Normally the off-season can drag on. The weather’s bad and that usually stops you doing what you want to do. But this year that hasn’t been the case. I suppose that’s probably because I now know what I should be doing in order to achieve my goals and I’m pretty motivated to keep busy.
The only real ‘down time’ I’ve had was during Christmas week. I switched off and tried to forget about the racing side of the sport. After all the travelling and pressure of 2012 it was cool to just hang out with my mates, go play riding and get a couple of nights partying in. We mixed things up a little and messed about on trials bikes down our local quarry and hit the beach on the enduro bikes, spending the day blasting berms and looking for some big gaps to hit.
Many people ask me what I do for training but to be honest I’m not a major fan of the gym. I do all of my training on the bike. There’s nothing more physical than riding your bike and whether you’re trail riding or doing special tests it all adds up – especially when you ride David Knight’s extreme test up the river! Since he’s switched teams he’s been pretty keen to get out riding every day and that’s really helped me a lot to prepare for the hard enduro races I’ve done.
Leading into The Tough One I didn’t really have an idea of where I’d fit in. That type of racing isn’t really my thing. I come from a motocross background so riding across boulders and stuff doesn’t come very naturally for me. But I also know that it’s my biggest weakness and the only way to get better is by going to race them. Ending the race on the podium was a bit of a shock – I wasn’t expecting it at all. I felt good all race and was getting stronger and stronger as the race went on.
With the race being three hours long I think my fitness really showed. I didn’t feel that tired and probably could have done another lap. Backing that result up with a third place finish at the British Extreme Enduro Championship – despite having no brakes – has been great for my confidence. I feel like I’ve up stepped my program and I’m now a lot more confident in those conditions.
However, I don’t think I’ll enter Erzberg just yet, but the idea of racing it is beginning to grow on me. Maybe next year I’ll enter it and see how I get on. But right now the focus is getting ready for the season ahead.
As I type this I’m back in Spain. For the next few weeks I’m going to be staying with the Pons Gas Gas team at their apartment in Barcelona. We’re busy with testing things and fining tuning the set-up for the season ahead. It still feels kind of strange to be the main rider in the Gas Gas Factory team but I’m adjusting to it all.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be busy with SuperEnduro and the first two rounds of the Spanish Enduro Championship. Unfortunately those events clash with the national events back home and though it’s disappointing to miss them, I’m confident that by racing in conditions identical to that of the EWC I’ll be bang on pace for the GP of Chile in March…
Follow me -