Friday, July 27, 2012

Long awaited update

Hello all,

I didn't realise it has been so long since updating the blog....  My apologies about that but I've been keeping the Crimmins Downhill facebook page up to date.  It's much easier but I thought I would also do a bit of an update on here.

Well, a lot has happened since the Champs in February.  Andrew took out the 2011/12 National Series in his first year in Under 17's and Thomas ended up 3rd overall in the Under 19's category.  Both boys are stoked on their placement over the National Season.

Andrew also attended all the 2011/12 Vic State Rounds placing 1st in 4 rounds and 2nd in one round.  This gave him enough points to take the overall Series win in the Under 17's category.

Both boys attended the CORC ACT Mtb Championships in April 2012.  This consisted of racing 4 disciplines including Dual Slalom, Gravity XC, XC and Downhill.  Andrew raced in all 4 disciplines and ended up with enough points to take out the overall win for the Junior Division.  Thomas had just completed a 4 day Junior Worlds Training Camp with the rest of the Junior long team and had a big few days so he decided to just focus on the Downhill.  This payed off for Thomas as he ended up placing 1st in Elite Men ahead of Timmy Eaton and Joe Vejvoda.

After attending the Junior Camp in Canberra in April, Thomas was eventually informed that he had been selected onto the final Junior Worlds Team that would be representing Australia at the Champs in Leogang, Austria in September.  We were all stoked on the news and also very proud of Thomas.  On 16th June, Thomas left with the Team to race World Cup Rounds in Mont St Anne, Canada and Wyndham, New York.  He gained a huge amount of experience from the trip and ended up placing 92nd and 96th respectively.  He also turned 17 whilst he was OS.

During the winter months, Andrew has been playing Rugby League so he hasn't been racing any CORC Clubbies and it seems that Thomas has been unavailable for a lot of them also.  Hopefully this will change once the summer months approach.

On the weekend of 23/24 June, the remainder of the team headed to Del Rio for the first of the NSW/ACT State Round.  Andrew decided to test himself and race in U19's and hopefully also gain himself some cash prizes.  Heading to the top for seeding, Andrew was hoping for a top 5 finish.  He ended up seeding first so he was stoked with that and realised he may even be able to finish in the top 3 after race.  Andrew ended up placing 2nd in race so he was really happy with his effort for the weekend.

Last weekend the whole team attended Round 2 of the State Series in Coffs Harbour.  Driving all day Friday, practice Saturday (including driving shuttles, towing a trailer in the Prado all day), race Sunday and drive home all day Monday.  Phew, what a trip.  The weather wasn't the best, cool and windy on Saturday, cool and rainy on Sunday.  Rain set in just before seeding on Sunday morning making the track extremely slippery.  Andrew stayed upright and seeded in 2nd place in U19's.  Thomas had an off and seeded 6th in Elite.  More rain before race saw the times a fair bit slower than seeding but Andrew was ever consistent and place 2nd in race.  Thomas had a bit of a mis-hap at the top of the track but still managed to finish in 9th place in Elite Men.

I will try to make more of an effort to keep this site updated from now on.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Australian National Championships - Adelaide

Thomas places 3rd in U19 and unfortunately Andrew had a mechanical and placed 14th in U17.

Mum, Dad and Andrew headed to Adelaide early on Wednesday morning with Thomas going to school and flying over on Wednesday afternoon.  We did the trip in about 14 hours, with plenty of time to find our cute little cottage in Glenelg, settle in and then pick Thomas up.

Practice went well from Thursday through to Saturday's seeding with a few wheels having to be re-built and a few flat tyres but nothing major.  The weather was soooo hot and the track was getting really blown out.  We had our pit set up in the carpark (or should I say oven) with a tarp for some shade.  It was way too hot to stand out in the sun for very long.

As Andrew is still in Group B and Thomas in Group A, we pretty much had to be at the track all day.  Or should I say Dad had to be at the track all day.  Mum managed to spend some time at the beach with Thomas while Andrew was practising and then with Andrew when Thomas was practising.

Seeding went well on Saturday with Thomas seeding in 5th.  Andrew didn't get a seeding run as they ran a different format to the National Series.  He wasn't very happy about it either.

Group B race on Sunday morning saw Andrew place 14th out of 22 riders in the Under 17's as he had a mechanical at the very top of the track and couldn't pedal for the whole track.  He looked good all during practise but sometimes these things happen and now he is just focusing on doing well at the next round of the Series at Awaba so he can take out the Series.

Mum and Dad decided to watch Thomas' race run from the Village on the big screen as they had a few camera's set up.  Thomas had a fantastic run and came over the line in the hot seat with 4 more riders to come. The next 2 riders came down and didn't trouble him and with only 2 riders left, we knew Thomas had a podium.  Connor came down to knock Thomas out of the hot seat and Dean placed 2nd so in the end, Thomas placed 3rd in a very tough field of 42 riders.  He was really happy with his result as his plan for the weekend was to podium and that's exactly what he did.  Things were now looking really good for his selection into the Junior Long Team.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

National Round 3 - Mt Stromlo 5 Feb 2012

What would a National Series be without at least some rain?  We've been pretty lucky with the first two rounds, but couldn't drag it out for round three.  Never mind, at least it only rained on Friday and cleared up (and warmed up) for the rest of the weekend.  Practice on Friday was wet and muddy but went without any dramas.  Except when we arrived home on Friday arvo, we had to light the heater so we could dry out shoes, kits, helmets, etc (lucky it hasn't been a very warm summer).

Saturday morning saw Ian and Andrew head down to Stromlo for Group B practice and seeding while Thomas had a bit of a sleep in. Mum and Thomas headed down in time for Mum to start her Marshaling duties and watch Andrew's seeding run.. Andrew's seeding went well and he finished in first place by just over a second from Joel.  Thomas' practice also went well as did his seeding run where he finished in third place, only 0.79 of a second off first place.  Andrew stayed with a mate on Saturday night so he could go to 'Cam's Jam'.  He really enjoyed it.

Back to the track for an early start on Sunday morning for Andrew to start practice and Thomas to walk the track to prepare for race.  Andrew did a couple of practice runs and was ready for race feeling pretty good with his preparation so far.

Race time came and Andrew, being the last rider in U17's, came pedaling hard to the finish line.  His time was looking good and he crossed the finish line in a winning time of 2:28.04, just over 3 seconds from 2nd place.  After he regained his breath after the big pedal, he was really happy with his run, beating his seeding time by 8 seconds.

Thomas' race run came and he felt pretty good, having got some preparation and training tips from Jared Rando over the weekend, Thomas felt he had done everything he could to put in a good run.  Thomas was on course, time ticking over when we realised something must have happened as we couldn't see him yet.  He crossed the finish line in 8th position 2 seconds slower than his seeding run and 6 seconds off Connor who took the win.  Turns out Thomas had an off in the top part of the track, but managed to get back on his bike and didn't give up so overall, he posted a very respectable time considering.  He now sits in 3rd place overall for the Series with one round remaining.

Out of interest, this is the first time Thomas has not been on the podium in the 4 years he has been racing Nationals.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

National Round 2 - Mt Buller, Vic 20-22 Jan 2012

As we attended the Vic State Round in Mt Buller, we decided rather than go home for two days that we would stay for the week between races.  Although we thought we might get a bit bored we managed to fill in the time pretty easily.  Some of us had a nice relaxing time whilst others did not stop (Andrew & Angus) making the most of all the riding available.  We had a pretty full house for the week with people coming and going but it all worked really well and everyone had a good time.

Thomas and David were told by Jared Rando not to ride the race track during the week so he and David did a bit of XC and rode some of the other Gravity trails.  Andrew and Angus just smashed runs out all week on anything they felt like, they were in bike heaven.

Friday was Open practice all day for the Gravity Cup so the boys got into it early, punching out runs all day with no major issues which is always a good thing.

Saturday was Open practice in the morning and then Group B seeding runs from 1.30pm.  Andrew's seeding run went really well and he crossed in an amazing 3:25.46, 11 seconds ahead of 2nd place in a field of 21 riders.  He sure did have all the Group A boys in a bit of a sweat "can't let a 14 year old beat us".  Thomas' seeding run went well also, finishing in 4th place with a bit left in the tank. 

Sunday morning was Group B Practice and race.  We arrived at the top of the track and you wouldn't have even known there was a race on, no music, not commentary, no atmosphere. Anyway, Andrew did two practice runs and sat and waited for this race time.  Finally after what seemed like forever, his race time arrived.  As he seeded first, he was the last one to go in reverse order.  Watching the timing on the clock we knew if he did a similar time to yesterday he would have it.  As it turns out, unbelievably, he did a faster time than seeding finishing in a 3.24:25 to put 6.50 seconds on 2nd place.  Amazing!!!  This time would have seen him finish 2nd in U19 and 7th in Elite men :0

The afternoon saw Group A practice and race.  I have to say, I much preferred it when both boys were in Group B and we could stress in the morning and then relax for the afternoon.  Thomas did his usual couple of practice runs, last one just before cut off so he could see how the track had changed.  Bit of food, relax and it was race time.  After a bit of a warm up waiting for the rest of the 54 riders to start, it was Thomas' turn.  As the timing went out on the screen, we didn't really know where it was up to so they finally put on some commentary.  It turned out that when Thomas crossed the finish line in 3.24:59, he went into the hot seat which he said surprised him a bit as there were some fast riders before him.  He managed to sit in the hot seat until the very last rider, Connor Fearon who pipped him by 3.91 secs.  Thomas was still stoked with his podium finish and to also gain enough points to receive the "Series Leader" plate in his very first year of Under 19's.

I have to say there was some bantering going on in the Crimmins household (and still is).  If you have a good look at both boys final times you'll understand why.  We all knew it would happen one day, just not yet.

Will check in after Stromlo National Round in 2 weeks.  In the meantime, check our facebook page, Crimmins Downhill.  Catchya!

Vic State Round 4 - Mt Buller 15 Jan 2012

The team attended the Fourth Round of the Vic State Series in Mt Buller on the weekend of 14 & 15 January 2012.  Both boys decided to race this round as we were all going to be there and Thomas decided he needed to try and replenish his bank balance hopefully with some cash in U19's.

Thomas traveled down with David McMillan while the rest of the team went together.  Thomas and David arrived first and found our little lodge and luckily turned the heaters on for us as the place was freezing.  We settled into the lodge and the boys did some runs on Friday to see what the track was like.  Not overly impressed with the race track but were happy to also be able to do a variety of runs on different tracks. 

Saturday was a solid day of practice.  Sunday morning was qualifying runs for both boys.  Andrew wanted to gain maximum points so he went all out in qualies and finished first by 14 seconds.  Thomas held back a bit and qualied in fifth place.

Afternoon race came around and the boys were pumped to go well.  Final results were Andrew 1st U17's by 10 seconds in a time of 03:32,425 and Thomas coming in 2nd place U19's in a 03:31,347 (only one second between the boys).  Another great Vic event over with and now looking forward to the last round.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

National Round 1 - Thredbo 11 Dec 2011

The first of the National Rounds arrived nice and close to home too.  Both boys have now moved up a division, Andrew into U17's and Thomas into U19's at National level.  Andrew decided to do the Rando/Corey clinic at Thredbo on Thursday before race where he said he learned a lot and picked up a few good tips.  The whole family headed to Thredbo on Friday for a day of practice and to check into the lodge.  Practice went well on Friday with the track quite dry and dusty.  Both boys got in some good runs but because they know the track so well, didn't need to bust themselves.

Saturday practice saw another day of fine weather.  Group B practice started at 8:30am with seeding starting at 11am.  Mum and Dad had to attend a wedding in Braidwood on Saturday afternoon so were able to watch Andrew's seeding run before quickly heading out to make the big trek to the wedding.  Andrew had an absolute blinder of a seeding run and finished in a time of 5:49.14 which was about 20 seconds faster than his run at the CORC round 2 weeks prior and also 19 seconds faster than the second placed U17 rider.  As it turned out Andrew's time was the fastest in Group B (also only just over 1second slower than Sam Hill's seeding run in the arvo haha).

Thomas's seeding run was going well until he hit a tree which slowed him down a bit but he still managed to finish with the third fastest seeding time so he was happy with that.  He knew he could pick up a bit of time for race tomorrow.  Funny thing is that Andrew's seeding time was 0.02 second faster than Thomas' and didn't he let him know it!!  Pretty much all night actually.  Lucky Mum & Dad were in Braidwood.

Saturday night saw some heavy rain with showers clearing in the morning.  Thomas was hoping that it would rain all night and all day as he loves the mud.  Not so much Andrew.  With the clouds threatening all morning, lucky for us the rain held off for Andrew's race run.  As Andrew was the fastest seeded rider in U17's he was the last rider down not only for U17's but for the whole of Group B.  Very nerve wracking for us parents standing around waiting.  Waiting for Andrew to come out of the scrub, watching the clock, we could see his seeding time come and go but still no Andrew.  Next thing here he comes, pedalling and jumping hard, it was going to be close to Joel's time, could he do it?  YES, he crossed the line and took the win by 2 seconds.  As it turns out, Andrew actually took a 'digger' in his race run, went over the bars and broke his gear lever, a bit of bark off but still managed to get back on and keep going.  Just goes to show, you should never give up even after a crash.

Group A practice in the afternoon saw some showers which at times looked like it could turn into heavy rain but luckily it didn't.  As the U19's started coming down the track, so did the rain.  We were all thinking if the rain got heavier as the riders went through, the top guys might end up racing on a totally different track than the earlier riders.  But luckily that didn't happen.  As Connor Fearon didn't finish his seeding run on Saturday, he was the third rider to come down the track and as expected, took the hot seat.  With only 3 riders left that might be able to knock Connor out of the seat, here came Thomas, out of the bushes, this was going to be close but yes, he came over the finish line to claim the hot seat.  Sooo stoked.  With only 2 more riders to come, Thomas new he had a podium position. Thomas' time ended up being beaten by only 0.68 second to see him finish in 2nd place in his first ever National Round in Under 19's.  There was only 2 first year U19 riders in the top ten so Thomas was really happy with his efforts as were the whole family.

Due to Thomas' fantastic result, he has now been told that he is on the Junior Worlds long team and will be going into camp for the next round at Mt Buller.  We are all so very proud of Thomas as this is what he's been working towards for the last 2 years.  He now just needs to continue getting good results and will then end up representing Australia at the World Championships in Leogang, Austria in September 2012.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vic State Round 2 - Mt Major, Shepparton 6 Nov 2011

While Thomas stayed home to study for his Year 10 School Certificate Exams, Andrew attended Round 2 of the Vic Series in Shepparton.  Andrew had a good practice on Saturday only having one stack and skinning the front of his arm (to match the scar on the back of his arm from a couple of years ago).  Seeding was done on Sunday with Andrew posting a pretty good time which saw him seed #1 in U17's.

Race run done and Andrew's time of 2.14:80 was good enough to win him the U17 division by 4 seconds.  Andrew's time would have placed him 7th in Elite and 4th in U19's.  As much as people complain about the track at Shepparton, it seems to suit Andrew.

Till next time, keep up to date on our facebook page: Crimmins Downhill.