European Championships – Sestola, Italy

I met up with the Swedish National Team on the Airport on Wednesday morning and everything was going pretty smooth, until we landed in Milan. Somehow SAS managed to lose 5 out of 6 bikes so by the time we arrived at Milan SAS had no idea where our bikes were. After some time at the airport we went to our hotel in Sestola, without our bikes, hoping that they somehow would arrive before Friday. Thursday passed and still no information, instead the team did the trackwalk which I must say looked really good and got me really excited just by watching it. Overall the track was steep and had some tight turns and ended with some hand build berms.

Friday came and still no information, which ment time for plan B, rental bikes…  We tried to make the best out of the situation but the bikes were beyond rescue. We did some runs but everything felt awkward and it was really hard to ride such a demanding track with bikes that were shit.

Saturday, qualification day and I was mentally prepared to ride on a rental bike with hopes that my own bike would arrive for Sunday.  Luckily Canyon Bikes came to rescue, they were able to lend us three bikes that were race ready.  They had two large bikes and one medium and since we have two taller guys on the team it was obvious that they would have the bigger bikes which ment that I got a size Medium bike. It felt a bit too short for me but it was still way better than the rental bike. I did three runs with the bike and then it was time for lunch. By then Oscar had decided not to race at all, he thought that the suspension on the Canyon bike was too soft for him to be able to do a good race run. I took the opportunity and upgraded from medium to large. I had time do to two runs on a freeride track to adjust the bike before it was time for the qualification run.  My first run on the competition track with the bike became the qualification run, but it felt good. The suspension was also a bit too soft for me as well but I still made it down as 33th with the time 2:43:9.

Sunday finally arrived and I did four training runs in the morning and felt more comfortable on the bike. My race run felt alright, had two skids were I lost some time, otherwise it was good. I improved my time and finished 27th with the time 2:40:2. A time I was happy with considering I was not racing on my own bike.  I want to thank both Canyon bikes and Swecycling for keeping the spirit high at all time and making this a great weekend after all. And an extra thumbs up for Annie, our team manager, for the hard work trying to get our bikes back. I am pleased to say, now 5 days after I got home, that SAS finally have FOUND our bikes. Such a relief! Too bad they’re 5 days to late..

 

Next up will be the European cup in Schladming in almost two weeks. That will be the first stop of my 7 week European trip this summer. For now you can enjoy some pictures from Petri Paananen when we were at the season opening of Järvsö bike park.

 

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