Spitting you out the forest and over the line. Cairns newest DH creation ready to see over 200 of the world's best riders tear it a new one. Join in tomorrow for all the action at practice, see who's going quick and who is first to be Rumbled by this Rainforest!
Flying through the final section of steep, a big triple drops you right into the final straight pedal to the finish line. You can feel the spiders and snakes snapping at your heels as you burn those last few to the line. Another demanding race track added to the rounds. Shame there isn't a big sender over the line, be a bit of an anticlimactic finish.
Hmm, not sure what a 'Stinging Tree' is but something tells me I don't really want to find out, or at least not touch one!
Still working flat out on it, the boys from World Trail putting some last minute modifications in to help the track run as best as it can. These guys have put some serious hours into to both the DH and XC tracks and it really does show. Top class digging and should make for one crazy race! Audio about how the track has come on and how the weather is effecting the trails. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/19_audio.mp3"]"
Roots...and lots of them. Off the whoops and the second of two gruelling XC climbs you drop back into the dense canopy and into a lot more natural sections. Made up of rooty lines, off camber corners and catch berms, this is really a section for the loose riders of the bunch.
Not really what you want to see on a track walk. Australia is pretty renowned for its fair share of bitey things, crawly things and big large snappy things. Tell you one thing, I will be thinking twice before I start bush whacking through the undergrowth!
Riding solo in the rain forest doesn't really seem like my cup of tea. Timing cables being set up and ran through the dense forest, not the most comfortable environment for a British person but the Aussies don't sweat and get the job done...'Its only a baby croc!'
The wide section just keeps bringing the goodies. Out of flat out right hander berm you are faced with 6 moto whoops, really big ones at that. Pretty much everyone stopped with jaws to the ground...'What!?' Unless you have a throttle and 250cc between your legs it will be difficult to make it through here. Matt Simmonds on his thoughts on the track and his approach for this weekend. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/15_audio.mp3"]"
A big corkscrew berm leads you into multiple option almost ski-cross like section where there is a few big jump options or some quick berms. Be interesting to see where the fastest line through here is.
Plenty of these signs dotted all around the track side, and something tells me its not because the lack of space, there are things inside here that you don't want to touch or let touch you. Going to make it interesting come finals for all the expected 'thousands' of fans!
From tight twisty turns slippery rocks the track goes a little wide, a flat out section which makes up a good third of the track. Pinned over big jumps, fade aways and berms this wide section at first looked really exciting, until the uphill! Two pretty big uphill sections break up this motorway, and when I mean uphill, I mean, out of the saddle and giving it some up hill. Almost local Wyn Masters talks about his thoughts of the track. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/12_audio.mp3"]"
Appropriate foot wear is always a good choice. Brand new white Converse trainers are some times not best for track walks. This was soon made apparent when sliding feet first through the mud.
Out the rocks and it all got a little slippery. This fresh cut trail being the perfect place for water to start working its magic in the clay soil. More than likely easier to ride than walk this section. Ruts should soon appear come practice and a line should form easily.
Walking through the dense unknown canopy of forest you get small glimpses of the scale and vastness of the rainforest here in Cairns. Not much going on up here in the bush, a few houses here and there and thats about it until you reach the flats.
Out of the turns and into the first technical rocky feature. A feature which will be very testing in the damp conditions. Tight left over a big rock and landing heavy into a boulder field of multiple lines which will rattle you through to a bottom right hand catch berm. Very much a make or break section which could win you some time if you pick the right line. Loic Bruni checking out the rocks.
Dropping into the top section and you are faced with almost a dozen steep switch back berms. Nice and smooth, hard packed with a few little rock features in between make this a really interesting and different start to a track. No pedalling needed here, just momentum through the turns to keep the flow to the bottom.
And the start gate stands tall for the first time since '96, over looking landscape and seas, ready to drop you into one hell of a track.
Breaking out the back of the adventure wagon and after a small walk to the top of the track you are greeted by a mountain view over looking the surrounding towns and resorts. From mountains to islands you can see it all from up here. Australia can really hold its own for one of the more beautiful places on the World Cup tour.
And so we jumped right on into it. Saddling up inside one of these sturdy Toyota's to the top of the hill. Which was no mean feat to start with. Opting for the shorter but straight up approach, the uplift road seemed more like a 4x4 adventure experience in the jungle than a ride to the top of DH track. The road being made even more technical by the recent rain, which has forced the trail diggers to pull all nighters to lay a new top surface in steep sections.
A stones throw from the beach and straight into the deep jungle. This is where it is all going down. Deep, dense and full of everything you don't want to be in here. Are you ready for the 'Rumble in the Rainforest!'
As most of you all are thinking, as did we, Australia land of sunshine and surf but so far it has been everything but that. Past few days of rain and cloud cover has made it quite the unexciting scene when you head out for your morning stroll along the beach. A big cyclone hit this area a few weeks ago which dumped a massive 150mm of rain, making it almost as wet as Wales here, only its 25+c.
Welcome to Australia and to the second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Home of sandy beaches, XXXX Beer & Crocodiles this is surely going to be one interesting round. Starting off with a whistle stop tour through Cairns. You soon find your self sipping on a smoothie down at the beach, Trinity Beach to be exact, which is only a stones throw away from the race site. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/1_audio.mp3"]"
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Laurence Crossman-Emms has been on the track for this weekend's race in Cairns and he has beamed over the first gallery for the weekend. Things are looking a bit damp out there at the moment as we catch up with Matt Simmonds and Wyn Masters to talk about the track as well as the guys who are putting the finishing touches to the surface.