Finally back to normal, finally Norwegian Champion, again! The last weeks’ been so hectic organizing the Norwegian Championship and Norwegian Cup. Being the race manager, I had a lot of responsibility and work to do. On top of this, my main goal was to win both the races, especially the championship.
Below you’ll find my race reports from both of the races.
The Norwegian Championship
With a soar throat and busy schedule ahead of the race, I was quite unsure about my physical level. I hadn’t been riding much the last week, couldn’t find time to prepare the bike properly and was a bit ill. I didn’t expect much before I started to warm up pre-race, even though I had one clear goal.
It was during the warm up I realized my physical form was great. It’s often like this, when I have several days without training, and feel totally shit, but in reality is approaching peak performance. This was one of those days.
I cleaned the first lap, while second place had 16 points. Second lap I failed on one big jump, and had to drop a foot. The rest was clean. Third lap had no particular problems, and I finished the race on one point. Second place on 24 (Knut Fosse), third place 47 (Joachim Skjævestad). Really happy with my riding, I was in the right mode and I could handle the sections.
Two times Norwegian Champion already, only eight to go!
The Norwegian Cup
The day after the NCh, we had the first out of five Norwegian Cups at the same venue. Me and Knut made the sections, and we did them a bit shorter and a bit bigger than the NCh sections. The suited me really well, except the last section (section 1), which had some pretty big moves in it. First lap I cleaned everything but section 1.
In the second lap my rear wheel lost the grip on a log (where the chicken wire was teared off) in section 4, and I dropped one foot. Kind of stupid mistake, as I realized I was landing in the slippy place before I jumped. Then my “bad luck” continued in section 3, where I barely was touching an arrow which wasn’t attached to a rock properly, and it fell off. Five points. Then I managed to get through section 5, but with three points, which resulted in nine points on the second lap.
When I started the third lap, I noticed Knut Fosse was riding really well, but he was still two points behind me after two laps. I then knew I needed to ride on two or less points in the third lap to secure the win. I hoped Knut wouldn’t ride on a clean, something he clearly was fired to do. I managed to clean every single obstacle in the third lap. But, in section 5 I had to work hard to get over the last obstacle, and got two penalties for time. I ended up with 16 points.
Knut, on the other hand, did his lap of his life, with full determination and great riding. He managed to clean everything, and scored the same as me, 16 points. But, he had more fives, and thus more zeros. With 11 clean sections, and me with 10 clean sections, he won! He really deserved the win, as he’s been one of the best riders in Norway the last decade, but never won a single race. Though he has been riding less than me the last couple of years, his natural talent exceeds my physical potential. His vertical leap is totally immense, and something I truly would love to have myslelf.
There are still four races in the cup, and I haven’t lost the overall title with a second place in the opening race. My motivation just got stronger, and I know no one in this country can beat me when I ride like I did in the NCh. My first race with zero penalty points is yet to come, but I have never been closer.
After all, I’m super happy with the weekend. We had some good weather, and some bad weather. There were lots of spectators, especially at the NCh. I won the most important race of the year (for me). Only negative thing was the lack of riders showing up. I’m really disappointed about that, as I think all the riders should show up if they want events like this in the future! I’m not going to organize another event next year if people don’t attend.
Riding the sketchy beam (Photo: Eirik Sæle):
Gapping (All photos below: Bjørn Magne Kristiansen):
Last obstacle in a section:
Podium with Knut (left) and Joachim (right). Harald filming in the background: