Banshee Bikes Factory Team Riders Matej Charvat (CZE), Reece Potter (NZL), Matt Walker (NZL), Tom Matthews (NZL) and Stanislav Stehnal (CZE) at the first round of the European Downhill Cup in Maribor, Slovenia.
Music: P.O.S. - How We Land
Video: Moritz Zimmermann
Write up by Matt Walker
Loading up the van on Thursday afternoon we had no idea what to expect or what was in store for us at the first round of the iXS European cup in Maribor. After a long drive in the pouring rain we made it and set up camp in the middle of the night.
Waking up to a rather wet car park and without walking the track we took a bit of a gamble and put on the new Maxxis shorty tires on and headed up the hill for our first look of the track.
The wind coming down to the start of the track was pretty intense nearly causing a wee mishap for team Banshee rider Tommy Matts and a near miss report had to be filled out after being nearly blown off the bike.
Was hard to look at lines or anything with us kiwis just frothing about riding a new track so we ended up pretty much just riding it all, not looking at much then proceeding to just punch out way too many practise runs because the track was running too good not to!
On the second day it had rained a lot over night again but the track had deteriorated massively compared with the day before, new ruts and holes had formed and some places were rather slick! By the time seeding rolled around it had dried a fair bit and the ruts and holes were big enough to hide a 5 pound 6 ounce new born baby.
The boys all took it easy and got through seeding with young pup Stanley in the top ten.
Race day rolled around and it had rained again over night just a little. The day was looking decent just a little overcast. Our mornings practice was slippery with the track getting noticeably faster and rougher as the day got on. By the end of practice we were feeling alright and were left with a rough and slowly drying track which resulted in some last minute tunes and tyre changes for race runs.
All the kiwis struggled with putting together a decent race runs struggling for flow and consistency on a track so different to anything we have in New Zealand.
This race was a good wake up call for all the kiwi riders making the transition between NZ to European tracks, for Big Matej the snake man Charvat having known the tracks capabilities salvaged just a little bit of team pride finishing less that 3 seconds off 2nd place.
All in all it was a good weekend, all the boys had a blast and came away with a good lesson learnt and take it away to the next race! Chur cuz.