I’ve been away for a while now and am definitely in the groove of things over here, it’s a pretty relaxed scene but everyone is really keen to ride and all the races attract a lot of riders. The last couple of races we’ve been to have been cool starting with this street race, it was in the city of Gaia which was unbelievable, it was my first street race but found it so good. Me, Bond and Fester all entered and got straight hucking and neck slapping right away! The course was wicked with two double stair sets right out the gate, twisty cobbled street sections and wooden doubles over cars, these were funny as it was possible to tyre bonk the roof leaving the dealership owner looking stoked. Race pits were in the centre of the city and people were everywhere producing big crowds for the race who were really excited to see people crash down the long stair sets and do jumps over their heads. At night we headed up to Portugal’s highest ski resort, there wasn’t heaps of snow but it was a different world compared to down the bottom, we got some mean off roading and drifting on the snow, almost getting it stuck a few times being super determined to get up snowy banks, I fell off a snowy roof and Bond went sunbathing asking the snow plow driver where the beach was in his boxers and aviators. Time to move on I think!
After the race we went to Lousa, it seems we keep coming back to this place and never ride the same track twice. I got big sprinter stuck in the only bog in Portugal on the first night as I was reversing into our gypsy field. The riding here was cool and we sessioned different single tracks and the four cross track. Some of it reminds me of innerliethen but really high speed and tight in the trees. The gradient isn’t super steep everywhere but in the mellower sections you find your pumping, turning and jumping all the time so keeps you concentrating hard. I’m going to miss this place now for summer, a huge thanks to everyone that helped us out there doing the uplifts and showing us all the tracks.
Evans – Lousa….
After Lousa we went to Fafe for the 3rd round of the Portugal national, the Maxxis cup was coming here the week after so quite a few people turned up for the extra practice. This was going to be my last race in Portugal before heading over to France for the 2nd round of the world cup. I was really keen on doing well here as have had a ‘fairly steady’ stream of results so far. The track in Fafe didn’t disappoint much like everything we’ve rode since we got here. There are steep turns at the top, nice jumps and rocky with drops at the bottom. Its like riding in the jungle with huge boulders everywhere and those trees that have the bark stripping off. Whilst we walked the track we found a bin bag of bones, human maybe?! All the English thought so but no one else seemed to take notice. Practice was good, it was really dusty and getting blown out with huge holes appearing everywhere and new lines appearing through the day. Everyone was enjoying the track and couldn’t wait for tomorrow, until then it was a mere 30km to Mcdonalds (our 2nd home, vans 1st!) for a facebook and youtube sesh, ah lush… Sunday roled around and we managed to squeeze in 2 runs after getting up a bit late, first runs were good I was 4th overall with 3 other Brits in the top 10 so it was good to see everyone representing. Second runs were similar, I tried to go a bit fast I think and made a few mistakes but did the exact same time, I slipped to 8th overall, Emyr Davies did the best out the Brits and moved up to 4th overall and my new MSC team mate Al Bond was in 5th. Everyone was pretty happy with the results with a load more guys in the top 20 and couldn’t wait to get to Maccys to celebrate and watch Bond eat 9 cheese burgers, he said it was the best 9 euros hes ever spent!
Race run Fafe
Now all that was left was a 1900km drive to Morzine for me on no tolls roads, it took 30 hours and definitely earnt me some trucker stripes! A huge thankyou to everyone that’s helped me out on this trip, my parents bro and sis especially, all the boys, Nema uk, Crank brothers uk, Cyclestore.co.uk, MSC bikes, Joes no flats, freestyle watches, Meinir Siencyn, Steve Parr, Lousa locals, team motovedras/specialized, all the riders in Portugal and anyone I’ve forgot. Next up im doing the French and Andorran world cup with a bit of riding in between so should be sick…..