Sitting on the couch with my arm in a sling was the last thing I thought I would be doing at the end of the Whistler EWS. My series lead took all of about 2 minutes to disappear in Stage 1. I lost my wheels on a slippery wooden bridge and knew as I hit the ground that my shoulder was dislocated. The next 45 minutes walking off the mountain I experienced some of the greatest pain I have known in my career. Getting to the hospital and finally getting it back in along with some pain relief was like heaven. A big thank you to the guys who helped me off the mountain, your support was really appreciated! I am now left with the thoughts of what could have been for the remainder of my season.
Injuries aren’t something you ever plan for, but in the back of your mind you know they can strike at any moment. It goes without saying that I am pretty gutted at the timing of this injury. Although my shoulder was separated and relocated fairly simply, there is a break inside the shoulder which needs to be fixed. This means surgery and a 3-6 month intensive recovery period. I have chosen to fly back to New Zealand for this. Sadly I have to sit out the remaining EWS rounds in Spain and Italy.
Looking back it’s been one hell of a year and I must remind myself that I have achieved a lot. My first win in Scotland was a highlight for sure but also having consistent speed each weekend has been a huge confidence booster for me. Knowing that my training and equipment is dialled and where it needs to be to challenge for wins is also reassuring knowledge. I will carry these positive points forward and build on them for next season to come back stronger, faster and hungrier for the win.
I’ve been stoked this year to see new competitors pushing hard and being rewarded with exceptional results. Greg Callahan in Ireland was a perfect example. That whole race was incredible, I will remember the amazing crowd at that event for the rest of my life, it was a privilege to stand on the podium in 2nd at that round and soak up the atmosphere! Richie Rude is another example of an exceptional athlete making a name for himself. The younger guys are on the charge which keeps us “experienced” racers on our toes. That’s only good news for the racing and means exciting nail biting finishes to come.
I must also say I think last week in Colorado was a reminder to us all how precious life is! Although I never met Will, we as mountain bikers all share the same passion and must remember how strong the bond is that we all share. Enjoy the trails and racing but appreciate your riding buddies. We’re all part of the same family!
Lastly big thanks to my supporters behind the scenes who made this diary happen this year. Adidas eyewear for being so supportive and pulling it together for me. Théâtre des Opérations for the productions and keeping everything on time! My wife Tory and my manager Martin for editing my numerous grammatical errors and also you guys for reading and showing support!
Off to get a new shoulder now and start the road to recovery. Looking forward to seeing you guys out there real soon!