Yeti give us a great little insight into Cam Cole’s first World Cup race of the season…
The first stop on the World Cup circuit in Fort William this weekend marked the beginning of the season, and like all opening rounds, it gave us an early indication of how each rider’s off-season training would prepare them for this notoriously difficult track. Yeti riders, Cam Cole and Rich Rude hit the track hard and finished the day 16th and 28th respectively, with Richie earning the fastest time among the juniors. Jared Graves finished 37th.
We caught up with Cam after the race to get some insight into their training the race and expectations for the coming year…
“After nearly 40 hours on planes and in airports, I arrived in Scotland from New Zealand the Saturday before the opening round of the World Cup in Fort William. The plan was to stay in Edinburgh at a friend’s for the weekend, sample some of the local coffee shops, take in some sights and get the legs turning over again before meeting up with the team and getting to the race site. The week’s weather was looking warm and dry, and after Thursday’s course inspection, we could tell the track had already seen a lot of sun and was looking rough and fast. I had not seen the Fort William course in such a rough state since 2009 (the last year of the ‘07 course layout). Since rebuilding the track for the 2010 World Cup, the track had eroded and looked very similar to it’s brutal predecessor. I was looking forward to getting on the bike and getting the first practice session under my belt. It was going to be a tough week at the office for the team, but we were all excited.
‘Anticipation’ and ‘expectation’ best describe the first round of the World Cup. Coming in, it’s tough to gauge how hard you’ve worked in the off-season compared to the other riders. Athletes from all sports experience this, and the mental weight of rider expectations can be difficult to shake and can hinder performance. Downhill is such a mental race and it’s hard to stay out of your own head and just ride. All things aside, it was great to get a qualifying run under my belt on Saturday afternoon. I knew where I stood and I knew where I wanted to go. I was sitting in 16th, nine seconds back from the leaders. In the middle (and most pivotal) part of the course, I was struggling with the flat and very rough, rocky turns. After adjusting suspension settings and toying with different bar heights during practice, we were able to identify where I was strongest on the course and where we could make up time. Sunday was Finals and I left all doubts behind as I dropped in for my race run. I came out aggressive and smashed through gears determined to get my run underway at speed. My aggressiveness may have ultimately been my downfall as I stood up the bike and dabbed a foot in the first technical turn and lost a second or two. Regaining my composure, I was eager to leave nothing on the course. I attacked hard through the middle part of the course and maintained it through the “motorway” section and down to the line for a solid 16th place finish.
Round 1 of the 2013 World Cup is in the books. For me, two solid 16th places (Qualifying and Finals) puts me 14th in the Overall. I think my Round 1 result bodes well for my goal of a Top-5 in the 2013 Overall. After missing last year’s first World Cup round, I still managed an 11th in the 2012 Overall. Val di Sole, Italy is a week out and I’m looking to build on this weekend’s successes there and into the late summer World Cups. I’ve had good results in Val di Sole before and placed 5th in the last two World Cups held there. Here’s hoping my luck continues.”
Intro: Joey Schusler