Dirtjumping, Pila and Meribel

So I thought I would just catch up a bit on my latest trips to Pila, Meribel and a bit of chilling at home

As soon as I came home from my roadtrip in July I went to my local dirt jump spot, Aarhus DirtJump Park for Dk Dirt Camp, Denmarks biggest dj event. I always look forward to come back to that place. I have been one of the guys building out there since days one, and I truly love that place.
After Dk Dirt Camp I took some time out there and did this little self filmer.

After the dirt camp I had a couple of weeks at home just to relax and work a bit. The Danish weather wa really kind and gave us top notch summer weather, so a lot of the time was spent riding dirt jumps and having mad sessions on the trails you just saw in the video. I also got to ride my bmx a bit.
I decided to buy a caravan to be a bit more free at the races, and be able to save some money. This bad boy is going to a lot of races next year!

Frederik Leth with his Caravan. Ready for Meribel and Pila

My sweet ass Caravan

Shortly after that we had the third race of the Danish Downhill Cup in Ry. Ry is probably one of the best tracks in Denmark. It is steep, muddy and has quite a lot of roots. I ended up in third, which is not that bad.

Three days after I went to Pila and Meribel, to ride the European and World Cup. Both tracks was super fun but I somehow managed to do really shit there. Crashed at the top of the track in Pila, so I just chilled all the way down and ended up really bad. In Meribel I was too cautious and rode way too safe.
Even though I did not get the results I wanted I managed to get some filming in. After the races I went to Eurobike to Chill around a couple of days before heading home to ride the last race of the Danish Cup, Rold.
Here is the filming I got done in Pila and Meribel.

I is always fun to race in Rold. The track is the best known track in Denmark and has a lot of jumps on it. Even though I would have a big advantage racing on my enduro bike, I decided to take my dh to stay real. It is a downhill cup after all.

The track was a bit wet and after a lot of rain on sunday the track was sooo much fun. I had a awesome time throwing tow a lot of runs on the muddy track. That is what it is all about, having fun.
I ended up 2nd on the day and 2nd overall. Pretty happy with that.

Cheers for this time. More coming soon.

Rain in Morzine… Again

So after a pretty disappointing stay in Les Deux Alpes, we headed to Morzine. Probably one of my favorite places to ride. When living in Portes Du Soleil you have access to so many different parks, Morzine, Les  Gets, Avoriaz, Châtel, Champery and a couple of others.
We were in Morzine just to chill and have fun on our bikes.

rain pouring down in Morzine

Rain

We lived in a awesome apartment just in the middle of Morzine. Morzine do not only have some pretty fun official trails, but the pirate trails is probably the ones most people come for. Super fun, steep and rooty.

I have been to Morzine two times before and both times it has rained a lot. Of course this year was no exception. Luckily I had my IXS full rain suit a.k.a The Steeze Killer to keep me nice an dry.
I switched to flat pedal on this special occasion and it was actually really fun to ride downhill with some flats again. And even though the Steeze Killer held me pretty dry, the shoes were soaked within two runs. This needed some alternative methods to get dry shoes on in the morning. Luckily the hair blower did a great job for us.

drying the shoes

Alternative way to dry shoes when the hater didn’t do enough

I have always loved riding in the rain. Not just a little rain but a lot. So the tracks get really slippery and the mud packs and maybe there is a little river down the track. At first it is just really awkward and then after that phase you get a little more loosened up and then the fun begins. You get a bit more loose on the bike. The bike goes one direction and you the other, but no panic, the bike comes in again and you continue riding.

On the regular Morzine side (Le Pleney) There is a lot of pirate trails parallel to the regular tracks. You kind of switch between pirate and regular all the way down. It is really fun and there is so many different sections you can link together to make a full run down.

We stayed an rode in Morzine and Super Morzine most of the time. One day we went to Chatel but the trails were even slower over there than in Morzine, so we quickly found our way back to Morzine.

Most of the days we only rode about three hours because of the weather, so we had a lot on down time in the apartment. The time went with drinking beer and surfing the internet.

Drinking beers in Morzine and chilling

A lot of beer were consumed during the rainy days

On the last day the weather was really good. 25 degrees and full sun. This made the tracks really bad. Big holes and no speed was the key word on our last day in Morzine.

View from our apartment in Morzine. Sun and Rain

View from our balcony on different days.

After a great week in Morzine with bit of riding we headed to Spicak for the IXS European cup.

Cheers from Morzine,
Frederik Leth

 

 

Heading to Les Deux Alpes

So, after our stay in Val Di Sole, we headed to Les Deux Alpes for Crankworx Europe.
I have been to Les2Alpes before and knew that it was not really my favorite place. I kind of don’t love all the high way tracks with a lot of burms. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit afraid to slip in the burm and just fall down a cliff behind it. But even though it didn’t suit me well, we had a lot of fun there.

We arrived at Les Deux Alpes on Tuesday, way before the race. Les2Alpes is a pretty cool city. It’s not very big, and we were located right in the middle, just beside the slopestyle course.

We rode both Wednesday and Thursday on the regular tracks. It turned out to be really fun. They had built some new stuff, which was pretty fun. On the Diable trail, they had built some fun jumps, and in the small wood section there was a couple of good ones in a row. They were quite small so you had to brake into them, but they were fun anyway.


Coming into Les2Alpes my main focus was of course the downhill race, but not a race I would consider myself at my fullest. Therefore I had also planned to ride the Pumptrack competition, a thing I really looked forward to. I have won a couple of Pumptrack competitions at home, so I knew that I would have a fair chance of qualifying in, and be one of the 16 best.

Frederik Leth on his bike in front of beautiful mountains

On friday there was supposed to be both trackwalk, training, and Pumptrack. We came to the lift early to get the most out of it. Sad news, “closed for the day”. The whole practice was cancelled because of strong wind at the top. I there fore looked forward to Pumptrack in the evening after a day of doing nothing. The evening came, and so did the rain. After walking a bit around asking people out, I found out that Pumptrack was postponed to Saturday.

Drying the clothes in Les Deux Alpes. Downhill bikes stacked on the balcony

When I woke up on Saturday I felt really bad and decided to wait a couple of hours before going to practice. Unfortunately it only got worse and I missed both the race and Pumptrack challenge. Quite a bummer, but what can you do.
On Monday the lifts to the big mountain was closed again and we decide to chill, wash some clothes and go to the driving range in Les Deux Alpes to play a bit of Golf.

Tuesday morning we drove to Morzine, after a rather disappointing stay in Les Deux Alpes.

Cheers,

Frederik Leth

Bike Life: Catching Up on downhill

So it’s been a while since I’ve written. But I’m trying to get started again.
So this season started with the Dirmasters race in Winterberg. Not a great succes as I crashed to times in my racerun.
Next race was the World Cup in Leogang. I can’t believe that I got to race a UCI Downhill World Cup soo soon. Well or at least train for it. Just a couple of hours before my qualification run I saw that one of the bearings in the rocker link was pretty much gone. In the trying to get the bearings out the rocker link broke and put me out for the qualifying. Pretty sad, but it was an awesome experience to be at the World Cup.

When I came home from Leogang I had a busy couple of days. I had to get a new downhill frame for our one month long roadtrip that was coming up in just 9 days. Also at had to finish my last two exams before being done with the gymnasium.

Luckily it all fell into place, I got my new downhill frame (Transition TR450) just the day before we took of and finished my exams with okay grades.

Then it became Wednesday and Sebastian Jensen, Jeppe Bob and Myself were on out way for our first European downhill Cup of the year, Val Di Sole.
The track was perfect, just my kind of downhill track. A really loamy track in the forest, can it be any better?
I was pretty exited to try out the new bike, and to use Val Di Sole as a test track for a brand new bike, seemed like a god way to start. And it Was. I was really impressed by the bike. It is so easy to maneuver and it’s a awesome jump bike as well.
I will come as no surprise when I say that the Val Di Sole track is rough. It’s 4-5 minutes of pure downhill, no pedally bits to get a break on at all.

I took a couple of big crashes in practice and in my seeding run, but I was so ready for the finals anyway.

On finals day it began to rain a bit, which suited me pretty well,  I love riding in the rain.

I found out pretty fast on my finals run that it was really slippery. I made a couple of big mistakes at the first section in the woods, but I thought that if I could just get down without any crashes it might be good anyway. But the did not happen. I took two crashes, one of the was pretty big and resulted in a concussion.
I ended up in 139th. Not at all what I was looking for, but with two crashes, a handfull of mistakes and a concussion, I might not have been that bad. But anyway it was a shame, because I really liked the track.

We stayed in Val Di Sole until Tuesday, so I spend the Monday filming a bit with Jeppe and Sebastian. Here is the result:

We then headed to Crankworkx Europe in Les 2 Alpes. Update will come soon.

Danish Downhill Cup: Arranging the thing

This year I started arranging the Danish Downhill Cup. The first two races was in Randers the 3-4 May and Thale, Germany the 10-11 May
We had made a deal with the guys in Thale that we could have the lift and track for our selves. This was pretty cool as we only were 45 guys, so no lift que at all.
I had just got my bike back from itunebikes.com so I knew that the suspension was 100%.
We took off friday morning from Randers and drove to Thale. We had a stop by Fredericia to get some stuff from RedBull, so the Hiace was pretty packed up.
When we arrived about 6 p.m. we went direcktly to the course were I took a quick course inspection with Maik from the Seilbahn while the others started taping up the course.
Saturday morning was quite a mess because the lift opened at 9.30 instead of 12.00 as I was informed. Therefore people had to get their numberplates as fast as possible so they could go ride, as they could not go up without it.
As the Danish cup is pretty small everybody know each other and the mood is very relaxed. Everything happened in the back of the van and in the small Santa Cruz tent.
We had 9 German starters and 1 South African. It was pretty cool to have a more international feel to it.
After signing everybody in, I managed to get 5 runs in before getting some lunch, sorting out the payment, and start testing the timing system. The track was a bit slippery during the rain the days before but it was okay, despite all the pedally bits.
We had problem with the timing system and could not get the signal from top to bottom, so we decided we would just start on the 6th beep from the buzzer, resulting in a not so accurate time, but at least we had a time.
This is what it looks like when you need to pay for using the track and lift system, in cash. The Seilbahn unfortunately did not accept our credit card so we had to go to the ATM’s over to days with several different cards to get the full payment.
On Sunday I got 3 runs in before racestart. I did not feel great on the course. Usually take a couple of runs giving 110% so it almost goes wrong and I get that rush. I did not do what all weekend and felt kind of doll on the bike, certainly not ready for a racerun.
After having the ridersmeeting and sending people to the top we had to move the timing system to the other side of the track as it was the only place we had an okay connection with the walkies.
It was a couple of pretty stressfull hours having to run the timing system and also racing. Fortunately I got a lot of help from Jeppe Bob, Jens Skov and my dad. Even though that helped a lot I had no time for mental preparing or warming up, so I got directly out of the lift into the startgate. We had just had some heavy rain so I new the course would be a bit slower and more slippery.
I came down with a time of 3.12, a very disappointing time. It resulted in a 10th place which was not were I wanted to be at all.
Photo by: Frederik Sigaard
This is how the podium ended up.
1st. Kevin Dewinski
2nd. Stefan Garlicki
3rd. Benjamin Ahrendt
4th. Jeppe Bob Bertelsen
5th. Sebastian Byskov Jensen
I can now look forward to just racing and riding my bike the next couple of months after finishing school really soon. It’s gonna be really good.
As I crashed pretty hard on the last jump last year, and dislocated my collarbone I was pretty scared of it. Therefore I was afraid to do whips on it so I had to do some small one handers just to do something
Cheers

Downhill Denmark

Yep, I know Denmark might not be the first country that pops into your mind when you think about downhill. Maybe that’s because we have literally no mountains in Denmark, it’s just hills all of it. And not even real hills. One of the highest hills we have in Denmark is 147 meters high, and we call freakin’ Sky Mountain. But the actual highest hill is 170 meters. Not really anything to brag about.

But even though we haven’t got the highest mountains, downhill is still a thing in Denmark. We have our small Danish Downhill Cup every year, and we have about 40-50 competitors at every race. It’s not much, but damn we love it.

Frederik Leth riding downhill in Rold at the danish downhill cup

So how are the tracks? Well, short. The longest track that we have a time on is called Rold and is 49 seconds for the fastest. While the shortest track is probably Randers that I ride in about 40 seconds.

The beauty about downhill in Denmark is that all the people who ride are really dedicated. You really want to ride when you have a 5-10 minute pushbike for a sub 1 minute run without any really steep and technical bits. I know that a lot of other countries haven’t got shuttles or lifts up either, and that really sucks.

Actually you don’t even need a downhill bike in Denmark. We just use them to get used to them, so when we get to ride real downhill tracks outside of Denmark we can really give full throttle. I actually won one of the stops in the cup two years in a row, on a Dartmoor Shine.

Downhill Denmark. Frederik Leth whipping and a podium picture from Randers
So am I just going to write about how stupid it is to ride downhill in Denmark? No. Because it’s awesome.
We might not have the mountains or the terrain, but damn people love it. Downhill in Denmark is like one big family, almost everybody knows everybody and everybody helps each other to get better on the bike or even just get the bike better. If you don’t know how to set up your suspension at one of the cups, I will assure you that there is at least one who is happy to help you out.

Last year a really awesome dude called Jeppe Svendsen decided to document the downhill sport in Denmark. The film was named Downhill Denmark He ended up winning the award for “Best Danish Action sports Film” at the Danish Adventure Film Festival. I think it was a big step for downhill in Denmark. Some people you talk to might actually know what downhill is now, and that is really a progression.
And even though we don’t have the terrain, I would say we have some pretty good riders.
We have Mads Weidemann who was less than 2 seconds from qualifying into the World Cup in Hafjell last year. We have Danny Soerensen who coaches at SwitchbacksDH in Malaga, and then there is the young guns. It’s Probably Jeppe Bob Bertelsen, Sebastian Byskov and Me(Frederik Leth), who will be competing in a lot of IXS cups and our first World Cups this year.
Cheers,
Frederik Leth