4th at the UCI European Championships!
So after a mad few weeks travelling in South Africa and Dubai, I flew straight to Switzerland and headed to Bern, the venue for the 2013 UCI European European Championships. I arrived late on the thursday with the event starting on Friday, so not the best preparation coming form an 8 hour flight. But this did not put me off, I got on with the Semi-finals on teh friday and Qualified 5th for the Finals on Saturday. I was really happy with making the finals as I felt shakey on my bike due to the travel and riding my show bike with a different set up for the weeks previous.
My preparation for the finals was to go street riding with fellow British rider Patrick Donovan, who sadly didn’t qualify for the finals. We then headed to the venue to check over the sections, which were in a seperate part of the city to allow for bigger crowds. Amazingly, two sections were in an old bear pit! The town is famous for their bears and they have now been moved to a new inclosure just a few meters away from where we were competing. The bear pit made a great arena allowing many spectators to get a great view of the action and the terrain was perfect for trials too. Despite having a terrible first lap, my second lap pulled me back into the running and I qualified in 4th place, putting me into my first international Super-Final. I had some great rides in the second lap, getting through sections that many of the competitors didn’t manage to finish.
The Super-Final format is 4 sections, almost the same sections as the final, but you only have 15 minutes to complete all of the sections. This is a real challenge! It was a shame but as the scores are accumulative from teh finals, I was unable to make up the points to beat Aurelien Fontenoy into 3rd place. Gilles Coustellier and Vincent Hermance were happily in 1st and 2nd respectively – both puttingin incredible rides. All in all it was a gret event and I would like to say a huge thanks to Stephan Moore and the otehr organisers for all of their hard work to create the best event so far this season.
I would like to say a huge thanks to my sponsors Echo Trials Bikes, TNN Engineering and CrossKing for their support.
Thanks for reading, Andrei.