Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Worlds preview

Hey gang. Just in Rotorua NZ. Time for a quick update.

TRAVEL: I was a little worried about the 20hour flight to NZ but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Traveling overnight definitely helped. I arrived Sunday morning at 7am a bit fuzzy but I don't think it was as bad as the euro trips. Arriving so early just made it harder to stay awake until 9pm.

ROTORUA: is a pretty cool touristy town. Hot sulfur springs run underground of the town so every hotel has mineral pools and hot tubs. But as a result it smells of farts. More than once I have given my teammates a disgusted look only to remember that it probably was just sulfur I was smelling . This park in the middle of town has bridges over the pools so we got some cool shots of the VB-K kit fading in and out of the creepy steam. The kiwis are really friendly!

TEAM CANADA: I got my team kit and as always felt a little glow at being able to represent my country. I hope I don't ever take it for granted because its a pretty cool feeling. Most of the XC team was already in Rotorua and the rest of the XC and DH members arrived with me on Sunday so we were a pretty big group.

THE COURSE: the course is pretty fun. A big long climb to start then some crazy twisty grass chutes into a second short grass climb. A couple of drops (pretty big for XC! ) unless you prefer the slower cheater line and then some BMXy burmed out areas before you get into the woods. A couple of manmade wood piles and rocky descents before the final short clinb into the start area. Not super technical but with the random hailstorms and rain squalls the potential to become REALLY slippery could change things dramatically. My Schwalbe racing raphs were perfect when it was dry but pretty slippy with the rain. I may have to pull out the Nobby Nics for the first time this year for some grip if it rains much before the race......

TEAM RELAY: I only got to see some of the team realy - a hailstorm at 1:31 (the race started at 1:30) made me rethink my decision to ride over to the course. There was a lot of changes in teh lead which made it pretty exciting. Team US was sporting some new kits. They looked good to me until someone said they looked liek a spiderman outfit so now I can't stop thinking about spiderman when I see one. Sorry guys!

OPENING CEREMONIES: were Tuesday night but its been really cold here (frost in the morning!) so we were all a bit hesitant to go stand in the cold for over an hour. BUT we went and felt like total wusses as the Maori dudes were standing/dancing in the cold with only a thong! When they werent performing barefoot on teh concrete they were sitting on the concrete. Crazy! Canada the great white North shrunk away for hot chocolate.

That is about it. I prerode the course again today and its drying up so less slippy. The junior girls went off at 10am and the U23 girls are later today. I have been alternating between my Canada kit and my VB-K kit. I died my hair red so it clashes a bit with the VB-K kit! Lots of comments on how cool the Kula Lisa custom paint job is!! I agree. W.


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