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Training Trip To Malaga - February 2013

malaga feb2013The weather has been horrendous in the UK since the start of the New Year.  At the end of January I was sat booking plane tickets and planning a training/racing trip to Malaga in Spain and Gouveia in Portugal for March and thought, I can’t wait that long to ride in the sun and on those dusty trails again! So I booked a 4 day trip to go back to RoostDH in Malaga over the weekend of February 9/10th! And a wicked trip it turned out to be!

I arrived on the Friday morning at 10.30 after a 6am flight, then spent the whole first day getting used to riding in the dust again! Riding flat out and feeling comfortable on the bike in Malaga takes a good few runs because the trails are so rough and loose! By the end of the day and after a run down my favourite descent which we know as ‘the Antenna downhill’, I was feeling great and back into it.

malaga feb 2013Day two was spent at the seaside venue of Torox. This place is one of my favourite venues with 3 different downhill tracks all finishing at the beach. With only a short stop for lunch at a beach restaurant I had done about 15 runs by the end of the day! Unfortunately although it had been sunny all day it wasn’t quite warm enough to justify stripping off and jumping in the sea after all the riding! Maybe in March when we’re back there for the next trip!

The third day was another cracker, in fact they all were! We started at the short downhill track on the outskirts of Malaga city itself, then moved on to Antenna downhill before lunch which is always amazing. It consists of every type of terrain you can imagine stretched over 2.2 miles, and with 700 metres of vertical descent! Complete awesomeness on a downhill mountain bike!! After lunch we headed to a venue next to a massive quarry which is a bit more of a playful set of tracks and nice for the end of a long day on the bike. We smashed out a handful of runs before heading home.

malaga gokartThat night we headed to the Go Karting track for a big race!! There were about 10 of us and the rules are pretty nonexistent – smashing, cutting over the grass, more smashing… pretty much anything goes in Spain. And when it’s a group of DH mountain bikers behind the wheels of the karts, you can guarantee wild racing action will happen! With a cameraman on hand to film all of the proceedings I’m sure you will see some of the footage somewhere in the future. I finished third in the end behind Richy Thomas and Mark Scott following a rough battle for first! They had both been before which was clear as they were hitting all the racing lines through the corners from the start while the rest of us were trying to figure out the track, but I gave them a run for their money!

Day four was a proper epic! We started at the venue of Arhen on the Gorazd DH which is over a mile long consisting of fast top section, technical rocky upper mid section, sandy rocky lower mid section, then very rocky narrow river bed lower section which is very difficult to keep your flow going. I had a drama on the way back to the Antenna DH track where we’d planned to finish the day, losing two of the pivot bolts somewhere on the journey, which was about 50 miles long. I knew there was a chance they’d fallen out on the last stretch, which was up the rough uplift road, so I spent an hour walking the uplift road looking for them. Amazingly I found them both, saving the rest of my riding trip!! We finished the day with two awesome runs down Antenna DH and that was it for another Malaga trip! I’ll be back out there with RoostDH for 3 more days training in March, before heading to the UCI event at Gouveia in Portugal. Until then it’s cold, snow and rain in the UK…

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