Sunday, August 04, 2013

Lessons of Life on Wheels

I am not sure if I am writing this because I have been stuck in a hospital room for 4 days feeling a bit closed in by the walls or I actually mean it. Either way it’s made it on to my blog.

I was reading a book to do with the psychology of winners in the lead up to the Andorra World Cup however it wasn’t the typical style of book you might be thinking of. I’ve read the book 2 times before. This third time the book made more sense. I took a lot from it, applying it at the race. After a great qualifying run I was confused and demoralized on the time gap to the top, I was determined to fix it Sunday. On race day I felt free and was racing for the moment. No thoughts of past or future. This was the now.

I can remember racing bikes since day 1. It’s all I’ve ever really been into. At school I was determined, worked hard and got the marks I needed to qualify for University, that’s what you did after secondary school right? I still felt bikes pulled me their way more than anything else. Opportunities popped up in bike racing more than anything else in my late teens and I took every one of them and chased it. One led to another and another. Where am I now? Flat out in a Hospital bed. Broken back, teeth, sore neck, cuts and bruises all over my face. Que thoughts from the “normal” people in society, ones that know no passion or drive for something. “Oh mountain biking, you guys are crazy, right?” “What are you going to do now with your life?” “That will put you off” all the usual stuff. If you are even a little like me you will have heard this stuff before.

Sitting staring at the ceiling, nothing else to do I flicked my I Pod on and hit play on the last song I used to get me going for my final run. Music helps me relax and focus in on what I want to happen when I ride. The feeling from it transfers into the feeling on the bike. I hit the play button. All the thoughts and memories from Sunday came flooding back, not that they had disappeared, how could they in my new situation but it was a fresh take on it. I’d not thought much about the day I had at the racetrack. I tried to forget about it mostly. At the time it seemed like a horrible day to be me. Lying on the side of the track as the rest of the boys raced past, so many thoughts roll through your head. “Dude this isn’t good you can’t move. Will I ever ride a bike again? What does this mean? Why me, now?“ These thoughts pass through your head until the injury is confirmed. I’d been here before but not like this. 4 days on I feel it was one of my best days in my career. I felt amazing on the track no thought crossed my mind on the bike that day. Free and easy but focused and loving all of it. I have struggled this World Cup season to find my feet and where I belong maybe lost who I really am at times which didn’t help my racing. I have fought so hard over the last 10 months to get to the very top. Perhaps I have forced the issue to do well too much, focusing on out come and not the processes to get there. I have been so close before but something always seems to deny me the top step. Lesson are learnt, time to move on.


“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dirt TV Norway Day 0 and 1


Hafjell, Norway 2012 World cup finals

Team Lapierre International rider Cam Cole finishes sixth in the final round of the 2012 UCI Downhill MTB World Cup series held at Hafjell, Norway, at the weekend. Despite missing the opening round of seven, Cam Cole's consistent top-10 finishes secure him 11th overall for the 2012 season.

Cam Cole, of Christchurch, New Zealand, went into the final round of the 2012 UCI World Cup series with a heavy heart - his good friend James Dodds passed away in a hunting accident in New Zealand a week earlier.

"I wrote some words and Justin [Leov] read them out at the funeral, but it felt weird for me not to be there. I know he would have liked me to go racing. My partner Amy is back there with Gabby [Molloy]," explains Cole.

"My brain has been pre-occupied with racing. I was trying to concentrate to do a good job for James and for me. I wanted to finish off the year strongly."

The Lapierre International rider was hungry for a win after sniffing around the top step for the entire season, but was bettered in Norway by winner Steve Smith, of Canada, George Brannigan, of New Zealand, in second, current world champion and South African Greg Minnaar in third.

"I crossed the line and I just started crying - I just let all that emotion out," shares Cole.

"I wasn't able to let that out or read my words at the funeral, but the race was like closure for me and it was a bonus that I came away with a good result for my friends back home and the NZ Mountain Bike community in this tough time."

"It was just such a big shock for us. It shows how fragile life is - you really have to enjoy every minute of it," explains Cole.

"I know that when I do pick up one of those wins he will be right there with me."

The new course in Hafjell, Norway, was well liked by the riders and Cole benefitted from the great atmosphere. Cole smashed the previous times set by the other competitors. He was nearly 2 seconds ahead of Austrian Markus Pekoll at the second split time. Cole held the lead to the finish line to take over the hot seat. From the hotseat it is a nervous wait as the rest of the field hit the course.

Much of the talk in the pits had been about who would be next to win a race and Cole's name was high on the list. In Norway it was not to eventuate, but the likeable rider has proven he can be both fast and consistent this season.

"I crashed at Windham and finished 11th at Mont-Sainte-Anne, which was my worst race. My other results are pretty consistent and I am happy about that, but now I want to move that consistency up to the sharper end of the stick," he smiles."

"I believe I can win and being injury free for an off-season and able to work on development rather than recovery will put me in good shape for 2013. It is going to be a really exciting year next season."

Cole said he felt he had the fitness and the strength to win a World Cup this season and was looking forward to a good positive season for 2013.

"I'm looking forward to an off-season where I can work on all the things I need to. Time on the bike is very important. I'm going back to the drawing board with my new coach Katherine Prumm and we have things we are going to work on to build for next year."

Cole said it was a team effort and it was the people around him that helped to bring that success. "I have a good team built up around me at home and I feel the support will help me get to that win sooner rather than later."

Cole is looking forward to flying home this week to reconnect with friends and have some time off racing before the New Zealand season kicks in around the new year. He will begin preparation for 2013 in November but wants to maintain a good level of fitness until then so he can hit the Kiwi summer strong.

World Cup team video Val d'isere ft. CC

Team Lapierre International 2012 WC6 France on Pinkbike

Val d'isere World Cup

Team Lapierre International rider Cam Cole takes top-10 finish at the sixth round of the 2012 UCI Downhill MTB World Cup series held at Val d'Isére, France, at the weekend – just over two seconds behind race winner and fellow Kiwi Brook MacDonald.

Cam Cole, of Christchurch, New Zealand, went into the final run at Val d'Isére as the hot favourite for the win after qualifying fastest on the short, steep and intense course in France. His eighth place puts him into 12th overall in the series.

Just over two seconds separated him from eventual race winner Brook MacDonald, of Napier, New Zealand, but as Cole confesses his three or four small mistakes add up to that difference. Aaron Gwin, of USA, finished fifth to extend his lead in the series beyond attack, taking the 2012 World Cup title with one round to go.

"My qualifier was nothing amazing it was just a smooth run. This track was tough – some parts of it were very fast and other parts you had to slow right down and be very precise. I think in my quali I judged my speed quite well, but not today," he confesses.

Cole said he made some mistakes in line selection for his final run. The course was made up of a lot of loose rocks and through the week the rocks got cleaned off the main lines and revealed some grippy dirt underneath, but the rain from Saturday changed those lines again.

"The third corner I came into had heaps of rocks sitting in the mainline – it had started to fall to bits. There was a lot of debris in the lines I was using and that part of the track is quite narrow, so I couldn't see my fast lines," he explains.

MacDonald's winning time of 2:19.478 shows a course that is brutally punishing of mistakes as Cole discovered.

"I lost that time early on at the first split, which was 40 seconds of track. I lost 1.3 seconds there – that's a lot to lose straight away."

Cole accumulated 50 points for qualifying first and 85 for finishing eighth bumping him up to 12th overall, despite having missed the opening round of the series due to an injury.

Cole said he was just making the most of every race as a bigger goal loomed: the UCI World Championships, which would take place in Leogang, Austria, from August 31 to September 2.

"Qualifying first this weekend is a good stepping stone to the World Champs, which has been a goal of mine since I started training in November last year. I know I have the speed, we just need to keep working on the bike, my strength, my fitness and conditioning," he considers.

"I have 3-4 weeks now to get those things in line so when I get there I will have the best chance that I can."

Cole will be based in Morzine, France, in the lead-up to the 2012 World Championships.

"It's similar dirt and riding conditions. It's at 800m so it's good for training and you can ride up to 1000m. It's going to be good for the body and it's like a second home for me – I know where the good food is and it is comfortable. I am looking forward to building on my preparation from there," he offers.

Cole said he felt like he had done a lot of racing in a short space of time and was looking forward to taking a week off and coming into the World Championships "fresh".

Cole said he had trained to win races this year, which he said was quite a different approach to training to finish top five.

"When I started training in November I really had a desire to win races. I was training to win races and I was determined to do that," he said.

"Every day I went training that was the goal. I was a little bit behind in the beginning as my arm healed, but after I finished fifth in that first race I thought it would not be long before I won. Qualifying first was a boost in confidence for me, but I don't think it was meant to be for me today," conceded Cole.

Cole will next race at the 2012 UCI World Downhill Championships to be held at Leogang, Austria, from August 31 to September 2, 2012.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Canada and USA in HD

Cole top 10 at World Cup Round 6

Team Lapierre International rider Cam Cole takes top-10 finish at the sixth round of the 2012 UCI Downhill MTB World Cup series held at Val d'Isére, France, at the weekend – just over two seconds behind race winner and fellow Kiwi Brook MacDonald.

Cam Cole, of Christchurch, New Zealand, went into the final run at Val d'Isére as the hot favourite for the win after qualifying fastest on the short, steep and intense course in France. His eighth place puts him into 12th overall in the series.

Just over two seconds separated him from eventual race winner Brook MacDonald, of Napier, New Zealand, but as Cole confesses his three or four small mistakes add up to that difference. Aaron Gwin, of USA, finished fifth to extend his lead in the series beyond attack, taking the 2012 World Cup title with one round to go.

"My qualifier was nothing amazing it was just a smooth run. This track was tough – some parts of it were very fast and other parts you had to slow right down and be very precise. I think in my quali I judged my speed quite well, but not today," he confesses.

Cole said he made some mistakes for his final run. The course was made up of a lot of loose rocks and through the week the rocks got cleaned off the main lines and revealed some grippy dirt underneath, but the rain from Saturday changed those lines again.

"The third corner I came into had heaps of rocks sitting in the mainline – it had started to fall to bits. There was a lot of debris in the lines I was using and that part of the track is quite narrow" he explains.

"There were probably two other corners like that so I expected the course to be blown out in more places and slowed down a bit, but the course wasn't as bad as those few corners suggested. I opened it up a bit more once I got into the track, but it was too late – the course is too short to make those kind of mistakes."

MacDonald's winning time of 2:19.478 shows a course that is brutally punishing of mistakes as Cole discovered.

"I lost that time early on at the first split, which was 40 seconds of track. I lost 1.3 seconds there – that's a lot to lose straight away."

Cole accumulated 50 points for qualifying first and 85 for finishing eighth bumping him up to 12th overall, despite having missed the opening round of the series due to an injury.

"I think there is only Danny Hart ahead of me who has missed one round as well. If I had been ready for that first round then it might be a little bit different."

Cole said he was just making the most of every race as a bigger goal loomed: the UCI World Championships, which would take place in Leogang, Austria, from August 31 to September 2.

"Qualifying first this weekend is a good stepping stone to the World Champs, which has been a goal of mine since I started training in November last year. I know I have the speed, we just need to keep working on the bike, my strength, my fitness and conditioning," he considers.

"I have 3-4 weeks now to get those things in line so when I get there I will have the best chance that I can."

Cole said the Leogang track suited him despite having knocked himself out at last year's World Cup race there.

"The first year I raced there, in 2010, I finished fifth, then had the two crashes last year, but I raced there again at the start of the season before we dialled in our bikes. It was a warm-up, then we tested there with Fox. Leogang is where I set up my bike for the season. They've changed it a bit from last year and so I just have to come in positive."

Cole will be based in Morzine, France, in the lead-up to the 2012 World Championships.

"It's similar dirt and riding conditions. It's at 800m so it's good for training and you can ride up to 1000m. It's going to be good for the body and it's like a second home for me – I know where the good food is and it is comfortable. I am looking forward to building on my preparation from there," he offers.

Cole said he felt like he had done a lot of racing in a short space of time and was looking forward to taking a week off and coming into the World Championships "fresh".

While Cole was really happy to see fellow Kiwi MacDonald take New Zealand's second-ever World Cup victory, he had hoped it might have been him on that winner's dais.

"It was good to see him win – when I crossed the line I had a lot of things going through my head – I am stoked for him winning, of course. There are a bunch of Kiwis here who supported us in France, which is always nice."

Cole said he had trained to win races this year, which he said was quite a different approach to training to finish top five.

"When I started training in November I really had a desire to win races. I was training to win races and I was determined to do that," he said.

"Every day I went training that was the goal. I was a little bit behind in the beginning as my arm healed, but after I finished fifth in that first race I thought it would not be long before I won. Qualifying first was a boost in confidence for me, but I don't think it was meant to be for me today," conceded Cole, who has been battling with a throat infection throughout the weekend.

"Hopefully another time, with a little bit of luck, it will work out better for me."

Cole admitted that the competition was tough at the top of the sport, but was more determined than ever.

"The level is so high, but when you do perform well at this level it feels great."

Cole will next race at the 2012 UCI World Downhill Championships to be held at Leogang, Austria, from August 31 to September 2, 2012.

Crash topples Cole's podium hopes

Crash topples Team Lapierre International rider Cam Cole's podium ambition at the fifth round of the 2012 UCI Downhill MTB World Cup series held at Windham, USA, at the weekend, but speed continues to build. Cam Cole, of Christchurch, New Zealand, has wrapped up the North Amercian leg of the 2012 UCI World Cup series with an 11th at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, and a 41st at Windham, USA, but his race run analysis reveal his speed continues to build.

"I made a little mistake in the middle section [at Windham] – I got caught out by the patchy light while trying to get around a rock that was poking out of the ground in a corner," Cole explains. "It was covered in dust and I thought I was on my line, but I was a foot outside it in the soft powder. As soon as I tried to turn aggressively I just washed out." The patchy light in the trees made conditions difficult for all riders at Windham and cost Cole his shot at a podium finish, but he is calm about the incident. "I landed on my arm and it has a pretty decent graze up it, but I have had ice on it and I think it will be okay." The Windham World Cup was won yet again by USA rider, Aaron Gwin, in a time of 2:26.416 extending his lead in the series even further.

"I felt really good yesterday and today and have been in a good mindset. I just wanted to go to the top of the hill today and get a good result. Everything was there – I feel like we went in the right direction with the bike – just a few more tweaks will make it very comfortable and eliminate the risk of making silly mistakes," he shares. Cole posted the fastest speed through the speed trap with 64.031kmh and was seventh overall at the first split before he crashed.

Cole said the shorter track at Windham suited where he was at with his training right now. "It's gnarly now – these tracks are so fast and everyone is pushing so hard so when something does go wrong it's quite major with flat tyres or broken bones among the stakes," he offers. "We have to risk even more now. This year everyone is pushing and the quality of the field is so deep. At a track like Windham if you make one mistake you're outside the top 10 or top 20 even." Cole admitted that it was a dangerous game at the top of the sport. "I think if I stopped on the side of the track and watched other riders I'd get a bit scared, but when I am racing I am so focused on what I am doing. In a race run you can always go a little bit faster than in training – you push yourself that little bit more. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes it doesn't quite go your way." At Windham things certainly didn't go Cole's way. "I gave it my all today and so I am happy with that and I am happy with how I felt on the track. It's frustrating to have crashed, but even a foot out or missing a line can cost you time and you need every half second on a short track like this," he explains.

"We found some speed and I think for the next few races we're heading in the right direction," he explains. At Mont-Sainte-Anne a week earlier Cole finished 11th in what he described as his best ride yet. "It's hard to explain, but if I had finished in the top 10 at Mont-Sainte-Anne it would have been a better feeling than my fifth at Val di Sole. We maybe had a good bike set-up for the track at Val di Sole and everyone has now caught up for these tracks. It felt good last week and we made some good steps forward with the bike and my mind is getting there as well."

After racing four out of the five rounds in the series so far, Cole sits in 13th overall with fellow Kiwis Sam Blenkinsop and Brook Macdonald in 11th and 12th respectively and George Brannigan in 14th. "I think all the Kiwis are going away from this race a bit disappointed, but you know that will make us all hungrer for the end of the season," Cole ventures.

Cole is now looking forward to a rest and some time to get back into some training. "I feel confident I can get back into the top 10." Cole's team mate Loic Bruni, of France, posted his best result of the season to date with a fifth place at Windham, which didn't come as a surprise to Cole. "He has a really smart head on him and he amazes me every week – he's been racing World Cups for two years and he has learnt things within a year that took me four years to learn. He is one of those guys – one in a million like a Gwin or a Hill or a Brosnan. He's going to be a good rider if he keeps going at this rate. He had a good run today and he executed his run when a lot of guys didn't."

The glut of four races in the middle of the season had taken its toll on riders and the break was well needed, Cole said. "I hadn't raced a World Cup until Italy which was a month ago now – so for me it's been just going to races and learning about the bike and my physical condition at the races. We haven't had the chance to go away and try things with the bike or do things with the training where you might be lacking physically." "I knew that would be a challenge when I got here – I have been on the road for about seven weeks now so I am looking forward to a break. The driving, flying and five different countries, each with different food – it takes its toll. It's hard to keep the body fresh and recover for the next week."

Cole will take one weekend off before attending Crankworx Europe and Mega Avalanche ahead of the penultimate World Cup at Val d'Isére at the end of July. "Crankworx and Mega Avalanche are festival events so they will be more about having time on the bike and training for me," he smiles.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review Show: Relive Val Di Sole

Review Show: Relive Val Di Sole

Cam Cole fasteset kiwi at Fort William World Cup

Cam Cole, of Christchurch, New Zealand, has backed up his podium finish in Italy last week with tenth place at the third round of the 2012 UCI World Cup series held in misty conditions at Fort William, Scotland, at the weekend.

The race was won by USA rider, Aaron Gwin, in a time of 4:48.21. Cole, the fastest Kiwi at the event and just over seven seconds off the winning time, now sits in 11th overall in the series despite missing the opening round. "Top 10 is pretty good – I am happy with this," explains 24-year-old Cole.

"Yesterday was a bad day for me so all things considered I am happy with the result today. I would have liked to have been a bit faster, but 10th is okay and I was happy to qualify ninth after the morning I had yesterday." World Cup riders spend the Saturday practice sessions dialling the lines in and optimising the bike for a course. Of Cole's four practice runs on Saturday he punctured on three rendering the remainder of each run worthless. "The flats all happened in the top quarter of the course, so I'd just be rolling down after them and it meant I didn't have a good feel for the course at race pace. I couldn't feel the track or anything, so I did a fourth run, but by then I was quite tired – it's a long course," admits Cole. With the winning time just under 4:50, the course at Fort William is one of the longest on the circuit and physically demanding.

"I think it helped that I woke up to rain this morning," Cole shares. "I enjoyed today a lot more, got some full runs in and had a lot less frustration. It had rained overnight and was raining on and off all day." The rain meant the track became a lot softer and cut up a lot from practice run to the final run. "Coming into the wood section – it looked a lot different, so I wasn't too sure what to expect in the woods and I nearly went off the track at one point – just missed a big stump and was quite lucky to stay on between the tape," he shares. "I felt really good at the top and good through the middle – I hit my turns really nicely, but I felt a bit sluggish at the bottom of the course. I'd like to find a couple of seconds in there somewhere – it'd make a huge difference to my result. I will go away after this and work on that and hopefully get to Mont-Sainte-Anne and Windham with a couple more seconds on the bike."

Race winner, Aaron Gwin, qualified 29th after a disastrous qualification run, but this may have played into his hands. "The track got a bit slower toward the end as it softened up and the holes developed a bit more, but he [Aaron Gwin] is riding fast at the moment so it might not have affected him," considers Cole. The punctures from Saturday meant Cole didn't have enough time to dial the bike in as much as he'd like for the final run. "We had a few ride-height issues – we needed to make the bike a bit stiffer in the rear for this course. Especially on the jumps, when you pump the bike with a slightly soft rear it will chew through your pump and you won't make speed. It's a tricky one to dial in." "I think we've got a great bike heading into Mont-Sainte-Anne where it's rough and rocky. It's in this type of detail that you find one or two seconds."

Cole admitted that the Fort William course was very physical and he said he wished he'd had a bit more in his legs for the pedalling sections. "Today I really tried to enjoy it and I thought less in my run – I got into it after a few corners and was able to switch off and enjoy it. I usually seem to be able to pull guys back in the lower part of the course – I wasn't able to do that today unfortunately. We have a week now to work on that before Canada."

Since the middle of May Cole and his teammates have been on the bike nearly every day and are looking forward to some time off the downhill bike ahead of Canada. "Mont-Sainte-Anne is a similar course to Fort William, but with more technical sections. I feel strong on the technical and I think these in-between sections can make or break a race. I think that's where Gwinny and the fast guys are edging ahead a little bit," he explains.

Just outside the top 10 in the overall, Cole is happy with his progress. "I'm now 11th overall with just two races under my belt, so I am happy. I am always learning and always moving forward." Cole will now spend a week on a photo shoot for the team before flying out from Europe on Sunday to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, to prepare for Round 3 of the UCI Downhill World Cup Series. "I got fifth their last year and qualified fourth, so I am really looking forward to racing on this track. I really like Canada as well – I'm looking forward to this one – it should be a good trip with the team."

Cam Cole back on podium at World Cup #2

Team Lapierre International rider Cam Cole returns from injury with a podium finish at the second round of the 2012 UCI Downhill MTB World Cup series held at Val di Sole, Italy, at the weekend. Cam Cole, of Christchurch, New Zealand, sat out the opening round of the 2012 UCI World Cup series in March to let his badly broken fore arm heal completely - a move that seems to have paid off for the likeable Kiwi racer as proven by his performance at the second round in Italy on Sunday.

Cole raced straight into the hotseat with a superb ride, before eventually having to settle for fifth. He was the fastest Kiwi in the race and took the last spot on the podium ahead of current World Downhill Champion, Danny Hart, of Great Britain. "It's pretty surprising - I didn't expect to be that high up really. I just did my own thing and it happened for me," explains 24-year-old Cole.

This race was Cole's first ride back in UCI competition since breaking his arm in a practice run ahead of the 2011 World Championships held at Champery, Switzerland, last September. Cole, who had spent the previous week at Leogang, Austria, racing an IXS event on the course that will host the 2012 UCI Downhill World Championships in September, said he was thankful the rain held off. The course at Val Di Sole is considered one of the toughest in the dry and is feared by all in the wet. "I took my time and slowly got back into it - I did my own thing and just got comfortable on the bike again. We did some Fox testing last week with some new suspension, so I just plugged away all week," he adds. His methodical approach paid off when Cole qualified ninth. "I didn't put any more pressure on myself for the final - I wanted to build on my qualifying time, but just wanted to ride smooth and basically do the same run."

A lack of time on the bike manifested itself in the top half of the course for Cole's final run. "I rode a bit tight at the top - my subconscious wasn't working like it usually does - everything wasn't automatic, so I ended up having to think a bit and ended up pulling the brakes on a little bit up the top. I seemed to loosen up in the bottom half of the course and began to flow a bit more," he recalls. "My game plan was just to be smooth and let everyone else make the mistakes. I was aiming for a top-20 and had no real expectations all week."

Near the end of the run Cole rounded a left-hand turn on a super-fast section and drifted with both wheels over a roll in the course. The dramatic moment had onlookers gasping, but Cole remained relaxed as ever, chalking up one of the fastest final third splits. "It was a bit of a blur for me, I got a bit out of control, but I didn't get too stressed out - didn't panic at all," he laughs. "I had no idea how I was going, but I wanted to make the most of the track I had left. I didn't carry the mistake into the next corner and just kept it pinned to the finishline," he shares. "I didn't expect to be straight into the hotseat - you never really feel that good on this track. I just tried to make the most of it once I loosened up."

The few changes to the track this year meant it was a lot tighter, which didn't suit Cole on his return ride. "I felt a lot more comfortable when it opened up in the bottom section - looking ahead to next week at Fort William, I think that's a good sign for me," he asserts. Another good sign for Cole is getting down the hill faster than the current World Downhill Champion, Danny Hart, of Great Britain. "It's always good to beat a World Champion and I think it shows that anyone in the top 10 can win a race at anytime. That's going to be good later in the year at World Champs, which is a bigger goal for me," he explains.

Cole has only raced a handful of events since getting back on the downhill bike just before Easter: a Super D and a downhill race in Queenstown and then Leogang last week. Coupled with testing to optimise the new Lapierre downhill bike and Fox suspension, there hasn't been much rest. "The new bike is a little bit different to the bike we rode last year. I got it a few weeks ago and we have been working to get that set-up for me. The guys at Fox have been great in helping us to get the bike dialled," Cole said. "The [Val Di Sole] track is very rough and I did about 12 runs over the whole weekend. I usually try not to ride a track too much, but I felt like I needed a bit of bike time this weekend so I just got into it. I did four runs on Friday, then three runs on Saturday plus my qualifier and then three runs before the final today." "The track was very soft and changing quite a lot so I wanted to make sure I knew where all the rocks and roots were so I could be confident with where I was putting my wheels," Cole tells.

Cole said he was glad to get through his return ride "at a gnarly track like this one without any issues" and that the good result was just a bonus. "I've had a lot of text messages, Facebook messages and emails from everyone back home. Everyone who helps me has played a part here - my partner Amy, my mum and dad, my coach, the team and my Kiwi mechanic this year Matt Clark from Christchurch. It's good to be around like-minded people and other Kiwis - we're away from home so long, so it helps to have them here," he admits. "This result shows that bigger team that we're all going in the right direction," Cole adds.

Cole will now travel to Fort William in Scotland to prepare for Round 3 of the UCI Downhill World Cup Series. "I'm very excited going into Fort William, but I now need a couple of days off to recover and to let my body bounce back. I haven't done any racing like this for such a long time and I rode a lot here," he smiles.

Val di Sole World Cup Round 2

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cole to miss out first 2012 Downhill World Cup

Team Lapierre International rider Cam Cole to sit out the first round of 2012 UCI Downhill MTB World Cup series to be held at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa this weekend.

The decision to sit out the opening round of the 2012 UCI World Cup series was not any easy one for Kiwi downhill racer, Cameron Cole, who broke his wrist completely through during the Downhill World Championships last September.

“It has been a long time since I have been able to ride a mountain bike – I only got back on a cross-country bike two weeks ago – just light riding,” explains 24-year-old Cole.

It was at the 2011 World Championships held in September at Champery, Switzerland, that Cole broke his wrist after a fall in a practise run. Ironically, it was only 100m from where he’d fallen the previous year during a World Cup round, which resulted in a broken scaphoid.

Summer in his hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, has been all about recovery for Cole who rides for Team Lapierre International.

“I have been training hard since November – I have been able to run, swim, go to the gym and ride the road bike, so I have a good base, but I need to bring some power and sport-specific elements to my training now,” smiles Cole.

He expects to ride his downhill bike in the next few weeks – the first time since his crash at Champery. This will give him a few months before his first World Cup race to raise the intensity required to compete at the highest level.

“I am not race-ready mentally or physically,” he offers.

“I have not spent any time on the bike, so I don’t have a choice here. I am a racer and I want to test myself every time I go out, but I need to be ready. I need these two weeks here in New Zealand to keep my recovery on track. I want to be 100% and strong when I get back on the bike.”


For 2012, Cole is joined on the Team Lapierre International Team by a new mechanic: his good friend Matt Clark “otherwise known as Snowy”. Cole will join teammate and fellow Kiwi Sam Blenkinsop, of Wanganui, on the team that also includes Patrick Thome and Loic Bruni and is mentored by one of the sport’s most respected riders: Nicolas Vouilloz.

When aksed about the magnitude of missing the first round, Cole is quick to put the season into perspective.

“The only change for me will be that I won’t be Top-80 in the practise for the second World Cup, so I will have to get up earlier and will get a little less practise time.”

“I will be one of the early ones to qualify and then hopefully from there I will be in the Top-80 or Top-20 from there on in and then I will be protected for qualifying as well.”

He had only failed to qualify for one World Cup ever – “I was sick with some kind of swine flu, so my record is pretty good”, he said.

“Missing out on the points from this first round doesn’t worry me – I will make it up later on, it has been done before. I just want to win races,” he added.

There are two big events in the elite echelon of downhill racing: The UCI World Cup Series made up of seven rounds and the UCI World Championship, which is a one-off event and will be held at Leogang, Austria in September.

“The World Championships have become more of a focus for me for the next three years,” shares Cole.

“It’s a pinnacle event for mountain biking. The track at Leogang has been good for me in the past – it’s where I had my second podium so I am very excited about racing there at the start of September.”

Throughout the summer, Cole has been working hard with his new coach: Katherine Prumm, herself a multi-World Motocross Champion.

“I guess change is motivating – I have been on some good training that is more specific to my sport and I feel like I have made gains through that,” he begins.

“I haven’t been as tired as much – I’ve had the opportunity to recover between training sessions and I feel like that has allowed me to make gains. I feel like I am now doing the right training with the right structure.”

“Katherine has been a world-class athlete herself in motocross – it is hard to find someone who has both the knowledge and the experience. Motocross is a little bit longer duration than downhill, but otherwise there are a lot of similarities – you can’t buy that kind of experience.”

Prumm is no stranger to recovering from injury and has been able to keep Cole on track throughout an off-season completely devoid of any downhill riding.

“She’s good on the psyche side and has helped to keep me positive and focused,” he explains.

“It seems like a lot of the mental side comes from knowing that you have done everything in your control that you can do to prepare and from there it is just a matter of letting the race happen.”

Monday, January 09, 2012

BACKFLIPS Clothing and Cam Cole team up for 2012

For 2012 Cam Cole will be rocking the all new Blackflips summer range. The Backflips story is relatively new but they have set the standard high and are growing quickly. Now seen as a major player in NZ clothing brands for xtreme personalities around the country. Coming from a motocross background, Backflips is bringing New Zealand the balls and adventure in clothing that its been missing out on for generations! Backflips clothing is not designed to be kept clean watching TV at home! It's for those people out there that like to live life tapped out! Whether you're Backflipping your dirt bike, bmx, skateboard, snowboard or your Nana's walking frame... these threads are for you!!



Cam Cole leaves long time sponsor and friends at Quiet Chaos clothing co but is excited about the new relationship and opportunities that this new deal will bring. Cole says "the guys at backflips have an awesome vision and great ideas for where the brand is going. Just take a look at all the cool events they put on and the fresh threads coming out all the time".

Cam Is currently training and preparing to get back on his bikes at the beginning of 2012 after his horrific arm break at the Mountain Bike world champs earlier in September. Cole Joins Team Lapierre International again for 2012 with goals that have him aiming for wins on the 2012 world cup circuit. "I have a new coach for 2012 and this with a few other small changes has instilled a new confidence and motivation in me for racing". Cole hit the World Cup podium consecutively at the last two rounds of the series taking him to a career best 7th in the series overall. "I was so close to the top 3 last year at many events but I was just 1 or 2 seconds from the top 3 or even the win so that was tough but I learnt a lot"



Watch out 2012.

"Backflips" It's about having the balls to really go for what you want & not be afraid to put it all on the line!