Monday, June 29, 2009

News Flash: Team N-Duro win BC XC Champs

Shame we weren't eligible for the mint championship jerseys (on the right)
Nevermind, the N-Duro shirts look pretty good if we do say so.

Quick update.... highly successful day in Vancouver for Team N-Duro today, as both Nic and Cabin won their respective Elite races at the Cardiac Classic Xc (Doubling as the BC Provincial XC Champs for 2009).

After the dissapointment of Canmore last week, and on the back of a solid weeks training in Vernon, the race wins were contrasting in style, but equally emphatic.

On the tough, technical trails of Burnaby, Nic went to the front early and rode strongly. Controlling the race well, and eventually crossing the line with a minute in hand.

Cabin on the other hand, played a waiting game. Hovering around 4th-6th for most of the race, he sat back and patiently watched the locals battle themselves. Before attacking hard on a technical climb early on the last lap. Quickly building a lead he didn't relinquish.

So a pretty good day for Team N-Duro. And a great confidence boost for upcoming events.

Next up... a bit (a lot) more travelling midweek to get us over to Quebec, and then Canada Cup XC at Bromont on Sunday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Don't believe everything you read

Maybe I should be posting this on my coaching blog, but in the interests on community service I'll post it here.

Our heartfelt warning to you.... do not believe everything you read. True, many articles full of tips and advice are really quite useful. and most publications are pretty trustworthy, reputable sources. But not always. Read with a critical eye, as sometimes lazy journalism takes hold.

Case in point, the latest issue of Triathlete magazine, featuring "11 Pro Dirt Junkies Bike Handling Tips". You'll see below Nic looking a little perplexed whilst reading said advice. Not only is the published advice from different riders conflicting, but some of it is just plan sketchy. How about these gems

"avoid using your front brake, and tap your rear brake to control speed..."Might explain tv pic's of that rider totally out of control and crashing out of XTERRA worlds 2 years ago on the plunge?!

Or "Practice using your rear brake heavily, and slide around switchbacks." Rightio then. That'll ensure mint traction?!

Like I said, always read advice with a critical eye.

"Do not use front brake. Brake heavily with the rear. Hmmm. Didn't Gabby say to practice descending using only the front brake to stay centered and controlled?"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Canmore Canada Cup.... was fast, eh

So race one of the trip has been and gone, and was a bit of a dissapointing day really. To be fair, the feilds were pretty big, and the Canuck riders were all going pretty fast. It was race 5 of the 6 race series. But we were a bit average.

Cabin 22nd in the 45 (ish) deep men's field, and Nic 16th in the womens. Nic's report is below, so my short report goes like this....

.... cruised along at the start, avoiding the initial uphill mad sprint. Being reserved worked as after 5min's I was up to midpack in one long line of riders. Passing frequently I made my first mistake in settling on a particular riders wheel... was slow in the singletrack and by the time we popped into open spaces the rest of the field was nowhere to be seen. I chased hard and almost bridged up to a group of 6-7 riders (that turned out to be about 15-22nd)... before proceeding to make myself look like a road triathlete by dropping bottle in feed zone, running back to get it, tangling chain on my bike, then dropping bottle again with top off.... Big oops. And group gone.

I proceeded to ride the next 3 laps on my own... varing laptime by 20sec over all 3 8.5km remaining laps. So 22nd it was. Not too bad. Could be better.

Nics race...

"The bike is sweet, the rider is searching for 'what happened' at Canmore on Saturday (Canada Cup). 16th, 12min+ down. I have never had an 'off day' and my thoughts on this are that people who pull out the 'not my day' line just did not prepare well, it shouldn't happen.

Not sure if is was something in the air, or lack of air (altitude 1500m) but I didn't fire at Saturday's race. As soon as we hit the second pinch from the start the front end were accelerating away & I seemed to be stuck in first gear...not good. I sat in about midpack and made good time descending...a little too well and crashed hard off one of the many roots. 6-7 riders went past, once I had straightened my stem up & the next 2-laps I spent reeling them in again.It was plain hard work, I felt slow.

The harder I tried my legs threatened to lactate as I was bordering O2 debt with not alot I could do. It was disappointing; I came to race, top-ten at least. Credit to the race leaders though, these girls are going fast with Nationals in 3-weeks, it was a strong field and the 3rd Canada Cup race. I am in an early phase, perhaps not recovered from hours of travel, and a reasonable 10-day training period in Whistler. I am unsure but suspect I succumbed a bit to the altitude difference; it was certainly noticeable in pre-race laps & following the race. Same for everyone though, I am still disappointed.

We travelled down to Vernon Sunday & I have a good week ahead of me. I am feeling strong as I start my interval training. We have changed plans and I think I will race a BC Cup race this Sat in Vancouver to get me straightened out before the Bromont Canada Cup."

This guy turned up and made both Cabin's sideburns and speed look decidedly average

Stan's seals up almost any tire... and when it doesn't, add glitter. We had some issues sealing Nic's race tires, but I bet they look real pretty on the inside now?!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


In 5 hours time I should know just how my "form" is. We'll be a lap into the Canada Cup race here in Canmore, Alberta. It'll be interesting thats for sure. The track is physically very demanding, we are at Moderate altitude, and the Canadians are 3 weeks out from their national champs. Translation... going very fast.

Nic is at the start of her building phase towards World Champs, so should be solid. I on the other hand, only did my first set of intervals in months on tuesday. Nor have I raced an Elite UCI lap race in since Feb 2007. This might hurt?! Will let you know later today.

And Happy Birthday Mum!!!

Was a long, but rather scenic drive to get here
Fuelled by the compulsory Canadian specific food groups of course!
Not a bad view from outside our backpackers room
And I found this sweet Singlespeed contraption just down the road....
.... perhaps the bike belonged to the owner of the car I spied this sticker on right next door?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Canada, eh

So it looks like the 1st race of the N-Duro winter Series had a great turnout of riders, and some great racing. Kind of odd then that Team N-Duro was absent huh?! Well, we think we have a good excuse. This posting finds us in Canada (Whistler in fact), in the early stages of 7 weeks training and racing.
After 3 nights in Vancouver, lots of sleep, some great riding, and an exam (Nic's post grad study), we moved camp to Whistler for 5 days or so. Been here 3 days so far and been nowhere near the bikepark. No need, The place is littered with epic technical XC riding. We quickly learned that "easy" on the BC trail grading is anything but. Great for both skills and strength training.
Case in point... todays mission. A mint 24km singletrack that took us 3hrs (ride time). Literally thousands of corners, rocks, big drop offs, roots, you name it. Safe to say we're not riding in Rotorua mode here....!

We discovered some Vancouver climbs went pretty high...
... and that "easy" Nth Shore Single track is anything but.
Happy enough here. The 24km of technical is about to start
Nic on one of the few "non-tech" sections

So pretty happy to reach the top

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mid-Winter Xmas

Someone's got a new sponsor, and the accompanying delivery of new goodies parcels....

.... The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noted the extra couple of links that popped up a couple of days ago amongst the things that "make us go fast." Well, Nic was fast already. But now, just in time for the pending Canadian racing/training mission, Nic is delighted to announce Avanti as her new bike supplier. Combined with super bling DT Swiss Suspension and Wheels, and Kenda tires to keep the new rocketship stuck to the ground.

 It weighed all of 9.1kg  before the bling wheels, and we haven't even tried any weight weenie mod's yet. Just the ticket to assist her in her mission for a World Champs Top 20. And even better for Nic, is that she is proudly representing a kiwi company. Nice.