Manon Chronicles – Windham Highs and Lows

The World Cup finals ends with a nasty crash for young Welsh Junior rider Manon Carpenter.
We hope you heal up soon Manon and come back as strong as ever next year.

Manon Chronicles – Windham Highs and Lows

Words and pics: Jason Carpenter

Just a short one this time folks, you might oh heard that Manon didn’t make todays final or the presentation ceremony. Prompt too, so those who know us don’t worry too much.

Pool nights in the Motel

We’ve had a busy week travelling and working hard on the course and the bike. A quick run down on the logistics…

Up early, drive to Heathrow, check bags in and wow each one is exactly 23kg! Three bikes and one bag of kit, clothes are in carry on bags. Get on plane, fall asleep, wake up 1 ½ hours later and we’ve still not taken off…. Take off, fly to Paris, run across Charles De Gaule airport carrying our bags and those of a large lady who is carrying her fast asleep toddler, AirFrance did guide us thro the airport mind and got us on the flight. Watched three movies on the way over to JFK in New York. Land at JFK, meet Harry Heath and Callum Dew who need a lift. Get hire car and drive to Windham. Get at B&B at midnight and it only has a single bed, nice, so we went to Harrys Motel instead, bonus as it’s closer to the venue, downside is we have to move out for Saturday night. Next day Manon and the boys walk the course, I drive back to JFK in New York to lose the motor and Will Longden drives me back to Windham, thanks.
On Saturday I move us to a posh Hotel for the night then check out the stuff before 10.00am the next day. All the moving about is hampered somewhat by an awful lot of baggage. Will was shocked when he saw how much stuff we had.

XC Sprint start, looks like hard work boys…

We had two DH bikes because I was going to do the citizens race and Manons DMR hardtail for the pumptrack race in Mont St Anne, plus her kit and two bags of clothes.

I’m too tired and washed out to go on about practice and quail. Manon qualified 13th and was pretty disappointed because she thought she’d had a good run. This track was more about carrying speed than technical stuff so I guess that was the reason. Manon runs quite low tyre pressure too and this might have slowed her a bit too, so we increased it quite a bit for Saturday practice. Manon also had the opportunity to try a longer bike that was loaned from The Kenda Playbiker team, thanks to Shaun O’Conner. She liked it and when I rode it, it felt so roomy at the front, much more suited to the high speeds of Windham and Mont St Anne.

Manon and Ollie in the sun after practice.

Manon got a new pair of Oakley Goggles from Blick at Oakley and an Oakley Factory Pilot band for them, wow.

Windham and the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band, brilliant!

Saturday I raced the Citizens race and won the Cat 1 Vets race, didn’t smoke them though, only a second in it. Would have come second in the Masters tho so that was cool.

With Manon injured I had to step up and get a podium in the Cat1 Citizens race

I got 100 Bucks too, sweet

We watched the 4X race which was pretty amazing, over a bit quick tho because they cut the field to the top 32 men only for some reason. In top form Graves won it again, and Anita Molcik took the wins.

Go Katy Go

Have to say that the event at Windham was the friendliest this year, cool relaxed vibe, reasonable prices, no hassle for the privateers in the car park, citizens race, marching band, loads of food stalls, beer, parties and street events, not that we got round to going to any though, too busy.

Parkin Bros, making DirtTV gold

Stars and Stripes in the Windham sunset

OK, to the dirty bit then. Just after checking out the hotel and filling Will Longdens hire car to the roof with our kit I got to the Venue. No sooner had I walked half way across the pits I was stopped by the UCI lady Melanie (who I fell out with at Leogang, but that’s another story). Melanie told me that Manon had had a fall and that Chris Ball (the UCI tech delegate and old school Scots WC racer) was with her. I spoke to Chris on the phone but couldn’t hear a word so he texted that she had injured her shoulder/arm pretty bad. The event crew did a fine job of evacuating her and taking me up to meet the Ambulance and crew fetching her off the track. Obviously you think the worst and sweat and feel guilt etc etc. Every DH parents nightmare really. When I got to her she was strapped to a board and looked pretty miserable.
First thing she said was “I’m sorry Jas” ahh bless her, flipping idiot. Needless to say I was pretty worried about her with all the talk of shoulder dislocations flying around and with Rachels experience fresh in everyones minds.

It was evident to me straight away that our trip was over and Manons shot at a World Championship title was over for 2010.

Bless her, she only cried when the Orthopeadics told her her arm was definitely broken, I think that up till then she thought that she’d still be able to ride next weekend (she was a bit drugged up).

Upshot was she’s broken her Humerus (the bone in your upper arm), a clean break in the middle, hopefully an uncomplicated break that will heal well on it’s own without surgery, but we’ll see about that when we get home. She’s upstairs sleeping now, one tough cookie she is.

The wheelchairs in the US are HUUUUGGGGEEEE, I reckon we could have got three Manons in one side by side.

Manon in the ginormous American wheelchair after being poked, prodded, dripped, injected, x rayed, straightened, splinted, strapped then finally discharged.

I texted Warner so he could let people know on Freecaster to stop everyone worrying and he went and got it wrong and told the World she’d broken her elbow (which would have been real bad). Never mind, he does his best eh.

Poor Manon missed the podium for the World Cup Junior Series win, but hey, there will be others…. we missed the final racing, but well done to Gee and Rachel, heard about Steves near thing too, guess he’ll have to pull a full run out the bag next weekend.

First person we saw back in Windham was Rachel, who was cycling back to her Condo, she put a smile on Manons face and filled her with hope with a post injury positive talk. Will had put all our stuff together in Reception. Melanie had left Manons Junior Series trophy there as well together with a nice note. The Athertons put us up for the night (we were supposed to be driving straight to Mont St Anne with Will) and here I am writing this. I’ve sent an email to AirFrance asking if they can transfer our flight and looked at prices £££$$$££££ to fly us back tomorrow.

Manon has finished her first year of the World Cups in 11th place, a fantastic achievement for a first year Junior, well done my girl.

Huge thanks to everyone who has helped us this year and especially this weekend.

Hotlines, Lapierre and Nukeproof
Royal Racing, Maxxis, 661, Sunline and MMA Sports
Fenwicks Superior Bike Cleaner and Lubricants
Swift Credit Services and the Huwnit
Shimano for keeping the cogs turning
5:10 Shoes
Oakley and Will Longden
Fox Suspension
Rapid Racers
James, Gareth, Nikki and everyone else we ride with regularly
Rui and all the boys at Bikeclub Faro
All the cool British WC riders
Shaun from Kenda Playbiker for the loaner, Wyn too for keeping us laughing

Manon wants to say sorry to Chris Ball for giving him a fright today, it can’t have been very nice Chris, but thanks for looking after her.

Sorry if I’ve missed anyone I’m still stressed a bit from today. And sorry this chronicle is a bit inside out, I’m done.

6-8 weeks of recovery now for Manon and then she’ll have to decide where she’s headed, school for certain, btw she got three A’s and a B (by one point) in her AS levels, how she does so well at the school thing with all the riding we do is beyond me.

Over and out for now, who knows what the future holds.

Good luck to all the Brits and everyone else at the World Champs. Go Katy Go!

The highs and lows of World Cup Downhilling, one hell of an x-ray and one hell of a trophy

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