To kick off Day 1 it was straight into Dual Slalom Qualification. Aboard my Norco Sight 29er enduro bike I placed in the Top 10 after Run 1 but slid out in my 2nd run pushing me back to 16th. (Still in the top half of the field)! I progressed through the Round of 32 with two smooth runs. I was then up against fastest qualifier Vaea Verbeeck for the Round of 16. After Run 1 I was slightly back so gave it my all for Run 2 on the faster side of the track. With a great start I led the first half of the course until I slipped a pedal and was unable to clip back in for the remainder of the run. This meant my final result would be 14th for Dual Slalom.
The next event was the ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge. Having just received my brand new Norco Rampage I was super excited for this event! I felt great in practice however when it came to Race Day I struggled to find my flow. Qualifying 14th I came up against the current Queen of Crankworx Vaea once again in my first heat and did not progress through due to making a few costly mistakes. My new bike felt great decked out in DEITY, SRAM and ROCKSHOX components and I am really keen to work on my Pump Track consistency before Cairns Crankworx in October!
After a smooth qualifying run which seeded me 9th , this gave me a position in the RedBull TV Live feed. I enjoyed the track and felt confident to push my hardest on Race Day. Making a strong start with Split times within the Top 5 I then came unstuck before a jump and collided with a tree. Despite breaking my front brake lever I got up as quickly as I could and pushed my hardest to the finish, managing 11th place. Although I missed out on a possible Top 5 or first Crankworx podium, I am proud of the effort I put in and appreciate the wealth of learning I gained throughout the week. With this being my first International event since early 2020 and first time competing at Crankworx Innsbruck I am happy with where I am at and am excited to keep working hard in preparation for racing my first ever DH World Cups in early July!
Look out for Ellie's next adventure through Europe