane plantation. It also passes a shanty, which is a collection of mud huts and shacks. A sobering site to see people packed in to such a slum area.

Tomorrow sees more practice and then qualifying, so check back for more updates then…”

 


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