We arrived at Val Di Sole on Tuesday and started to set up the race camp and prepare our bikes. The event started on Wednesday with trackwalk in the morning and an opening ceremony later that day.
The bike all set for the first day of practice.
Thursday was the first day of training and the track was really difficult at some places. This is a pure downhill track with roots, stones and dust, no hand built jumps and stuff like that. I had some struggle in the beginning of practice with remembering the track and which lines to take, but that I managed to improve for the next day. I began to get the hang of it and felt good on some sections. I started to split up the track in fewer stops and I could tell that this track was going to be physically hard on a full run. Saturday had a short training session in the morning and seeding run in the afternoon. I did two runs in the morning and felt prepared for my seeding run. I decided to take it very easy and rest at the flat sections so I could ride the technical parts with full focus and less arm pump. I still passed one guy that was starting in front of me, and almost passed another one when I jumped towards the finish area. I got a time of 4:20 and placed 79th. I felt like I had plenty of room for improvement and I also learned that there would be a bigger gap between the riders for the final which was a big relief since the startlist is the same for both seeding run and final run during World Champs.
Riding through one of the easiest part of the track.
Outfit for the race
Chilling in the pit
I did the same procedure on Sunday before finals, two practice runs in the morning. I felt really stoked and was ready to give it my all. I did a proper warm up at the top before the start and got in to a good mindset. My strategy for the final was to leave nothing out, so I sprinted out of the gate. I came in to the second turn and started to slide and almost crashed. I got stressed and it did not get better in the first wood section where there were tons of people shouting and revving chainsaws. I started to make rookie mistakes and rode new weird line choices that almost made me crash. By the time I was approaching the goal area I had a massive arm pump and I knew this was not going to be a good time. I still improved my time by 3 seconds and climbed up to 70th place. My hopes were to improve my time a whole lot more than that. Afterwards I think it would have been better if I just chilled a little bit more to reduce the arm pump and focus more on the technical parts. But hey, at least I learned a lesson.
Overall it was a really good weekend and I am glad to say I came home free from injuries and one experience richer. Thank you once again Swecycling for giving me this opportunity and letting me race World Champs. This race was never really a part of my season plan, only the fact that I was invited to participate in such a big event was amazing for me. It’s always been a goal for me to attend World Champs as a senior and I’m really pleased to have achieved that goal. Hopefully I can keep up the good work and maybe even race World Champs again for the years to come.
Jonte and me in the hot seat after our runs
Redbull TVClick the Redbull link above to see me riding at world Champs! Im starting at 13:46! Further details about how everything went down comes out in my next post!
Last weekend I unfortunately got sick and had to skip the enduro race in Gesunda. I got a fever and did not want to risk anything a few weeks before the World Championships.
At this very moment I am heading down to Germany to watch the Eurobike exhibition, in my bus as usual. As company I have Leo by my side this time, our mechanic for the World Champs. After that we are going to Serfaus Fiss Ladis for a day riding our bikes and further down to Val Di Sole where the race is going to be at. I am going to post a link here later on where you can follow the race live, home from your computer/device.
Here are some extra pictures from Nationals in Bygdsiljum, enjoy!
The photos are taken by Susanne Nyberg and Nils Brännström.
This weekend it was time for the yearly National race, which was held in Bygdsiljum Bike park. I arrived at the scene on Friday morning and started with walking the track and preparing my bike before practice started. It was a long training session so I had plenty of time riding every section of the track. The track was newly built just for this occasion and it was a typical ”Swedish” track. Pretty flat, rocky, rooty, partly technical and around 1:30 in riding time. Both Friday and Saturday had long training sessions and pretty wet conditions that made the track hard to ride. I struggled a bit on Saturday with getting a stable full run because it was all slippery, at least I figured out some new line choices. When Saturday finally arrived I woke up with that race day nervosity. I was really focused all day out, I did two runs in the morning. The last one was a full run that I was pleased with, you can watch it down here.
The qualification run went good with only some minor mistakes and I qualified as 1st at 1:45:06 with a 3.79 seconds gap to the second place. I got a real confidence boost and was eager to do my final run.
The qualification run determined where you started in the final run and in my case I started last. It was strictly full focus when I got up to the start, memorizing the track and doing a proper warmup for the final run. At least I was alone at the start gate and sprinted as hard as I could. I felt like I had a sloppier and a bit messier run compared to the qualification run but I still managed to cut 2.77 seconds. I finished as 1st again, this time with a bigger lead at 4.12 seconds. I was so stoked and happy to pull this one off. It has been a longtime goal for me to stand on the podium at the Nationals and to finally do it and also to be standing on top of it, it´s just the best feeling.
Photo from the magazine Norran.se
Photo from Nils.Brannstrom@Instagram
Podium, taken by: Fredrik Eriksson
For all you swedish readers here is a article about the race from Norran.se
Other really really great news is that I am going to be representing the Swedish National team once again. This time in the World Championships that is located in Val Di Sole, 11 September. I am really excited about this race!!
Next up is the Gesunda Enduro this weekend and it´s time to drag out the 29er to race once again!
This competition is a real challenge for me, because it’s not a track that I’m used to. The track is very different compared to home. There is only few line choices, it kind of just balls out on a single track that in the end of a race weekend tends to get really beaten up.
Every track has different characteristics and normally I’m more used to roots and stones but this track is mainly a dirt path.
Thursday night ended with one of the biggest thunderstorms I’ve ever witnessed and the rain poured down really hard. Friday started with a slippery trackwalk and continued with a rainy training session that ended four hours too early because of more thunderstorms.
I only got to do one run on Fridays practice so I was one of the first guys to ride the track on Saturdays training. The track was a lot drier then, but it was still really slippery on some parts.
This race I was ranked as 31th and I felt like this was the time for me to enter the big final (top 30). I managed to get a decent run but I was not really prepared on the massive arm pump you get from the big brake bumps in the track. I missed the big final by almost 3 seconds with the time 4:19 and finished as 37th.
I was a bit bummed about missing the big final, I decided to let it go for the moment and to put all my focus on Saturdays final instead.
15 minutes before I was supposed to go up with the lift on the finals, my front brake decided to give up and I got really stressed out and had to change the front brake. I rushed up with the lift and got to the start in time. I had a decent run, I felt like I was pushing it but I rode some of the turns really bad so I did not expect to get a good time.
I still improved my time by 8 seconds and finished as 38th (7th in small final). It is my best result so far in a European cup so I am still very happy with my result even though I didn´t make it to the big final. It’s still fun to see progress with my riding and it makes me eager to see how far I can get.
Goal area after qualification
Picture from the lift on Saturdays training
After the competition we took a few days of riding in Pila, La Thuile and Lac Blanc before we went home to Sweden again.
This has definitely been a good Eurotrip, I’ve met a whole lot of new friends and had some really good days riding my bike. Hopefully I will do a similar trip next year.
Since I have stored a lot of images and videos from this trip, there will be one more post when I have time to go through them.
If you’re interested in my riding you can hit the ”follow” button to the right, it will send you a notice when I do another post. Otherwise you can always find me on both Facebook and Instagram.
German Cup – Brandnertal
We arrived on wednesday night and decided to take a day off on thursday. Mostly because we had som work to do with the bikes but I was also starting to get a cold.
Friday it was the same setup as recent competitions, trackwalk followed by a long training session.
This track is 2/3 full of roots and the other 1/3 is a bunch of jumps. The rooty woods stayed wet and slippery the whole weekend and it was hard to stay on the bike.
On Saturdays training session Adam unfortanuly crashed and landed on his head in one of the steepest sections so he had to go visit the hospital.
He did get a crack in his neck and that was the end of his euro trip. I stayed at the competition and did a decent qualifying run and finished as 31th with the time 3:16. I felt I had more to give though.
After the qualifications the sky opened up and it started to pour down for a couple of hours. The track changed a lot for the finals on Sunday and all the roots became a real issue.
Unfortunatly I crashed in the first wood section during my final run, I hit a root with my front wheel and the next thing I knew I was lying on my back. I knew my run was over by then so I just cruised my way down to a 51th place.
Not the best weekend for me, but at least an experience richer.
European Cup – Spicak
Spicak is a track that I actually raced on a few years ago. It looks pretty similar to a swedish downhill track, pretty flat and lots of stones. We arrived on wednesday night and rode the bike park on thursday. Friday it was trackwalk and a long training session afterwards.
My main goal for this competition is to qualify for the big final (top 30). During the qualification run I tried to push hard to get in to the big final but instead I got stressed up and rode some parts of the track really bad. Just before my race it started to rain as well, some parts got wet meanwhile some were still dry which made it really hard to go fast.
I came in as 47th at 3:20.
For the final I changed tactic and tried to take it a bit easier and find the flow of the track instead of pedaling hard and stressing everything up.
It paid off and I improved my time with 4 seconds and ended up 55th place in total (25th in small final).
Berm in Spicak
Sprint into goal in Spicak
After Spicak we had two weekends off from competing, instead we took it a bit easier during these two weeks and rode our bikes just for fun.
We got some footage that I posted on both Facebook and Instagram.
This weekend it was time for the awaited race in Schladming, It´s always fun to race here. As I mentioned in the recent post I was a part of the Swedish national team this weekend and it has been really fun times with the crew. The schedule was the same as every European cup, track walk and a long training session on Friday.
The training on Saturday started with a slippery track. The mud tires came to use and it was really fun skidding through the corners. My qualification run started in 16:44 and the track had dried up a lot by then, but just before my run it started to rain a little. I had a decent run and finished 72th in 4:38. About 15 minutes after my run it started to pour down so I was really lucky.
Sunday also started with a wet and slippery track. By then the track had really taken some damage and big brake bumps and roots made the track a whole lot harder to ride. I decided to make some different line choices on the most technical parts of the track. Same as Saturday the track dried up a lot for my final run that was at 13:46. I made my way down with a few mistakes but nothing to big. I improved my run by 11 seconds and finished 17th in the small final. A result I am really pleased with. It felt good on the bike and I had really fun race run. After the small final was done it started to pour down once again and the track completely changed for the boys in the big final so I cant really compare my run with theirs. But in total my race run took me to a 21th place. If you would say all of the guys in the super final was faster than me I would have ended up in 48th place.
This was for sure one of the best racing weekends I’ve ever had. Big thanks to the Swedish cycling federation for a fun weekend and for the support you guys gave me, I really appreciate it. For all you Swedish readers out there here is a summary from Swecycling about the race: http://scf.se/mountainbike/presentation/landslagsprogram/trackwalk-i-schladming/
Also thanks to Jesper ”Jeppman” Andersson for delivering top notch pictures!
Next weekend it is time to race in the German cup in Brandnertal, It is for sure going to be fun!
After Willingen we went to Winterberg for one day of riding and after that we continued to Schladming for one week of riding and to prepare for the upcoming European cup
It was fun riding in Schladming and we managed to get a lot of photos and GoPro clips both me and Hampus. From there we went to Zurich to ride their concrete pump track/bikepark, it was really fun and nice to get one day off the downhill bike.
Flow jump in Schladming
Scrub in Schladming
Later that day we drove to Morgins to compete in the IXS Swiss cup. The training started on Friday and began with a trackwalk as usual. The track had really steep turns almost the whole way down except in the middle, it was a bit flat and had lots of roots all over the track.Later on we had a four hour practice session and the track was already falling apart after 2 hours. The turns started to get deep ruts in them and more roots were popping up in the forest.
Saturday it was time for the qualification run and it started with some training and meanwhile it rained a lot. The rain continued throughout the whole day. I was supposed to start my qualification run at 17:30 but there were a one hour delay due to the weather. The track had completely changed by then and it was mud and roots everywhere. I crashed in a berm and fell down in my run and got a time of 5:51 that took me to a 37th in place.
On Sunday it was time for Finals. The track was still beaten up from Saturdays rain and riding and it did not get better with another 3 hours of training in the morning. To clarify things a little bit, this was for sure the muddiest race iv’e ever done in my racing career.
I had a pretty good run and came down at 5:27 and a 21th time in total. It was hard work with 30cm deep mud at some places and the track was pretty long too so it was physically hard. My main goal was to at least get a top 20 result and I didn’t quite make it, but it was still a fun weekend riding my bike.
After Saturdays training
After Saturdays training
Starting Area – Morgins
Berm in Morgins
Next up is Zurich once again to do some pump track and pick up Adam Eriksson that is going to join us on our European trip for a month.
From there we are going back to Schladming to do the European Cup.This race is going to be pretty special for me because I will be racing as a part of the Swedish National racing team. I am really thankful to be a part of the team and i’m stoked to go racing in Schladming!
We arrived at Willingen on Thursday evening and and went for a ride with our enduro bikes first thing. It was nice to ride again after a long drive from Sweden. On Friday we inspected the course and after that some training. It was a pretty easy track if you compare to other European cups, in other words not that technical. On Saturday it was training in the morning and qualifications in the afternoon. Between the training and the qualifications the sky opened up and it started to pouring down. I decided to go with a pair of mud tires and it was the right choice. I finished as 43th with a time of 2:30:55. I felt pretty good about it. It was my best placing in a European cup so far and i felt like i could go a bit faster on the technical parts of the track as well.
On Sunday it was the finals and it rained even more during the night so the track was really muddy in the morning. But it dried up a lot for my race run.
My race run went pretty well, I had a pretty stable run but with a few mistakes that cost me a little time. I finished at 2:22:93, a run that placed me 59th in the total (or in other words 24th in the ”small final”). I got pushed back a few placings but it is still my best result so far in a European cup so I am satisfied. It was still also my first competition this season so for me this was a good start and something for me to build on.
Last week has been a little bit hectic preparing for this years European trip. I have made some improvements and installed better ventilation, extra batteries and a solar panel. I also striped up the bus with sponsors and a picture.
Right now I’m on my way down to Willingen, Germany for the European Downhillcup. I have looked forward to this trip for a long time now and I’m really eager to start competing again. I will post next time I get Wifi/ time.