2012 World Championships

12 Sep

The supreme race for me is and will be the World Championship so it was on my goals for years. Even before, I close but this year I want it so much that I’ve made it. The location was in Leogang for the DHI/4X and Saalfelden for the XCO/XCE. Both locations are in the Salzburg land and pretty close to each other (around 8km).

As the Romanian Cycling Federation didn’t had in plan to send any athletes to this race we went there on our own money !  Yes, simple as that !

I went there with my team mates Eli and Tudor but we were not alone. We’ve started our 1100km trip from Cluj to Saalfelden Thursday morning at 6AM. After more than 12h we’ve arrived in Saalfelden and saw that we have one of the most panoramas ever !

Friday the schedule was a bit weird. The final accreditation were right after the official training session. So please tell me how could have we’ve check the course without a number plate? Lucky us, Luci and Cristi from Mures that came for Cristi’s Juniors race had two TEAM plates so we had the chance to get on the course. My first impression was that the descents were impossible because all those slippery roots, rocks and roots. There were two long uphills and two long descends.

I’ve waited the Friday races to be over and right after I went on the course with Eli. It was almost dry so I thought that it will be the same the next day. Now everything was getting easier. All the drops, rocks and roots were pretty easy to pass so I knew that I have to make a good race. Right after the evening training I went to the Cannondale Factory Racing truck (or small truck as Manuel Fumic said) to have the dinner with the boys as I was invited by Daniel. Besides him there were also Mani, Giacomo, Larry, Harry, Bruno, Stefan and Keegan. For me it was a great evening as I had the chance to meet these guys and chat with them.

Saturday was the big race day. The start was scheduled at 2PM so I went that morning again at the CFR truck because I’ve asked Larry to check on my fork. After a quick diagnosis he replaced a few small parts and now everything was ready for the race. After the second breakfast I’ve went on the course to check a few spots than I started to warm up. We were called at the start line just 3 or 4 minutes before and for sure I was nervous. The start loop was faster than in Nove Mesto,  but for me was harder. I was feeling strong enough to stay next to my team mate Tudor until I’ve crashed in the first lap on a fast section with a lot of slippery roots. After getting back on my bike I saw that the master cylinder piston was broken so I had to continue only with the front brake. From that moment it was harder than ever. But I did all the descents on the bike (except the ones where I was drifting). Damn it was hard. The inevitable happened and I was stopped but faster than I thought. I got lapped and finished 84th out of 104 who started the race and 86 who finished it. My team mate Eli was 83rd and Tudor 79th. Anyway congratulations to the Swiss team for the whole podium, but also to Marco Aurelio Fontana and Manuel Fumic, the CFR riders who were super fast

Maybe having the rear brake too and without any pain from the crash I think that I could be faster but I won’t never find out.

But I must say that was great to have some Romanian spectators at the race. That motivated me more. Also the Czech fans that came for Kulhavy recognized me from Nove Mesto. The CFR staff was on the track for their guys but cheered me too. Also my pink Cannondale Flash and my charity action was very appreciated and this could only make me happy. I am sorry that I didn’t had another lap and win some more places but for sure this will happen in the following season because I wanna race this kind of races more than ever !

We also had a trip with the gondola. It was super nice to see the DHI course. I was a bit upset not the be able to ride my bike because of the rear brake, but I borrowed Cristi’s bike for a jump on the inflatable mattress. That’s a fun way to learn how to do the tricks before getting on the land kickers. Too bad I don’t know much more, but I will visit again Leogang for sure having a DJ bike will help.

We had to recover fast because Sunday was another important race: the Eliminator ! It was the first edition of the World Championships for this new discipline. I started without having any power in the rear brake after the crash at the XCO. Being also nervous  was another major factor. I got of the right pedal right before the start so I lost important seconds again. No Romanian rider qualified in the finals. Tudor was 84th I was on 122 and Eli on 124.

After the time trial we got back in our cars and started our trip back home. We arrived 12h later at 6AM after driving all night long.

And once again I can not finish this race report with the special thanks to all my sponsors and partners: Maros BikeCannondale BicylesAshimaContinentalSapim SpokesAdidas EyewearCratoniTuneXpedoGrip GrabSramRestwiseJoe’s No FlatsKool StopTruckerCoLight-Bikes.ro and  VDO.

Also many thanks for everyone that helped me before, during and after the races: the CFR staff (Daniel, Mani, Larry, Stefan, Bruno), the Czech and Swiss supporters for cheering me up like I was their own rider (drums and cowbells are always loud), the Romanian supporters who came to see such a race and cheer us (I was feeling great to have you around), to Raluca, Oli and Beni (for the photos, waterbottles at the feedzone).

You can watch the whole race on redbull.tv.

More photo are and will be available soon.

Keep in touch and thank you once again for all the support,


PS. Next time I hope that Simona and my dad will come with me. I’ve missed them a lot !

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