New video: A natural Sunday

A couple of months ago I started to make a new natural trials video. The whole video was captured and edited on my Samsung Note 4 (except the intro and outro graphics). But, I totally forgot about the video, which I wanted to make a bit longer and better, and thus never managing to complete it (typical me). In the end, it became a short little flick, which I decided to publish instead deleting it. I’m kind of a perfectionist, and that’s why I haven’t been making any trials videos lately. Never am I satisfied with my own riding, I always want to make my next video better than my current level.

The object for me was to show the natural and technical aspect of trials riding. How every takeoff is different, how precise you need to be in the landings, but also explosive and with the correct technique. I’m not finished with this spot, and there are so many lines I’ve completed, but never captured on camera. I have a new project in mind, which I hope to complete in October/November, when the race season is over.

Until then, enjoy this one:

Race report from the world cup in Albertville

Almost a week since I rode the third leg of the UCI Trials World Cup 2015. Finally found some time and motivation to write a race report from the weekend. If you want to read some in-depth stuff from the race, here you go!

The quarter final
I rode the quarter final on Saturday. Started at 16:10, in group C. I have limited experience with such a late start, and found it really hard to eat properly before. I managed to almost eat some pasta and an omelette for lunch. That was not the best idea, as the omelette wanted to get up several times during the race.

The quarter final is intense and hard, with 60 minutes to complete 2×5 sections. Combined with heat and high humidity, I almost got a heat stroke. But I managed to complete the competition with an okey result.

First lap I cleaned the first two section easily. A good start is important, and I was happy. Section 3 was probably the hardest one, and I was struggling. I got to the second last obstacle, and the crux, where I failed and got five. The last two sections was no problem, and I scored a total of 5 points on the first lap.

Second lap the heat started to get me. I cleaned the two first sections, and rode better in section 3. Unfortunately I failed at the same obstacle, and got five. Exiting the seciton, I was almost throwing up. I was struggling hard with the focus on section 4. Couldn’t do a easy sidehop to a beam because I jumped too high, and couldn’t hold it when I landed. This meant I used too much time, and got one time penalty, despite cleaning all obstacles. Fifth section had a tricky log we were riding down, and on the last lap I lost balance, and had to save it with a foot. 12 points in total, top three in group C and directly qualified for semi finals. Hurray!

eirik_ulltang_world_cup_albertville_france_trial_inside_rear_wheel

Semi final
According to myself, I should qualify to the semi final at every world cup. Last year I got 4/5. This year I’m only riding three world cups (out of four in total), and so far I’ve qualified for those I attended. But, I’m still finding some of the obstacles hard with my current level, and I need to improve. On the other hand, I get a lot of penalty points at obstacles I can do with my current level. I just need to get the right focus before and during the race.

I got a lot of fives in the semi final, actually in 4/5 sections on both laps. The first lap I got through section 1 at 2 points. Section 2 and 3 I got fives. Just couldn’t get up the obstacles. Section 4 I got a five, but managed to get through it on 3 points on the second lap. Section five I got to the last obstacle on both laps on zero, but couldn’t do the last front hook. In total I got 45 points. That was the same score as two other riders, and after counting 0’s, 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, etc. I ended up in the middle of us, with a 19th place. Same position as in Austria, same score as France last year.

That’s it. Tomorrow I have shows at Birkebeinerrittet, world’s largest MTB race, then Norwegian cup at Saturday and Sunday, before I fly to Andorra on Monday for the worlds.

eirik_ulltang_world_cup_albertville_france_trial_inside_gap

Credit pictures: Trial Inside/Frank Chastel

Show video from Kristiansand

eirik_ulltang_sykkelshow_trials_show_kristiansand

I was born in Kristiansand, in the southern parts of Norway, and lived there my five first years at this planet. But, I have never done any shows there. So, it was about time!

Tone captured the first show, and I made a little video. Enjoy!

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Do not hesitate to get in touch! Together we can discuss opportunities and ideas.

Lucky number 19

My first world cup of the season is in the books. I’m not super happy, even though I managed to get one of my best results ever. My best world cup result before this weekend was 19th, and I managed to do exactly the same in Vöcklabruck (pronounced Fucklabruck). It’s just that I have more potential.

Bad first laps
I have a stupid habit of terrible first laps. This weekend was no exception, and I’m continuing the pattern from the European Championship. It seems that I’m a slightly better rider than I think I am. In some sort of way. I lack in confidence on a lot of the obstacles before the race, but then realizing almost everything is doable after trying them first.

I haven’t thought too much about this pattern before now, thus it’s good to finally realizing it. Time to find a solution for it. Any suggestions?

Finding my focus and balance in the qualification:
fucklabruck_1_kvalikk_web

New and stupid qualification system
From what I can see, it looks like UCI is trying to change trials to something else. I don’t know why they’re not happy with how the discipline is today? The way UCI is pushing trials at the moment, they’re creating a sport for the spectators, not the riders.  One of the most stupid changes they did this season, is a group based qualification system. All the riders in the qualification are divided into four groups. And the three best riders are directly qualified from each group, even though every single rider in group A is better than the best rider in group B. So, by having some luck, you could get assigned to a group with lots of weak riders (groups are based on ranking), and thus having no trouble qualifying. On the other hand, you could also ride in a group with only top riders, and having an almost impossible task being in the top three. Trials should be based on skills, not probability.

I experienced this first hand, scoring 15 points in the qualification with three other strong riders in my group. I then placed fourth, and had to be one of the lucky loosers. Since four groups multiplied with three riders = 12, and only 6/10 pre-qualified riders were present, there were seven lucky loosers at this world cup (so you have a total of 25 riders in the semi). But, the problem was that in group B, one rider got third place with 17 points. He rode worse then me, but he was directly qualified. How stupid is that? Luckily I became the last lucky looser, getting my deserved place in the semi final.

Semi final
In the semi final I again did a really bad first lap. 21 points, but almost finishing several sections. Actually I got to the last obstacle on zero or one point in two sections in the first lap, and then crashing and receiving fives. The next lap I zeroed two sections, got two fives and one zero and 11 points. 32 points in total, with the EXACT same score as Nils Riecker. But, he was faster than me, and got the 18th place. A bit of a bummer, as I would love to better my best result in world cup. New world cup in two weeks, and I’m fired to do a good first lap!

First time two Norwegians in the world cup
This world cup was the first ever with two Norwegian participating. Mads Lexander joined me for his first international race. He gave it all in the 1/4 final, and got through many of the sections. In the end he got 40 points, and a 36th place in the race. He enjoyed the experience, and he’s going to do the next leg of the cup too. I’m psyched for the Norwegian elite trials situation at the moment.

Some sketchy riding in the semi final. Luckily I got through on zero penalties:
fucklabruck_1_semifinale_web

9th at the European Championship

Chies d’ Alpago: Yesterday I participated in my fourth consecutive UEC European Championship. Every year I’ve managed to better my position with one place. But, the last four years, I personally feel my riding has progressed more than one position a year. So it was a great relief to get that confirmation yesterday, and thus getting my first international top 10 result.

Warming up before the race:
warming_up_uec_alpago_european_championship

The impossible was possible
I ended up on 9th place, with only stronger riders ahead of me. I was 15 points from a top 6 position, that would’ve secured me a spot among the top six and a ticket to the final. Ahead of the race I perceived many of the obstacles and sections as impossible for me. Some of the sections were quite scary, and objectively dangerous. So I did a few tactical decisions and I’m really happy with that. Not the way I would like to see trials riding evolve, but the best I could do with the situation yesterday.

Tough first lap
The first lap I got five penalties at every section. Of course I was not happy with that, but lots of the mistakes were after I had cleared the hardest obstacles in the section. Thus I knew I was able to get through most of the sections the next two laps. This was also my third race this season, and first international race, so maybe I needed one lap to get into the zone.

Better and better
The second lap I rode even better than the first, but unfortunately I had a few mistakes I should’ve been without. I bettered my score with four points, ending up with 21 penalites. At the third lap I started to get into the race properly, and rode really well. I got through the three easiest sections with respectively 2, 2 and 4 points. Also, on of the hardest sections, where I just marked five penalties on the two first laps, and had a go as the last section of the day.

No risk no fun
The section consisted of logs in a horse shoe formation, first going uphill, then flat, and then rolling down on the logs. Everything quite high above the ground with lots of risk (unnecessarily imo). I thought I had nothing to loose riding it in the end of the race. And I was right. I did everything in the section, but had to put a foot down twice to re-establish balance. Better than falling down and die I think! Also, I got one time penalty, ending up with three points in a section I thought was impossible and also a bit dangerous.

The results:
results_uec_euro_champs_trials

Best support ever
I want to thank the Norwegian Federation and especially Eddy for a great support in this championship. We’ve been staying at an small hotel (Dolada) with one star in the Michelin guide. So the food here is beyond great! Also, I have never had any better bike before. I been focused making it as light as possible, and weighted it at 8,1 kg before the race. So big thanks to GT Bicycles, TNN Bikes and Vee Tire Co. for sorting me out with the best parts.

The essentials:
gt_bicycles_tnn_vee_tire

100% at every show

I’ve come to a new conclusion: riding a show is physical more demanding than riding a race. Let me explain: when I do I race, my main focus is to ride as calm and economical as possible. Each section (UCI style) consists of several man-made obstacles, often with a flat surface between them. You can have a break between every obstacle, track standing for as long as you can afford within the time limit. I very often don’t reach maximum heart rate during a race at all. Average heart rate is somewhere around 150 bpm.

During a show, it’s all about having the best flow and impressing the spectators as much as possible. You can’t track stand for 20 second between each move, that would be straight up boring to watch. Also, in a show, you try to progress all the time. Every move and line is a little bit harder than the previous. That also means more and more physically demanding. Almost at every show I do, I reach my maximum heart rate. And the average heart rate is much higher than a race.

Here’s the summary found at my Movescount profile from one of the shows I did at Saturday. 180 bpm in average, and 194 bpm in maximum. That’s the highest heart beat I have recorded so far.

movescount_suunto_heartrate_trials_show