Well that’s ErzbergRodeo 2017 done and dusted with. As always it’s been eventful and never fails to disappoint.
Unfortunately the result I wanted didn’t happen — it nearly did — but when the flag was waved I was fifth. It’s a tough result to take.
When you go there with only victory on your mind, fifth just isn’t good enough and I know, even though there’s 10 other riders capable of winning, too, I still want it to be me.
I felt I was riding well, I felt like my speed was there and, technically, I did have what it takes, but along the way we just had a couple of setbacks that ultimately set us back. And at this level — the level the race is now at — there are no room for errors.
My first prologue didn’t go well. We were running the carbed 300cc two-stroke for the race and not the fuel-injected engine and just before we were about to start, the weather changed for the worst.
That massive change in weather, combined with the high speed and change in altitude meant my bike wasn’t running right about three minutes into the run.
It knocked me back to 30th but fixing the problem and rolling up my sleeves for another crack at it on Saturday, I got back to fourth fastest which was sweet, considering how rough the track now was.
The start of Erzberg’s Red Bull Hare Scramble is always a nerve wracking time.
As much as I love the race, those last few minutes in the build-up to the flag dropping are stomach churning.
As soon as I saw the start flag flutter, I hit the button and the bike roared into life. I pinned it to the first corner and got the holeshot.
For the first half of the race the battle was intense with myself, Cody Webb, Wade Young and Billy Bolt; we were going for it.
I had gambled on a softer tyre choice than the guys around me and with the high pace and dry conditions it chewed it up too quickly.
I was struggling for grip at Carl’s Dinner and even more so at Downtown. I dropped from the lead into third and then ultimately fifth.
It was a tough pill to take, but when you’re pushing sections others are riding there’s nothing you can do about it. It was my call and it didn’t pay off — I’ll take the blame. All I can do is put it down to learning experience.
But there’s no time to dwell on it as my bags are packed again for a hard enduro race in the Dominican Republic.
Something new, a place I’ve never been to before, but Webb, Jarvis, Gomez and a bunch more guys are racing too, so it’s gonna be a good one.