Graeme Mudd signs first World Cup downhill mountain biking contractphotos, video

10/11/2018 Posted by admin

Mudd signs first pro mountain bike deal | photos, video Graeme Mudd practising in the Awaba State Forest on Thursday.
Nanjing Night Net

Graeme Mudd practising in the Awaba State Forest on Thursday.

Graeme Mudd competing in the Awaba State Forest in 2012, the last time the national series was held in the Hunter.

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald on Thursday after a practice session on the Awaba State Forest track near Cooranbong.

“Bikes have been my life since the get-go.

“I started racing BMX as a six-year-old and then sort of worked my way up to downhill mountain biking by the time I was 16.

“I did my [fitter and turner] apprenticeship, but the whole time I was rocking up to work frustrated because I wanted to be out riding my bike.

“I’d see all my riding buddies on social media overseas riding in the world circuit and riding in all these mad places and doing well, and I was stuck at work, but I’m glad I still did my apprenticeship. It’s definitely been a good asset to have, thinking ahead.”

The World Cup season also includes rounds in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, England and Andorra before ending in Canada in early August.

Awaba State Forest downhill track preview (rider Joel Willis)Mudd’s best World Cup result was an eighth placing in the second round last year in Cairns, where he had more support from family and friends.

“Last year I did the World Cup season as a privateer, and I went over and bought a van, did all the work on my bike and sort of just gypsied my way around Europe.

“This year we’re going to have a semi-trailer, I’ll have a mechanic, team manager, physio. To be able to just rock up to an event and do what I need to do and race my bike will be a huge advantage.

“Obviously, in the right circumstances, I know what I’m capable of, and I’m pretty stoked to have the opportunity to be put in that position again.”

Downhill mountain biking is big business in Europe, where the top riders are on lucrative performance-based contracts.

“The size of the hills over there, you wouldn’t call them a hill –they’re mountains,” Mudd said.

“One downfall of being in Australia, our tracks are on smaller hills. They tend to make them zig-zag down the hill to get the time out of the track, ducking and weaving through the bush.

“Over there you can pretty much point the track down the hill. It’s a lot faster pace, bigger features, bigger jumps. It’s pretty cool. Same bike, but definitely a different set-up on the suspension.”

But, before Europe, Muddwill contest the Mountain Bike Australia national series, in which he is the two-time defending champion, starting on his home track.

“A lot of people would agree with me that this is one of the tougher tracks in Australia. It’s quite a steep track and it’s very rough the whole way. There’s a lot of rocks and some big features.

“It’s a good drawcard for big events like this. It brings in the quality in riders, puts on a good show, and puts the amateur riders to the test as well.They like to come here and see how they goon a track like this.”

This weekend’sround includes practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and men’s and women’s finals from 1.30 to 3.30pm Sunday across a range of age and ability categories.

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