Coming out of Crankworx Innsbruck we drove to Val Di Sole, Italy - to ride the World Championship downhill course. Val Di Sole was very hospitable for those two nights. Being our first time in Italy, it was a brilliant welcome. All the food, people and vistas lived above expectations. The world ‘champs’ race track is very full on! Quite rough, but really fun. I enjoyed my time there.
Post Val Di Sole, dad and I ventured to Lake Como for a night. Man was it beautiful. The BnB we stayed in was lovely, and the family was very kind and welcoming. Swimming in Lake Como was definitely a highlight of the trip. The water was beautiful and surprisingly warm! It was an amazing way to spend my little time off.
We then drove through Italy, on the outskirts of Milan, through Mont Blanc, into France, where we were able to get our second dose of the COVID - 19 Vaccine! We stayed a night on Lac Lemon, where we got our shots. Then settled in at Morzine, which is in the general area of Les Gets. It is where we would stay for the remainder of our trip.
Morzine was amazing, and the town was very cool. We were right at the base of La Pleany, which is where I did a lot of riding before the World cup. I spent time and rode with a lot of the boys my age. La Pleany was an incredible place to prepare for the race. The trails were steep and slippery, which always kept us on our toes.
We had to transfer from a BnB to a hotel. This hotel was called Le Tremplin. The owners and staff were absolutely exceptional. They were so great and amazing to us. We are so thankful to have met them, and were more than satisfied with our stay.
Then came race week! The rumour was that this race track was brand new. We went on a track walk and the rumour was true. A brand new race course for the 2021 French hosted World Cup! I personally loved the track. The Friday practice was great, things were a bit slippery as it was a little rainy, although the course was fresh so it was still quite soft. We were having a blast all day. After friday, we got to the Qualification day. I was prepared, yet very nervous. The mood was intense, but the nice weather was holding up and everything was going well. Sitting at the top of the track awaiting my start time, the nerves really kicked in. I dropped, had a clean run and landed myself a spot in the finals!
I was incredibly relieved after just qualifying for my first world cup. It was an awesome feeling. That night I had a great sleep. Although I didn’t feel all there for finals day. I wasn’t as nervous. At the top of our finals race run, all the boys were having laughs, just preparing to drop in. In my run, the track was running in great condition. I put all my effort into this run, yet it wasn’t enough. My line choice was off and I made some crucial mistakes that cost me lots of time. I tried my best to look at it in a positive way but it was tough. It was my first ever world cup finals experience and I was more than happy to finish in one piece! I was so thankful to come away from this race with the knowledge I now have and the skills I have gained.
It was incredible to see a good buddy - Jackson Goldstone - at the top of the podium as well. It was a struggle losing a close friend of both of ours that week, and Jacksons win was dedicated to him. It was definitely emotional.
The day after the race, my dad and I packed up, and started our route back home. At the time I may have felt like I was ready to come back. But thinking now, I would give anything to be right back overseas with those people riding bikes everyday. It was such an incredible experience that neither me or my father will ever forget.