Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004

XC World Cup #3 - CDM, Fort William, Great Britain, June 5, 2004

Rage against the machine

By Joshua Fleming


Well just back from Round 3 of the World Cup after what turned into a 17-hour epic travel day on Thursday to get to Scotland with delayed flights, etc., etc.

The race had been going to be held on the Sunday but was changed to the Saturday so this cut down the time to get there and settle in.

Course was nice, very technical descents some slippery, with man-made timber ramps to ride over rivers and boggy sections. Weather was cool, about 10°C with rain threatening.

Start was the most civilized I had seen; they had lines painted on the ground plus tape which you had to put front wheel against on starting grid. After Houffalize, my start position was top 30, so I was looking forward to a good start.

Straight into a long climb followed by a rough descent. I came through the feed zone in around 30th spot; legs did not have the best feeling but thought to myself, it's ok, they will come good.

Weather by mid-race was a slight drizzle which made descents on the sharp rocks like riding on ice; a rider in front of me crashed, I had nowhere to go but over his bike.

My aim was to not flat or crash, which their was a lot of. Roland Green was taken out by a drunk spectator who walked onto the course and was unable to finish race. My arms were pumped coming into last lap, legs had not come good as I thought they would and felt like I was fighting the bike all day.

Finished 25th - a little disappointed but looking forward to short break back in Belgium and then head to Austria then Canada for the next two races.

Chat soon,



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