Swedish Cup Finals Stockholm/Flottsbro

Here we go!

Got the Friday off to get myself, Elisabeth and Josefine up to Stockholm in time for late practice.

We showed up just in time for the rain to start, nice!

The Flottsbro track has almost always looked the same, you start in the open piste and then you hit a rock section, after that you pedal for 50m and then you hit some switchbacks, done.

However, the good people up in Stockholm mixed things up this year by taking away the switchbacks, adding two sprint sections, a bit of forest and a couple of jumps. Much needed rest for the switchbacks. ;)

The changes were good, but the weather had fouled things a bit, a double jump in the open looked like it came from a MX track with 6-8 deep ruts in the face. The track crew tried to fix it with some gravel, but it was all to soft in the base, and it caused a lot of people trouble.

Photo: Magnus SchmidtPhoto: Magnus Schmidt

Practice went pretty well, my hand (thumb) was feeling a bit better, my riding was a bit stiff though!

We (me, Elisabeth, Josefine, Manfred and Jon B) crammed ourselves into the five person (yeah right) cabin after spending a couple of hours cleaning all the muddy snot off our bikes. Tacos all around, and everybody tried to relax and not poke anyone’s eye out while moving about the accommodation.

Jon B seemed to be falling ill, pulling a fever and looking like a dead guy. Uh oh!

Saturday, qualification day and 4X

After a good nights sleep on a bed slightly more comfortable than a two by four covered in land mines I started to check the track properly.

Took a few runs with Patrik Sjögren Fritz (roosting him and some photographers quite badly in the process) and settled on my lines.

Photo: Jenny Kedén Photo: Anki Eriksson

Spent some time looking at people going over (not always over) the aforementioned sketchy double, endo city I tell you.

About 10 minutes before my time slot it started drizzling slightly, then the wind picked up, then it started pouring down properly! My run was…. interesting. Dropping into the first piste section I got sprayed with mud like there was no tomorrow, good fun!

Enjoyed sliding around during the run, but stalled a bit in the rocks, no top ten for me and no points. Feeling full moto everywhere so that kind of compensated. :)

Photo: Anki Eriksson

Elisabeth got the job done and qualified first among the women, unfortunately Lina S took a digger on the rutted out double, knocking her out more or less.

Yet again waited in line for an hour to wash, good to grab a shower after all that.

We got the waterproofs out and went to see the 4X-people duke it out in the mud. Holy shit, the 4X course looked miserable! We took position at a big double and enjoyed the carnage. Josefine was one of the poor bastards who doubled up with the DH, the kid is made of steel! She did well considering riding a big rig, not optimized for gate starts.

Photo: Magnus Schmidt

Martin Söderström showed for DH-qualis and also rode the 4X with good success, he got second behind Felix Beckeman. That guy has some talent on a bike!

Anyhoo, we took the car to Huddinge (Hoodinge?) to get some food, Jon B now really really sick and everyone feeling that they would probably get his bugs, he looked as pale as a goth at this point.

Race day!

Pulled a few runs during the morning, weather was better but the mud was pretty sticky, gears bogged up after a two runs. :)

Photo: Magnus Schmidt

It was drying more and more as the different classes got underway, Elisabeth did the business and took the win in the womens, yay!

Photo: Magnus Schmidt

My quali was sub par so I started early in the elite class. Rode pretty steady and had good sprints on the straights, but yet again stalled in the rock section. Had to unclip to fix the situation, rode the rest of the track well. Came down to take the hot seat but I knew this was not going to last for very long. With such a short track and only one “difficult” part, the top ten in the elite class were going to be neck and neck.

Got bumped after a few riders and then it was downhill from there. ;)

Manfred put in a good run and got 8th, I think I ended up in 15th, hah, nasty! Photo: Magnus Schmidt

Pretty shitty weekend of racing for me, very happy for my girl though. Won the race, won the cup and got a trip with Switchbacks as icing on the cake.

The light in the tunnel is that I did place fifth in the cup, very pleased with this! Considering the people in front of me are more or less full time cyclists makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. ;)

To sum it all up

So, this season of racing is done. It has been a roller coaster ride as always. Good riding mixed with bad, being on form mixed with injury. It’s all good.

One more weekend of riding (Hafjell) and then my bike will be sold and the prep for next season will begin.

Will be visiting the doctor to check out the ligaments in my hand, hopefully I will not need surgery on that, just some solid rehab or perhaps just rest.

Nothing really resolved yet for next year in the bike/gear department yet. I do however have a few meetings to look forward to during the next few weeks, I’ll update as things come along.

One thing is for certain, I’m enjoying the riding and racing a lot more again. Looking forward to building a good base during the winter, and looking forward to 2011!

Photo: Jenny Kedén

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