Great weekend @ Maxxis Cup for PLUSHmtb with scortching weather which always helps. Last Thursday Stevo, Stevie G, Jack & me landed in Lisbon for a 4hr road trip north to Gouveia. Arrived with just enough light to check out the finish step-down before heading to the usual haunt to put the head down.
A few changes to the course from previous years, and by adding in boggy bus-stops it kinda killed the speed in a few places. This made the fireroad sprint in the middle even harder followed by a jump up to the right for another bus-stop. Much the same thru the rock sections just bit more marbley. They introduced a well-crafted big road crossing at the bottom by the zoo (used to be a wall step-down)…then as usual flat out to the massive step down – (12foot drop / 25foot gap)
Sign on was dodgey as they wanted a letter from CI to allow us to race in Portugal….1st time any of us had heard that shite before / called ‘Uncle’ Eamon Lawlor who sussed it for us with Sean Heirly as CI offices didnt answer the phone 6 times, 3 voice messsges or 2 emails that day. Friday took a while to get into it but new sections started to improve with use, just as they changed the routes to avoid the slop, and again on Saturday! One of these new sections produced a boulder by the afternoon & Stevie G was strangey drawn to it below a blind drop, over the bars & compressed his neck – out of action till last run Sat! God bless Ibrufen 500s! Saturday produced more dissappointment as Stevo snapped the back end of the Intense – both lower chain stays snapped at the pivot infront of the wheel…..real shame as Stevo was really on it! Just leaving Jack & me to carry the flag for PLUSHmtb….getting the runs in & enjoying the big jumps.
Sunday morning came early with practice from 8-9.30! Stevie G managed to put a sighting run in & then walked the course but Jack & me squeezed 2.5 runs in before first race @ 10. Stevie off first with qualifing in 5th & me next qualifing 3rd in Master 40+, then Jack qualified in 21st in a massive Juniors catagory. The nervous wait begins to see if you have qualified in top 150 to race the final…….we all did, so kit on & away to the top again…..all thanks to our new designated driver Stevo! Stevie G pulled 1 out of the bag & stole third while I pushed a bit too hard chasing second, crashed & ended up 5th. Jack shaved off a few more second to move up to 19th…..hung about for an age for podiums, bit o craic with Tracey Mosely, then dash to hotel, shower & stuff the van….off to Lousa!
What a fucking sat-nav disaster….1.5hrs turned into 3hrs….thru every tiny village north to go south & a couple of dodgey ‘pig in a bap’. Cool modern hostel….few beers…bed. Met Heilder at his gaff (opposite the dads workshop) & the 20min / 12km climb to the top. Excellent 10-15min downhills in terrain like home only dusty. Did a couple or runs, got lost, got found, tyre blew in van, another run, Stevie fell again!, had to cycle back to base, packed bikes & van, sprinted to airport, got a McDonalds……..relax.
All in all, a great weekend for 2 of us, decent turnout for 1 and a disaster for the other…………Lousa is THE place to ride….anyone fancy a long weekend in Lousa?!?!….see you at the wekend @ NPS1 ………………FINSO