A crazy couple weeks done and dusted with some awesome results and some not so awesome crashes!
Where to start?... X Games 16 in Aspen! After a big build up it was great to finally get to Aspen and check out all the hype.
It was pretty much as I expected but the course was maybe a little bigger than what I had envisaged. We only had a couple of hours training on the course during the week. This was great apart from taking a massive crash the day before racing. I hit the gap jump a little to hard and came down on my hip and ribs bad.
Luckily the NZ team had 'Physio Sally' on board and she came to the rescue with some treatment and pain relief to help me get through the race day.
With the injury I was pushed back in my time trail and had 5th Gate selection. This wasn't ideal going into the final and hard to make up a extra 3-4meters going into the second feature with my start gate out wide.
I totally smashed the start out of the gates and down into the first feature, then pushed my way into whole shot, only to become bogged in some soft snow on the second feature seeing me wash out and loose the lead, grrrrr. With some hard work throughout the rest of the course i managed to move back up the field into 4th place.
Although I had higher goals for my X Games campaign I am still happy with how the event ended up. The size and technicality of the course really taught me some new skills and helped my overall riding.
In the end Keith Gable (USA) came in 1st with Mike Shea (USA) 2nd and last years X Games winner Evan Strong also of USA in 3rd. These guys are some of the best adaptive riders in the world and was great to line up against them in such a massive event.
Without my sponsors (Smith Optics, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow.co.nz, Base NZ, Disabled Snow Sports NZ) and support from SPARC and High Performance NZ, making the X Games wouldn't have come true. I am looking forward to next years X Games and hoping to improve on my 4th place.
With little rest between X Games and World Champs in France I was on a plane before I could catch my breath. Next stop Orcieres France for the World Championships! Check out my next blog for how I went.