Friday, 29 August 2014

OUR PILA (Ita) Ixs European Downhill Cup

Thursday Aug.14th

 Our long trip started at 4am from Athens... and after 1 plane, 1 bus, 3 trains, one gondola and 12 hours we finally arrived to PILA (AO-ITA) for the first ride on PILA trails !!! see here the full album from our Facebook:

I think we could call ourself a bit tired ! :)  I don't even remember what track we rode ! ahaha

we slept 12 hours that night!

Friday 15th

Early wake up, mega-home-made-breakfast !!!! track walk... well some part of the track you can not even walk them...

Ready to Practice

 Pila is a bike park yes, but Italian way... is not super smooth and shaped... is hard to ride, fast, technical and steep...
 Marios words: " Is the first time in my life that I'm waiting for the pedaling section to rest my hands and relax... and than after 3 seconds the World cup section comes !!! "

 I soon realized that the Specialized Enduro 29er will be well tested on this IXS track and I made my life more complicated considering my " bad shoulder" with a 160mm travel fork. Believe me was a lot of fun to ride it on the other "piste" of the park. Especially in the 11km downhill track from Pila to Aosta, "Rientro", the 29er was a blast.

 Practicing on this track for 6 hours was hard for us and our bikes, imagine that my bottle case unscrewed from vibrations but, what an incredible training ! My new ZTR rims light and stiff finally let me ride this bike as fast as it deserves!!!

  First mechanical problem for BigPapa... the front brake just decided to give up. Thank to the guys of Topsport racing we manage to replace it.
 The fun part is that our B&B was the village under Pila and to arrive we had to take the fist part of the "Rientro"....

 We discovered new muscles in our body that day !!!

Saturday 16th

 Practice and seeding run for today...

 I have a front wheel puncture the first run of the day... bye bye tubeless !!!

 I personally decide to preserve myself and the Enduro for the seeding, due to the fact that I know the track from the previous years, I decide to ride the "easier" Freeride tracks and just try few parts of the IXS wile Marios is burning tires, suspensions and muscles on the race course.


We also have the chance to seat on some Pro's bikes and realized that our suspensions are not really working compare to them :'-(

 Time to go to our little house and have some good food before the seeding.

 All timed and set up I arrive to Pila ready to "seed" on my "little bike" and... flat rear tire on the fire road before the lift, a nail or something ahahahahah tubeless liquid everywhere.... pssssssssshhhhhhhh :P   ahahahahah at the top DNF

Marios time now

You always know is Marios coming down when the speakers start panic wile reading his family name ! ahahah
" Pa pa po-ulos! "
crosses the line after finding some "traffic" in 166th position ( not happy )

time to ride up and down Pila-Aosta 11k "Rientro" trail ( after mounting an inner tube - bye bye tubeless #2 )


mega-home-made-breakfast !!!!

 During practice Marios brake collapse again... and not is time for a Greek way "patenta" to fix it ! ahaha

  I brake 2 spokes but most importantly my saddle ahahah ouch ! than crashing hard and I decide to "call the day",  I think all this where sings given to me... DO NOT RACE , YOUR SHOULDER IS NOT READY YET ! so... time to focus on our BigPAPA and refresh with a cold RB.

 Apparently he took a bit risk in the World Cup section, so big that some of the organizers came to me and tell me that: " We can not understand how he manage to stay on the bike !!! " ahahah

 Well at the end of the day this track, more than 4 minutes of speed bumps, roots and rocks, was to hard for "us Greeks", Marios finished in 142nd position, after learning a lot and a lot to learn.

1: Suspensions set up makes the difference
2: Be fit or stay home, talents is never enough when you are racing
3: Italian food is amazing
4: Marios loves Spritz, a lot !
5: we love Pila "Rientro" ( we did it again and again after the race and on Monday)

Cheers to all our sponsors for making this trip possible !!
especially Red Bull Greece and Endura/Loukas bikes.

I would like to thank Kassimatis Cycling for the opportunity to ride the amazing Enduro 29 

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