Jaymie Mart - BARBADOS NATIONAL DOWNHILL TEAM - one of the most colourful and well loved athletes on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup tour today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Alrightee paddy wonkies!

I’ve been on a voyage involving planes, trains, automobiles, flights of slippery steps, golf driving ranges and lots of crazy, unhealthy nosh (the downside of being on the road!)

This weekend, I headed out to Lisbon, Portugal for the Lisbon Downtown race. The race is invite only, so only the top of the top get invited. Fionn managed to get me in, so I was super stoked to even be there, let alone ride it! The race is absolutely mental! I landed on Friday night, got collected at the airport and taken on a tour around Lisbon before being dropped off at our swanky hotel. Upon my arrival, I was told about the schedule, which by the way was gnarly! At 6 that evening, all the riders gathered together to do a group on foot course inspection.

The race is pretty unique; it starts at the top of the Old town in Lisbon. The course is closed to the pubic and you get to race from the castle at the top of the town, through the narrow streets, over the cobbles, round all the tight corners and down loads of flights of steps! It is the only time I have ridden urban and been able to blast past policemen without being pulled over!

All the riding was done in one day. Each rider was given a personalised number plate and an individual schedule, we had our own vans to shuttle us up the hill for training and a seprate van for our bikes. The organisation was super slick! We all had 4 practice runs and one qualifier. Each practice run had a start time and was scheduled. The majority of the riding we did was televised, with the semi final and the final going out live and being displayed on big screen at the bottom of the course! It was one of the most alien races I have ever done, the terrain was wacky, the cobbles were slidy as ice and super tough to turn on and the steps weren’t much better! The jumps were nuts too, there was one jump over a car, evil kineivil style, and a huck off one set of steps onto another! I really loved riding the course, but I have to say, I sucked! A lot of the girls had raced the track numerous years previous which I do think gave them an advantage. As a downtown virgin I could really have done with more than 4 runs to get to grips with it. Needless to say, I didn’t make the final and finished 11th! I was gutted, but I know what to expect next time (if I get asked back)!!

So, we had some cool folks watching us ride this w.e....the chairman from the UCI, the big guy made an appearance and the world famour F1 Honda driver Rubins Barichello made it down to see what all the fuss was about! Pretty cool hu!!

Thats all folks. Cheerio. XXXX

Monday, May 14, 2007

0.3 Seconds....sneeze n you're outa da maneeey!

So...I rode a stormer y'day and I am proud to say I got the best position I have ever had at the World Cups!! I know you probably think I am strange for blowing my own trumpet...but sometimes at the races when you are surrounded by fasties coming in top 10, 21st doesn't really get celebrated!! So I'm using this wee space here to let you all know that I am super chuffed with that!! I have been working pretty hard this last off season, and with a full time hectic job, it is proving tougher than ever to fit everything in and do it well! So, I slammed into 21st place with only 0.3 seconds seperating my from my dream this season...a top 20! Every race is a baby step closer to my goal...and I learned a lot from this race that will hopefully help me reach my dream in a months time in Champery!

In the womens. Sabrina Jonnier took the lead over Tracy Mosely. Fionn rode well and came in 6th...on the same secon as 3rd and 4th, she misssed the podium by a whisker! In the guys, Marc Beaumont put in a wicked run early in the day, the heavens opened and the rain came pouring down. Marc sat in the hot seat and watched 75 riders go through, not one of them faster...y'day he stood on the podium and claimed his first W.C. win...a magic moment! Buhly scared the living daylights out of us with a mother of all crashes off one of the big doubles at the bottom, but she is cool!

And then there was the party.....W.C. parties are always mad. For some reason, the manager of the official U.C.I W.C. hotel roped us into getting a crown together for the party, we stood for 15 mis phoning all the rooms in the hotel and gathering the troops, fo all that hard work, we go t free booze all night! Magic!! The rest has a big fat parental consent sticker on it, so I can't tell you what else happened!! You just gotta come party for yourself!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I wish I was a little bit taller...

The ole skool hip hop has been out in force today, us world cup girlies have been digging up some oldies to take our minds of the task in hand!

I've just finished qualifying and have been handed the results, hot off the press!! I rocked in 25th. I have to say, although you might read it and think, 25th in the world WOW. Its not so wow..I am so hungry for a top 20 it is unreal! So many people have complimented me on my riding this season, I feel strong and up for it. I dragged my brakes during quali and messed up a couple of sections, also, a massive gap jump at the bottom has been playing on my mind, I chickened out and rolled it. LAME BOTTOM! I know exactly where I can make time up, and I know how, so I am gonna spend the rest of the arvo chilling out and thinking about my run tomorrow.

On a lighter note today, this morning, my teamie Fi (look at Fi-go in vigo Griffiths) bullied me into jumping one one of the mofo jumps on course. She towed me in at warp neck speen and I flew over with ease. The jump is a 20ft long double with a blind lip. I don't know how I made myself do it, but I disengaged my brain and before I knew, I was mid air. Half way over the jump, I looked up to see Fi looking back at me to make sure I was behind...MID AIR!! Can you believe it! in the words of Buhly herself...'Man, it was RAD'!!

K, so what else has been happening? Anja and I have been spreading the warm up love...I have been set a few crazy W.C. day challenges. Buhly thinks she has a slug in her lung, and the hamster in her head is dead, she is so jet lagged, it fell off its wheel!! Lee the mechanic is learning the ropes, and it is so nice having a spanner man around to wrench your busted bike when you bust it, not that I do much! The photos above are.....life in the Griffiths Racing pits....the abysmal Spanish medical transportation getting grounded on a rock on the way to a 'job', and finally..two of my former junior team mates, the future of British racing...crazy wee black bullets!! Below is my task tomorrow..the road crossing jump, seriously, you are airborn so long, riders could be mistaken for clay pigeons...PULL!! Sorry Mum! I'll be just fine!! XX

So, in the girls quali.....
Sabrina Jonnier. 1st
Tracy Moseley. 2nd.
Buhly. 8th.
Look at Fi go in Vigo. 16th...with 2 crashes that won't be incorporated tomorrow!!
Me 25th.

In the section where the people have spitting snakes attached...

Peaty 1st...the rest are history!

Check out Needles' lid (Andrew Neethling). Its given me some inspiration for my world champs lid, wadda-ya think..Lady Barbados????!! XX

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Day 2 in the Baiona mad hooosee

Not gonna write much..but thought that I'd post a few photos. Today was a busy one considering we had no practice! We just had course inspection and rego. The course s MENTAL! Quite a lot has changed from last year, there are LOADS of massive jumps on course!! SCARY massive jumps! They have removed the infamous Vigo rock slab and routed us round a crazy rock section...its a short blast not to dissimilar to Dunkeld, so I'm not phased!
The 4x is nuts....majorly MTB-esk, no hint of smooth BMX style stuff, so the MTBers are lovin it and the BMXers are NOT!!
I've caught up with Buhly and loads of other crazy cats! Tonight we had T at ours, Chez Griffiths Racing....Buhly ended up tripping over her feet n throwing her wine away...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! And I shimmied across the rooftop of our apartment to spy on our neighbours who keep making strange noises......mmmmmm....sus!! Gotta love it!

Short but sweet....I'm off to get some beauty sleep and wisper sweet nothings to my lovely boyfriend Greg who is home and not here with me....and I'm missing him!

Good night all!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Santiago to Vigo and onto Baiona!

Day one....

What a trek! I woke in the airport at the ungodly hour of 5.30am an sorted myself out! The place was riddled with British racers, luckily going in the same direction as me! The mojo riders, Stanny, Camilini and one of the UK Giant riders, Tom Braithwaite and his Mum Jane.

Jane and I snuck off for a brief spell of what we as girls do best, and branched out in duty free while the boys did what I can only imagine was hanging around and talking bikes!! I slept the whole flight, landed into Santiago and was welcomed by a nice warm breeze.

I am the most disorganised traveler in the world, and strongly believe that when time is not of the essence, its far more fun to 'wing it'! Needless to say, I didn't have a clue how I was getting from Santiago to Vigo, but once again, I got lucky and landed a lift with the Braithwaites! We stopped half way and sampled some local fish and an ice cream and headed on to the mecca of crazy road networks that is Vigo.

Once in Vigo, we headed to the official hotel and hooked up with my teamies and a few other brits! We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling and lazing by the pool. I snoozed off in the sunshine and woke up as I was being swung into the pool!! It was freezing...and my phone was in my pocket..good bye phone!! I was the first in, but certainly not the last, after I told everyone it was warmish (lies!!) they all bomb dived in too!!
The view of Baiona bay from our appartment window.

Tonight we spent the night at one of the most amazing seafood restaurants, cracking and smashing our way through a massive platter of fish!

The seafood platter FOR 2!! The Spanish know how to eat!

Early night for me and early to rise for course inspection and registration....and no doubt to see all the cool folks that form the circus that is the World Cup DH circuit! Jilly bean and me in a tree on our post T stroll on the coastal path.

Bye bye. XXX

En route to Espania....

Its nearly 12pm. I'm in Stansted airport blowing rasberries at the annoying old fart who instsits on driving is crappy golf buggy lookalikee baggage towing cart (fully equipt with orange flashing light) round and round the area where people are trying to sleep!!

I landed here after a wierd day, a four hour driving lesson and an LGV test which ended miserably after an encounter with a bleeding tree?!

Anyway. I've got 7 hours to go before I head to the warmer climate of sunny Vigo for the first round of the World Cups! I can not wait...picture an excited 5 year old on Christmas eve and double the giddy factor!!

I'll put updates on as often as possible!

Watch this space MARMALADE face. XXXX