It’s the end of another long day of shooting in the hot Aussie sun and my brain’s feeling a little bit fried. So I’m hiding in the air-conditioned media centre tent eating and drinking whatever free stuff I can lay my cheap bastard hands on while I do my emails. All the biscuits are long gone today so I’ve been reduced to eating fruit and drinking water – far too healthy for my liking!

Aari Barrett's team mate NIck Beer pining it through the rock garden

So far I’ve been pretty impressed with Canberra and the set-up for the World Champs. When I first turned up yesterday the track for the downhill looked absolutely bloody tiny and I was imagining race runs in the sub 1.5 minutes range! Luckily however, when I started lugging my heavy camera backpack up the hill it turned out the hill was bigger and the track longer than I thought.

Fingers crossed that a Wideopen team rider Matt Scoles bad luck hasnt followed him to Aussie

It doesn’t get much rain here and the track is dry, hard and fast but surprisingly undusty. I guess you could describe the riding surface as hard-pack with a tiny bit of sugary loose dirt on top. Traction seems to be pretty good for the riders. There are no huge wheel-ruts or tree roots, the technical parts of the track are either jumps or rocky sections. The two sections that seem to be challenging the riders the most are the big rock garden near the top of the track and a series of big BMX style jumps (including a big gap jump and three triples close together) about half-way down. The track does seem to be pretty pedally, although no-one’s going too hard on their practise runs, but I guess the fact that both Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough are riding Specialized SX Trails with Boxxers up front is an indication of the pedally nature of the track.

France's Mickael Pascal seems at home amidst the cold weather

Anyway, I better get my A into G and hit the road for the Pump Track World Champs – in a local’s back yard apparently, I can’t wait!

I’ll be posting photos and more bullshit as soon as I get a chance. Oh yeah, of the Kiwis I’ve seen practising, Wyn Masters is looking pretty quick. Will be good to see how our Kiwi lads and lasses go. Hill and Fairclough are also flying.

Sam's pimped SX trail


All text and photos: Patrick Fallon www.fallon.co.nz

Leave a Reply