The last few races of the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup have seen jumbled time sheets in the junior mens field. Is this proof of mounting pressure on the juniors who at the start of the season were consistently on top? Theres a number of riders including two of our own Hyperformance Hardware Young Gunzs among other kiwi potentials who have been part of the group of riders closing in on established riders through the world cup season. Tuhoto-Ariki Pene and Finn Hawkesby-Brown have also been selected to represent New Zealand at the upcoming UCI World Mountain Bike Championships to be held in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada. They just got back from Europe where they competed in their first world cups of the 2019 season. This was Finns first trip to Europe as a first year junior and Tuhoto’s second trip after much success last year. We caught up with both Finn and Tuhoto this week. With World Championships approaching in the coming weeks read on to gain an insight into their experiences so far this season and preparations for their trip to Canada.
Our boy Caleb Bottcher just arrived back from a successful trip to the East Coast of North America to compete in several Cross Country events in order to gain valuable UCI Points, kilometers under the belt and experience in similar conditions to those he will be faced with at the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships held in Mont Sainte Anne 28th August - 1st September. Read on to hear Calebs perspective (in his own words) on the trip and how the trip difference this trip made to before heading away to World Champs in a few weeks.
“The main purpose of the trip was to race the Mont Tremblant and Baie St Paul Canada Cup and Junior World Series rounds, where I placed 17th and 11th. These events helped me to gain valuable UCI points ahead of World Champs. At Baie St Paul I had some great battles throughout the race but it was also annoying to be held up on the last lap which held me back from gaining a top 10 placing.
After waking at 3am the following morning, we drove for 7 hours to Highland MTB Park (back in the USA) where I placed 3rd in the Open Category. I backed this up the next weekend with another 3rd place in Open Men. An unfortunate crash early in that race cost me a lot of time and required me to chase back through the field without any front suspension!
The final weekend of the trip was the East Coast Junior MTB Championships. Here I had a really strong performance, riding away from the field and maintaining my intensity to finish with good lap time consistency. After winning the cross country on the Saturday, I managed to nab 15th in the enduro on Sunday; still running the same xc setup on my Blur, including high post hah!
During the month I was able to complete a good volume of training with quality rest being away from the usual stresses. The effectiveness of this training block was proven over the weekend when I smashed my existing records in my power tests! Also, the opportunity to train at Mont St Anne in Canada ahead of the World Championships in August was really exciting and a great confidence booster.”
In our second edition of our Hyperformance Young Gunz interviews we introduce to you, Tuhoto Ariki-Pene. Tuhoto is heading overseas as a second year junior downhill racer. After his 2018 attempt at taking on the UCI world cup he is now well equipped with the experience to take it all the way in 2019. If you met this character on the street you would never guess what he gets up to on two wheels at the weekend.
We recently sat down at the computer to nut out some hard hitting questions to put to our two Hyperformance Young Gun downhill hot shots. Both Finn and Tuhoto are soon to be heading overseas to test themselves against the worlds best juniors in the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup. First up on the interview list is Finn Hawkesby-Brown.