Apr 28, 2014 AUTHOR: Alan Milway
Dominant Start to World Cup series for MX Fitness riders!
Milway with Rach and Manon. www.pinkbike.com
2 World Cups
2 Team overall wins
1 Physical Prep Coach
It has been a great start to the World Cup season and these results are testament to the hard work put in by the riders during the winter. It is during these times, away from any attention or compliment by media, where the gains are made and it is only when the racing starts does one begin to see the rewards.
South Africa was the first World Cup stop, and this brings with it many challenges: the distance from home and the fact it is a ‘fly away’ race means no big trucks, no air con, no big workshop, no mod-cons…It also means we are going to have to deal with heat!
Tay post exercise cooling.
Managing this heat was a real challenge and implementing strategies pre and post exercise to cool the riders was important. There are many physiological benefits to this, but also perception of effort is reduced, which in this game is also very relevant with repeated runs and pushing to the very edge of your effort.
Tay pre race- shading and cooling vest
For the Athertons it was a tough race – Rachel was very ill in the lead up to the race, Tay was returning from his broken back and this was his first World Cup race back, and Gee was stuggling with a new bike that he hadn’t quite settled with yet.
I was very proud of Tay – he was mature, took adivce and rode smoothly to qualify 3rd, and finish 7th. We wanted him to get down and come away wanting more…and this certainly was the case!
Rach was a trooper – she watched helmet cam footage, rested, went to the Dr, and then dug deep in race runs to mount a challenge. 2nd on the day was amazing effort and shows her clear level of talent, skill and fitness.
Gee had a really difficult race- they made some big changes to the bike, and although it sounds like a Moto GP excuse, he really couldnt get on with the bike. 10th at all splits showed this, and although 10th is an amazing result for 99% of the racing population, Gee expects more. For him to apologise when he got back to the pits was humbling, the guy gives it everything and knows everyone around him does too. Everyone left wanting to right these wrongs…
Sam Dale looking evil and riding like a devil in SA
On the flip side the Madison guys had a storming start to the season. Manon hadn’t got to show her potential last year at World champs (due to crashing) so she relished this opportunity and grabbed the win after qualifying fastest. A real boost to her confidence and testament to her efforts and drive to win.
Manon 1st, Rach 2nd. www.athertonracing.co.uk
Sam has always had speed and strength, but putting it down during a run hasn’t been easy. he came in to this season with a new team mate and a clear drive to show he wants to be top dog – and laid down a storming run to get his best ever World Cup result with 7th place!
Matt was also suffering somewhat coming in to the race, and surely felt pressure having come 5th here last year. He has the speed and fitness, but the tank was empty after the illness – he still fought hard for 13th, disappointment d frustration were clear.
1st Team overall for Madison team!
Madison took the team overall win too which was an amazing achievement for this young team.
Cairns was another challenge with the sheer distance of travel and weather – hot, wet and humid! Warm and wet isn’t a great combination for keeping cool, and getting covered in mud every run made it difficult I am sure. The mechanics must have been working flat out 24/7!
Rachel getting muddy. www.athertonracing.co.uk
For the Athertons it was a very different weekend!
Rachel was feeling better and could show her form, taking a convincing win here, with an 11sec gap over Manon.
Tay was again very mature and impressive – qualifying high and finishing 4th after a crash which has left him angry at himself and hungry for Fort William!
Gee must have been thinking about bike set up non stop since SA and has turned a corner with it for sure, putting flat pedals on for the mud, he looked so strong and in control all the way down – winning by 4secs. A real relief for the team that bike and athlete are in the form expected!!
Rachel hiding her SRM unit in race run. Spot it? www.athertonracing.co.uk
Madison had another great weekend, Manon couldnt challenge Rach here, especially with a crash, but took 14 secs out of 3rd place, showing these two are head and shoulder above the rest at the moment.
Sam had another blinder – the camera showed mud all down his side, but still 8th fastest and the fastest split on the bottom of the track on the long flat pedal – go on my son!
8th with a crash! Sambo on form www.dirtmountainbike.com
Matt had a disappointing day for him finishing 19th. Still firmly in the points and plenty of motivation as he returns to UK.
Gee will accept nothing less than losing the ‘0’ from his number board. www.athertonracing.co.uk
The next World Cup in at Fort William in June. Back to work now, expectation is high!