Yep, for the last two weeks I've been on the road with my good mate and Swiss destroyer Ramon Hunziker. Starting from Switzerland, we loaded the van with ourselves and way too much stuff, and started driving towards the smell of fresh croissants, the sound of frogs sizzling on the grill and the sight of the beautiful French Alps.
Chatel Mountain Style—a freeride, big mountain, pick-your-own-line style of comp—is held at Chatel Resort, France. I've been twice before and had a blast so it was an easy call to choose to show up again.
The weather wasn’t looking too flash on the forecast and the pounding rain on the van window was complimenting the weather forecast geek's handsome salary. Damn lucky we brought mud tyres!
The first ride on the course was hectic! It was insanely wet and slippery with mud that stuck to your tyres and bike. I spent most of the run one foot off in no control of my bike whatsoever! The hotel room seemed like a better idea so we headed back and hoped for better weather in the morning for quals.
We awoke to blazing sun beaming down, drying out the muddy slop and everyone was pumped. By the time 3pm rolled around the course was running sweet! The weather was looking shady for the next day which was supposed to be finals, so the organisers said “cut loose today, it might not happen tomorrow”. I took their advice and went hard in my quals run, getting pretty loose on a few fast parts, floating a backer over the road gap and holding it together down to the bottom which was good enough for 4th place. Stoked. My travel buddy Ramon scored himself a flat tyre which he was pretty pissed about!
Sure enough the rain came the next day and they canned the finals. Can't say they didn’t warn us! Anyways I was stoked with 4th place overall and €1000. Paaaarty!!!
We headed back to Switzerland to grab the hardtails and cruise to Crankworx Europe in Les Deux Alpes, France. Driving to the resort was pretty epic, the road winding up with massive alps either side. We showed up to the hotel and caught up with all the rad team from Teva, chowed down a few croissants for brekko and went to ride the course.
The course was pretty gnar. It was heavy on the first day to see Mitch Chubey fall off the whale tail feature and compound break his leg and also Sam Reynolds break his back on a double flip gone wrong. They both went to Grenoble hospital to join Thomas Zejda with his two broken hands, and some French dude with a broken shoulder. Carnage!!
http://youtu.be/D9vvyRjUYkg GoPro footage of one of my top to bottom runs at Crankworx.
The event organisation was pretty loose and the weather was a little shady, but somehow we managed to have a comp on Sat morn. People were getting pretty wild, some crazy shit went down. Mega French shredders I've never heard of just throwing down!
In the end Semenuk destroyed the field as per usual—big tricks on lock and unbelievably smooth and calculated. A well deserved first place. Ramon and I had pretty clean runs; I grabbed 9th and Ramon 10th. I was stoked on two top ten FMB gold event finishes this Euro trip.
With the comp done and dusted there was nothing left to do but drink a lot of beers with the crew and paaarty all night and ensure that the drive to the airport in the morning absolutely sucked! Euro life!