WHISTLER, BC, Canada: The Garbanzo downhill is an epic 15 minute downhill race, falling 3400 vertical feet over rocks roots and the massive jumps in the bike park on the lower sections of the hill. I just got word back from the boys…
Practice for the Garbanzo started on Saturday, we arrived late on Friday, so went up to do a few runs. Donny’s V10 was still missing in action, taking a tour of Europe, thanks to the check-in girl who put two bag tags on one bike bag!
He borrowed Nathan Rennie’s 4X Blur, not ideal for the 15-minute downhill race, which had quite a few sections that were really gnarly. I had a problem with my brake and spent Saturday afternoon trying to fix it while Donny got a front flat in his first practice run, not really a surprise riding on cross country tyres, he also picked up the worst arm pump ever!
As you can imagine, practice didn’t go so well for us. Practice Sunday was short with only enough time for one run. That went pretty good and we even managed to remember a few little bits of the track…
Donny said: “Sunday practice felt like I was in a time warp, riding an old skool downhill bike with four inches of travel!”
Marc said: “At the start I had decided to pace myself and try not to get tired too quickly, there are so many turns in Gabanzo I was coming into sections and not even knowing which way the trail went. The run was pretty steady so I was stoked to get fourth as others ahead of me had more practice and have raced this event before which would definitely help.
“The race was great fun though, the hardest DH event I have ever done. I would love to give it another go.”
Donny said: “I set off pretty quick, bouncing around all over the shop. About a minute in I got a front puncture, not good. I almost pushed back up to get the lift back down but decided I might as well post some sort of time! I stopped to watch (well ok, heckle) Marc, Lopes and Sam then carried on down. By the time I got down, there were marshals pulling down the tape on the track, I was covered in mud and needed a beer!”
Tomorrow is AIR downhill, then slalom Friday. The boys are flat out!
and word just in… Donny’s V10 finally arrived!