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UCI World Cup, Round 1 - Lourdes, France, 11/13 April 2015

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After getting racing started last weekend at the first round of the BDS, the team couldn’t wait to get going again at the first round of the world cup series in Lourdes, France.
Team Manager Phil drove the race van out with all of the gear during the week, so that when the riders arrived everything was set up in the pits and prepared. We had fallen really lucky with our pit space, being placed next to some of the big UCI teams, and very close to the lift so we were going to see a lot of spectators walking past.
First day was track walk and we were all buzzing when we saw how awesome the track looked. It was a proper world cup track with a bit of everything: rock gardens, steep sections, fast sections, burms, jumps, loamy rooty tree sections. It had it all. We couldn’t wait to get riding our Trek Session 9.9s down it!
Unfortunately world cup practice is split into two groups, so we couldn’t practice as a team. Jamie and Pete were in group B so would practice in the morning, and Jack was in group A so would practice in the afternoon. Jack was pretty jealous when Jamie and Pete headed off to ride the track in the morning, and he had to stay in the pits and wait for a few hours.
By the end of practice everyone had had a great day and loved the track. Jack was in the timed practice session at the end of practice, and with a smooth fast run he did a 3.15 to put him into 23rd place. Knowing he had much more time left in the tank he was excited for racing! All of the riders walked the track again at the end of the day to check out how the lines were changing and spot new ones. Suspension set up was proving to be very important with the track being so rough, and the Fox race tech guys were really helpful in getting the setup right.
Qualifying day. Stressful doesn’t even begin to describe it. Everyone had good practice runs in the morning and felt confident to put in some good times in qualifying. Jamie was first up in junior and we’d been working hard to keep him calm and confident all weekend. He did everybody proud and despite having what he described as a rubbish run full of mistakes, he qualified 19th out of the 53 riders in the category. A fantastic effort for his first world cup!
Jack was next and couldn’t wait to get after it, excited to see where he would be at the start of the world cup season. He made a small mistake at the top but other than that was having a great run. Unfortunately as he landed the road gap, just over half way down about 15 seconds above the second split, he realised he had a rear puncture. With the track having very little pedaling, he decided that if he pushed on he would have a good chance of still making the top 80 and finals. At the second split he was only 7 seconds back, so he had time to play with as 80th is typically about 20 seconds from 1st in qualifying. He got within a stones throw of the finish when hitting a fast step up caused the tyre come off the rim and the inner tube started to wrap around the rear cassette. By the time he reached the final corner his rear wheel had completely jammed and wouldn’t spin. With still 200 metres or so to the finish, it took an age to get there with the wheel not turning. Despite still doing a time of 3.21 and only being 17.7 seconds back from 1st, he narrowly missed out on finals placing in 82nd, half a second off 80th and qualifying. The team was gutted.
Pete was next to have his go at qualifying. Unfortunately Pete had a poor run, saying he made a number of mistakes and couldn’t find his rhythm. He was certainly disappointed, but he knows that it’s more his mental approach to the qualifying run he has to work on, rather than his riding.
So young Jamie competing in his first world cup would be flying the One Vision flag on his own on Sunday in finals. Everyone was hoping he’d have a good run and take some time off his qualifying run and finish somewhere in the top 15. He had a big crash in morning practice and bruised his hip, but apart from this he was feeling fast on the track and looking forward to his race run. The rest of the team where distracting themselves from their disappointment by helping Jamie with his race prep, so he was probably the most looked after rider at the event that day.
Jack was with Jamie at the top before his race run to help him warm up properly on the turbo trainer and keep him calm before his run. When the time came he was ready to shred! Going through the second split in 4th it was looking good and like he was on course for another top 20. Unfortunately he then didn’t turn up at the finish. We waited and waited but nothing. Jack was back at the bottom with the turbo before he arrived, so everyone was starting to worry. Thankfully he turned up eventually and was ok despite a few more bruises. He’s had a big crash just below the second split on a hip jump in the gully and gone down hard!
So all in all it had been a weekend of mixed emotions for the team. There were some negatives, but also some really good positives to take from the weekend. Jack is on pace, Pete is riding well and just needs to do some mental preparation to set him up for the big race runs, and Jamie qualified at his first world cup, which is a great achievement.
Everyone at One Vision has to say a huge thank you to all of the team’s sponsors for their fantastic ongoing support: Trek, Oneal, Pacenti, MRP, Works Components, Fusion MX Design, Schwalbe, Bontrager, Mojo/Fox Suspension, Ticky Bikes, Rock Guardz, Dirt Factory and DNA Sports Performance
Bring on the next 5 weeks of hard training before the next race at Fort William for BDS Round 2. Everyone has a point to prove!!

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