Catch-up July – December

To start things off I haven’t written here in a while.. I have come to a conclusion that I write to much content and therefor delaying the posts. We have about four months of catching up to do.

First off

World Cup, Val Di Sole 7/7

I came to Val Di Sole excited to ride a rough and dusty track but the “Valley of the sun” had some rain to share which got me off balance. The weekend ended with me crashing on Fridays training before the qualification in one of the steepest parts of the track and landed on my head. This one was a hard one for me, because it was the first competition I had to sit out because I felt like I had some concussion issues from the crash.

 

European Cup, Spicak 22/7

After Val Di Sole I had some “vacation” time with my girlfriend, we traveled through Italy and did a lot of hiking. Just what I needed to boost my batteries before this race.

Spicak was the first competition for me that I got in to a super final so I had some good memories and was excited to race. I felt confident right away on the track, it was basically the same as last year and it suited me well. After making five practice runs, I knew two places I could make up some time by jumping some bigger gaps. I was a bit nervous, but I made the first gap with no problems and felt confident going in to the second one. I miscalculated the length I had to jump and landed short and flew over my handlebar. (see pictures).
I landed on my left shoulder and snapped my collarbone.
That was the end of my downhill season 2018 unfortunately.
I felt bad that I did not get the chance to defend my national title but to be fair this was my first time braking any bone and I have been racing downhill since 2007.
I still ended up 34th in the overall European Cup rankings.

 

 

After about eight weeks with rehab and road cycling, I went to Järvsö to ride downhill once again. It felt good and I was happy that I could ride with only some minor difficulties.
Once in Järvsö I made the decision that I would race the nationals in enduro two weeks away. At this time, I also sold my racevan that I have been travelling with for more than five years and instead I bought a smaller one that I’m going to build for my upcoming journeys.

 

Enduro National race, Gesunda 16/9

This was my first race after the injury and it felt good to be back at the race scene again even if I wasn’t 100 % healed yet. The weather was great the whole weekend and the special stages were really fun. I had a blast riding and enjoyed being on my bike again. The result wasn’t the best, but the pressure was off and I had one goal with this weekend and that was having fun. I ended up in 12th place in the elite category.

After the season ended I decided to make some changes in my daily routine and quit my job at Lumek.
I worked three weeks for my own firm in Kungsberget shaping downhill tracks and really enjoyed being outside working on something I love. After that I started to work full time for Skoogs Mekaniska in Gävle.
In between fighting with some colds I am building the bus, training for the next season and trying to make a schedule for the upcoming races.

 

 

Annonser

European Cup, Abetone 1/7

This is a new venue for the cup and I was excited to see how the track was. We arrived Thursday afternoon and had some time to set up the pit and make the bikes race ready. The competition started with a trackwalk on Friday morning and a long training session after that. The track was long and started off with some technical sections that followed up by a long pedaling section into a bike park section. Then it got rough, technical and fast with challenging rock sections almost the whole way down.
I felt like I got up to speed pretty quick but in my third training run I crashed really hard. There was an inside line in the lower part of the track where you could jump off a rock. When we did the trackwalk it looked alright but now there was a hole just in front of the rock that created a sharp edge. I wasn’t aware of that so when I approached it I tried to stay low but instead I smashed the front wheel on the edge. My tire came off and the whole front wheel got blown into pieces. I flew straight out of the track and had the luck to land on some soft soil, in other words I was lucky that I could walk away with some minor bruises and a limp.
I rested by the bus for a while before heading up once more just to cruise my way down to look at some line choices. I woke up the next morning feeling sore, but I was still determined to do the race. I did three runs in the morning and then rested until it was time for the qualifications. I got down with an ok run but felt like I could do more. I just made it into the super final with a 29th place and a time of 05:09,2 about 16.6 seconds behind the leader. I felt like I had to do some time up for the final run. My plan was to make three more runs on Sunday morning but there were a lot of crashes that held up the track, so I only did two. I felt like I could at least better my time with a few seconds in order to get a time under 05:05. I got up to the top for my final run and did a 20 minutes proper warmup to get ready for a long race run. I had an alright run in overall but with some minor mistakes from which I lost some time. I improved my run and entered the finish line with a time of 05:08,5 about 18,4 seconds behind the leader that got me in to 22nd place. In the end I am glad that I made it through the weekend with a solid result. The only thing that bothered me was that I felt like I was way too far behind in time. I must continue racing these longer tracks so that I can perform like I want to on them.
Next up is Val Di Sole.

 

Crankworx, Les Gets 23/6

This weekend I raced Crankworx in Les Gets, wich is a Competition of its own, just like the World Cup or European Cup. When racing Crankworx you only do one race, there is no qualification run so to speak. The competition started on Wednesday with trackwalk and it looked all times. You can describe the track by one word and that is “fast”, the track was basically a one-line track with off camber turns on the grass and many brake bumps. The training started on Thursday and it was dusty and loose, it was hard at sometimes for me to adapt to the track, but I still had a good time. On Fridays training the brake bumps got bigger but I made some changes on the bike that made me feel more comfortable on the track. I also managed to do some timed runs and felt like I could do a good result compared to last years competition. Saturday arrived and we had a short training session in the morning before the race. I felt good and was ready to do a good run. When I started my race run I got surprised how dusty and slippery the track was compared to the morning session. After 30 seconds in to the run someone had ridden out a big stone in the middle of the track and I had no time to save the situation. My front wheel got washed out and I fell. I knew my race run was over by then. I cruised my way down to the finish line a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to do a proper race run, but that´s racing. You win some and lose some.

Unfortunately I don´t have any photos from this weekend.

European Cup, Kranjska Gora 17/6

This past weekend, it was the second stop of the European downhill cup that went down in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. We arrived on Wednesday night and rested on Thursday, so we would have some time to do an overall check on the bikes. We also took some time to do a trackwalk.  I raced here last year, and the track looked basically the same, it was only some minor changes so when the training started I got up to speed quick and felt comfortable. The track was a mix of sections with lots of roots and high speed sections, and I liked it a lot. On Saturday we had a shorter training session then it was time for qualification. I felt eager to once again make it into the “super final” aka top 30 final, like I did last year in Spicak. I got a good run going and went hard on the pedals just to be sure to make it into the super final. I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:31.4 and ended up in a 15th place, 4.4 seconds after the winner. I felt good and I had some parts I knew I could improve. I did some reflecting on my run and decided to look over some line changes for Sundays training. On Sunday I got to try out my new line choices and I decided to go with them. When it was time for the final run I felt confident and eager to do a good race run.

 

In overall I had a good run but I felt like I used my brakes too hard at some of the technical parts. I improved my run with 1.6 seconds but still got pushed back to 17th place, this time only 4.5 seconds behind the winner time. There was some tight racing so every tenth of a second counted, we were about five guys within the same second. This is my best result in an European cup so far, for that I am really satisfied, but you always want more when the times are so close.

Next up is Crankworx bike festival in Les Gets, I will be racing the downhill race on Saturday, I’m looking forward to it.

World Cup, Leogang 9/6

The first race of the European trip was the World Cup in Leogang, Austria. Leogang is known for being a “bikeparky” track which means there are mostly jumps and handmade berms. This year they made some changes though and made the track more natural, and it got so much better in my opinion. This competition I had the opportunity to represent the Swedish National team.

We stayed in Hinterglemm on the other side of the mountain of Leogang. The competition started on Thursday with trackwalk and the first training session was on Friday. It felt good on the training and I was enjoying the track a lot. I felt confident in the end of the day and felt ready for the qualification run. As I mentioned earlier there is only the top 60 that qualifies for the final run, and with a stacked field it makes it really hard to achieve a place in the finals. We had a short training session on Saturday morning then it was time for the Qualification run. I started the run with a big drift in the first corner and almost crashed. I tried to calm myself, but I had some more mistakes along the way down. When I got in to the finish area I knew that my run wouldn’t be enough to reach the finals. I reached the finish line about 23 seconds after the fastest time, not by any means where I want to be. I ended up in 123th place in overall.  My next World Cup competition will be Val Di Sole, 7th of July. Hopefully I will put down a solid run and make it something I’m satisfied with, I’m really looking forward to it!

The Eurotrip has begun!

Right now I am on my way down to Schladming, Austria with the bus. This will be the first stop of my seven weeks long Euro trip this year. With me this time is Adam Eriksson and Carl Blomqvist.

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The racebus with new logos for this year

We are going to Schladming for one day to train then we are heading to Leogang to race the world cup. For a couple of weeks ago I received my bike for this season, my Santa Cruz V10, if feels good to be able to compete on my own bike again. I’m eager to see how the bike handles some real downhill riding here in southern Europe.  I have longed for this trip for a while now, I am really stoked to go racing again!!

Sweden Enduro Series – Vallåsen

The second stop at the Sweden Enduro Series this year but the first Enduro race for me. I was excited to try out my new enduro bike on some proper tracks. With the Easter being this weekend, the training was on Thursday and the competition was on Friday. I had a really good time on the tracks. I had tuned in a good setup om my suspension and the bike worked like a dream.  It felt like a had a good overall speed going and I had so much fun I nearly forgot that I was training for a race. When Friday arrived I felt stoked and eager to race. There were 6 special stages that was around 2 minutes each. I rode good all day except one mistake on the third stage where I rode into a tree and got stuck for a few seconds. Unfortunately, that cost me a podium place. I was two seconds away from being third and four seconds away from being second. In overall, I had a great weekend and the thing I take with me is that I had a good overall speed going.

Losinj World Cup

It’s been a while since I updated the site. I did the World cup in Losinj about a month ago now.
So I’m just going to pick up from the days after the race in Maribor.
We had some days off after Maribor where we visited Ljubljana and then we continued by car down to Losinj, Croatia.
It was a beautiful resort, and not the first place that come in mind when you think of downhill. It´s a big island in the Adriatic Sea. We arrived on Wednesday night and had some time to check out the village. It felt more like you were on vacation than a competition with a venue this beautiful.

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View from the Losinj WC start

 

On Thursday we did the track walk and the track was basically a 2-minute-long rock garden with pointy rocks everywhere.
in the first half of the training session it was hard for me to find any flow in the track, but I made some adjustments on the bike later on and found some flow in the track.
They have made some changes for the world cup competitions, usually top 80 qualifies for the finals but now instead only top 60 will be able to race in the finals. With that Said and only 120 people on the start line for the qualifications, it’s a pretty high standard
For the qualification run I focused on having a smooth run down but instead I got stressed and started making small mistakes and was not riding the way I wanted at all. At last I smashed my bash guard at a rock in the lower section of the track, it left the bike unable to pedal so I just cruised down the last part of the track to finish a disappointing 110th place. I still have some good lessons to take with me to the next world cup in Leogang that is 7th of July. I think I need some world cup races as practice to get a good routine until I can perform where I want to be at.

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Photo taken by: http://www.niklaswallnerphoto.com/

First European Cup, Maribor

This past weekend it was time for the first European Cup in Maribor, Slovenia. My body still hurt from the crash in Lousã but that´s racing, sometimes you need to push past the pain. The foot held me back at some of the bigger features because it hurts from bigger impacts. The track in general is one of the most fun tracks I have raced. It starts with some fast-technical parts, a big rock section in the middle and ends with some flowy parts in the woods. The training went well, I felt confident and started to feel more comfortable on the bike. I have not received my new bike, so I am still racing on the borrowed bike from Järvsö Bergcykel Shop.

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Looking good in the fishing hat?

On my qualifying run I felt like I had a good pace, but I had to many small mistakes, I struggled with keeping the bike in check when I braked hard. I got down in 68th place with a time of 03:55, I missed the big final by almost 10 seconds. This race had a higher standard than it usually is on a European Cup. With the World Cup being nearby the next weekend a few world cup teams competed here in Maribor as a “warm up” for next weekend.
When I looked at the qualifying results I figured I had to do some changes for the final run. I tried a new setup on the bike to make it more stable and I also thought about making a few line changes for the final run.
On Sundays training I tried out my new lines and decided to keep the changes for my final run.
I strapped my foot once again and was ready to race. I got a good run going but halfway down I hit my brake disc on one of the stones in the rock section. It got bent and slowed me down a bit as it was slapping my brake pads the rest of the run. I made it all the way down and improved my time to 03:47 and ended up in 59th place in total. If it weren’t for my crooked brake disc I was satisfied with my run. I still have some things to improve but I am happy to get some time on a downhill bike and now I will recharge my batteries for a few days before I go racing the World Cup in Losinj, Croatia next weekend.

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Photo by: Jan Galic

 

Lousã Qualification & Final

Here is the follow up from the last post.
The qualification did not turn out the way I wanted. Unfortunately, I crashed at a bridge and got thrown over the bars. It ended with a DNF (Did not finish), a twisted ankle and some big bruises on my back/hip.


On Sunday morning I was unsure if I could do the final run. I strapped up my foot and tried one run in the morning and made the decision that it was alright to ride with. It hurt to ride with, but I could handle it. For the final run it rained a lot once again and the track got slippery and hard to ride.
I got down and felt like it was an alright run, the crash before had made me a bit shook so I felt like I could have ridden faster at some sections but I got down in one piece.
I ended up in 38th place with the time 4:31, about 20 seconds off the winner, not really where I want to be in time but I felt satisfied in the end that I got down with the injury.