What to do, when all the trails in the Alps are covered with nasty white stuff and the gondies are used by skiers? Right, time to pack your bike and fly to the other side of the planet where it's lovely and warm. For the third time we spent a couple of months in New Zealand. And because it's just the best - we decided to go full van life again.
After landing in cyclone Cita, we got our new home on wheels «Lady Luck» and drove straight to Queenstown. I guess there are only a few words needed for these first 4 and a half weeks – hucking hucks, smashing berms, slashing turns, and generally shralping.
Halfway through Crankworx was calling. Originally we were supposed to race the Redwoods DH, the Air DH and the Crankworx Skyline DH. Well, it all got a bit mixed up. Redwoods DH was awesome to start with. Bummer we didnt have more practice time as it was only a one day event - but hey, that track was siiiiiick! Rusty smashed it in Veterans and got gold - I finished 5th in Elite women (which Pinkbike didnt fancy mentioning - they mentioned only 1-4 and 6 in their write up...).
Air DH was fun. As we could only bring the DH bikes on the plane, we had to borrow some trail bikes. Luckily Alex from Giant NZ let us have some Reigns we could use. Awesome, we had a blast. With not the most suitable tyres (some Shorties) we werent the fastest rolling on the hill that day. But we had a laugh and Rusty still managed to roll onto 3rd in Vets. For me, no chance to get a good result with the fast ladies. Times were super close and I finished on crappy 10th position.
Everything then got topped by the most amazing thing I've done so far in my riding career. I got invited to the whip offs. Dropping blind into that sweet sender, at night, with flood light and a massive crowd - one of the most intense things i‘ve done so far. And then standing on the podium with Tyler McCaul next to R-Dog was unreal.
Oh well and then the Skyline DH. Short wrap up of Rusty - he had a massive crash on the third run on the first training day, injured his wrist and that was him done for the week. Short wrap up of me: Had a blast in training, felt more and more confident on the track - but come race day, nobody told me that they swapped Elite and Amateur training and race runs. So I was lying in bed, when I was supposed to be on the hill, sliding in the mud. Without any training done on Sunday I then decided not to do my race run. Part of me was very bummed out, the other part was happy, as it was a complete Sh**-fest for the Elite women in those horrible conditions.
However - Crankworx was a blast but once that week was over, we were on our way with «Lady Luck» straight back to Queenstown. As you could see on the little edit there was more hucking hucks, smashing berms, slashing turns, and generally shralping with some awesome people like our favourite «Dutchies» and the rad staff from Vertigo Bikes. Until the snow arrived in QT. That was our sign to leave that lovely island and head back to Europe, where World Cup round 1 in Losinj, Croatia was waiting. So it all ended with my birthday celebration and a night out with «our favourite Dutchies» and the legendary guys from Vertigo. What a night to end two months of epicness!
See you next year - Queenstown, see you next year