2014 World Championships

17 Sep

First, excuse the late race report, there were some technical issues. But now let’s get back to what’s important.

For me the World Championships is the ultimate race when I am thinking at mountainbiking so that’s why my goal is to race it whenever I can. It’s not about the result, because Romania doesn’t count too much at this level. It’s all about being part of this kind of event, riding with the best mountain bikers in the world. It was the second time when I had the opportunity to race at this level. This year’s host was Hafjell (Norway). As I’ve participated there last year at the World Cup, and having my friend Mihai in Trondheim I thought to use this opportunity and go. So with Simona, we’ve started to plan the journey: A bus from Cluj to Budapest, a plane from Budapest to Copenhagen, another plane from Copenhagen to Trondheim. A few days off in Trondheim at Mihai and Ana, then a train from Trondheim to Hafjell, the big event, another train from Hafjell to Oslo, a plane from Oslo to Budapest and the bus to Cluj, more than 48h of traveling.

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As I told you was a great chance to ride with the best riders in the world, to meet my friends from Cannondale Factory Racing and to promote my charity program.

So I’ve got the plane and train tickets for me and Simona and started this journey. We’ve arrived in Trondheim and we had a few cool days there with Mihai and Ana, hiking and riding the bikes, visiting the city and the surrounding area. Norway has a totally different culture and was nice to learn just a little from it.  Norway also has some outrageous prices no matter what we are talking about. The food for example is two up to ten times more expensive than in Romania. The road tolls and gasoline has some prohibitive prices for the rest of us.

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On Wednesday, we’ve arrived in Hafjell and I got on the course right after the team relay race. I’ve noticed that it was changed, having some new sections, resulting a much more difficult course than last year. I’ve made a few laps checking the lines. I’ve also met Martin P. from Grip Grab who took me some cool photos during these training sessions.

The next days I had also the chance to ride with Ralph Naf, Luckas Fluckinger or Jaroslav Kulhavy for a bit and for sure I had a lot to learn from them. They are amazing riders. Marco and Manuel also where ready to rumble finishing 3rd an 5th a great result for the team and for the moral.

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In my case was something different. Riding from the last row, in the first few hundred meters everything was very dusty. We got in the woods and thing started to get better. I was feeling pretty well and I knew that things will go better than last year. Everything until the second lap, when I’ve crashed pretty bad twisting a finger and fracturing the hand. In that moment I thought that everything was over, but I told myself that I’ve made to much effort to come here so I didn’t quit continued. The pain was incredible. At the middle of lap 3 the first riders started to reach and pass me. I tried to get out of their way. If someone lost even a second because of me, I apologize, it wasn’t meant to be this way.

After the race I was lucky that I’ve found Martin Paldan from Grip Grab who was photographing the event and he was kind with me an took me to Lillehammer’s hospital and back to Hafjell. Many thanks for this Martin, I am grateful.

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I must also mention that I’ve lost some places having my hand broken, finishing on the 94th spot. The other Romanians, Lucian Logigan finished on 84th and Tudor Oprea on 76th. The big surprise was a Junior Trial rider, Iulian Zaharie, who finished on 14th place. Many congratulations to all of you.

Now I still have three weeks left to wear a gypsum cast, but soon I will start the preparation for the last enduro event from Resita and the next season. This isn’t what I’ve hoped for the World Champs but I can’t back down right now.

Many thanks to my sponsors for paying this trip, as the fights of the leaderships within the Romanian Cycling Federation are affecting the riders. Then many thanks to Mihai and Ana for their continuous support, before, during and after the race, many thanks to Simona, who helped me a lot, even more after the incident. Once again a big up to Martin for the ride at the Hospital.

I don’t want to forget anyone else so thanks to the rest of you who was involved in this.

Don’t worry, in three weeks from now I will be brand new !

You can check the complete photo gallery RIGHT HERE.

Cheers,

Vlad

 

PS. I was pretty lucky that I’ve saw the Northern Lights too.

 

Photo Credits: Simona B, Martin P, Mihai U. – Thanks a lot !

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