Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Injured at X games

The X games is kind of like the Olympics for action sports only it’s invitation only and is held every year.

I qualified in 3rd position which I was really happy with as it is my best qualifying position in a major event this year and gives me more confidence in my qualifying gradually improving.

Unfortunately on the qualifying day it had been snowing all morning so the track was considerably slower than the day before in practice so I landed on the flat on one of the features when I didn’t have enough speed to make it to the landing and in the process bruised the underside of my right heal. It sounds pretty lame but it is actually very painful!

I was unsure about weather I would be able to race in the heats the next day but in practice on that morning it didn’t feel too bad (all the ibuprofen I took probably had something to do with that) so I decided to go ahead with the comp.

In my first heat I wasn’t quick out of the gate so fought from 4th place into 3rd (at the X games you are in heats of 6 with the top 3 going through to the next round) I passed into 2nd briefly when I took extra speed into one of the turns but as I was on the inside line which wasn’t the fastest line I went back in 3rd position pretty quick. Then we were coming up to the second to last jump when the two girls in front of me speed checked and rolled over the jump instead of jumping it. I don’t know why they did this as I had been jumping it in practice that day and I made the landing fine. So as I was directly behind them I had a choice of A, speed check as well and follow them over risking the girl behind me passing as I was dumping speed or B, go to the right of the jump and jump it. In that spilt second I chose B. I went to the right of the girls in front and jumped off the jump with as much force as I could. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough after the speed I had lost with the last minute turn I didn’t have enough momentum to take me all the way to the landing of the jump and I landed on the knuckle (where the ground goes from flat to sloped) as a result of that I lost speed allowing the girl behind to over take me on the run up to the last jump, much to my annoyance as you can imagine!

At the bottom I took a ski-do back to the top for the small final (places 7-12) but as I was on the way up my heal started to hurt more and more and I realized I had damaged it further from the final flat landing and I wasn’t going to be able to keep on riding so I got the ski-do driver to turn around and go back down the hill to the medical centre. Another girl also pulled out from the small final due to injury and as I had qualified above her my final position was 11th and she was 12th.

I was very disappointed with that obviously since I hadn’t got the result I was hoping for and I am now injured as well.

At the medical centre they told me that nothing was broken which is good news but just that I have to avoid all impact for as long as it takes to recover. The more impact I have the longer it will take. I am hoping to compete in a grand prix competition in the US next week but that is looking pretty unlikely now. My next world cup starts on the 11th of February by which time I hope to be back up and running.

Monday, January 19, 2009

World Championships

Yesterday was the finals day of the world championships held in Korea.

We had qualifying the day before and I qualified in 8th position. I think I could have got a higher position as I was riding fast in training but my two timed runs both had mistakes in them unfortunately. I qualified in the top 16 for the heats the next day though which is of course the main thing.

Yesterday I had a bit of an up and down day.

I had a good start in my first heat (up)

I miss timed the second feature so got passed and went into first turn in 4th (down)

I passed into 3rd (up)

I passed into 2nd (up)

I passed into 1st (up!)

I did a back flip off the second to last kicker half a second after gaining the lead (down!)

I didn't hurt myself on the landing by landing on my head or anything, probably because I made it almost all the way round and back onto my feet again (up)

I finished 11th overall (down)

But that's around 10 places higher than my last world champs so things are on the (up)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bad Gastein, bronze medal!

I competed in 2 world cups over the weekend both held in Bad Gastein, Austria.

The first one didn’t go too well for me. I qualified ok but in my first heat a girl just behind me lost control over the rollers near the start and flew across the course diagonally and took my board out from underneath me. By the time we both got up and got going we were too far behind to catch the other riders. It is really annoying that things like this happen in boardercross quite often as there is nothing you can do but you just have to accept it.

The second world cup went much better for me! I qualified in 4th place which is my strongest qualifying position in about 3 years. It also meant I got to pick my gate for the first heat.

In my first heat I was against the same people as the day before with only one change which was a bit déjà vu like. I went great the second time though as I got in front by the end of the first rollers and held the lead the whole way down.

That put me into the semi finals where I had 2nd lane choice because first choice went to Lindsey Jacobellis the current world cup leader. It was pretty tight at the start but Lindsey and I pulled ahead and both went through to the final.

The final consisted of me, Lindsey, Dominique Maltais and Alexandra Jekova. There was a lot of contact between us all near the start which ended up in me and Alexandra being left behind the other two. I passed Alexandra about half way down the course to finish in 3rd position and claim the bronze medal. There was a question about whether there was some unfair pushing by some of the riders while we were all bunched together near the start but it wasn’t clear enough on the video so nothing came of it unfortunately.

It was great to get onto the podium, there seems a massive difference between 3rd and 4th!
I am in Korea for the world championships now. We had training on the course today and qualifying is tomorrow. I came 4th in the World cup here last year and after my 3rd in Bad Gastein I am feeling pretty confident right now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1st at the German champs

Today I competed in the German national championships and it was great!

It was quite a long day because they ran qualifying in the morning and heats in the afternoon.

I won the qualifying by a pretty big margin. My time was 1.01.34 and the closest one to me was 1.04 something! In a sport where it is not unheard of for one person to be one hundredth of a second in front of another to win by 3 seconds is amazing if I say so myself.

After lunch the top 16 girls went back to the top for the heats. I won my first heat, won my second heat and then won the final. By a ways.

It was just a great day! Everything went exactly to plan and came off wonderfully. I even won every one of the starts in my heats, an area I usually struggle in.

To top it off I worked out after that my qualifying time would have put me in 24th place in the men’s competition. (There were 90 men competing today)

I am spending tonight in Munich then driving to Bad Gastein tomorrow for the next world cup of the season. I hope to do there what I have done here today! I believe the race in Bad Gastein will be shown live on Eurosport 2 in Britain at 8pm on Sunday night so I will try to make it a good show.