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Published on Jun 14, 2010
The one thing that strikes you about Champery every time you arrive in town is the awe-inspiring scenery and the 'hugeness' of the mountains.
Being based just less than 1hr away from Champery meant that all the recent work that Ben Walker and his tribe of builders have put in was well worth a visit for our growing possie of riders.
Supposedly, the track is not as 'extreme' as it was before -- but, if you pardon my English -- that's just bollocks!! However, even though there is still a bit of work to do over the next few weeks, its riding well -- really well!
Right from the start you get thrown into the double, double, hip (that to spectators will look huge). When you are descending at warp speed out of the first two, you need some serious brake checking, to ride this smooth. That's what its all about here at Champery, ride it smooth, flow the sections and you are onto a winner -- a track where you really do have to slow down to go fast!
They have added wider, easier sections to the steep corners, making it more rideable for the masses -- the good news is that, as all World Cups should be, the organisers are going to be taping these sections wide so the old, steep lines, are still available.
There is a new 35ft step down nearing the final section of the track that is just after a few corners that again gives you a false sense that you are slowing down for this gap! The straight after, however, has you gathering speed with lightning pace meaning you have to scrub your speed before you hit it.
All in all it was a great day... we stopped shooting and filming just above the finish section because, apart from the XC race that was happening in the finish area of the track, the heavens opened up!!. Now, I think I am right here, at 4pm two years ago, the same thing happened for the Worlds fastest racers -- we 'mere mortals' called it a day! Be warned!!!
Apart from all the work that has gone in on the World Cup track, there is something a little special about the six weeks of hard graft that has gone in to making a walkers path from bottom to top and the television view points. the guys at Champery have stumped up extra cash for 4 more television platforms so the public can really get a feel of the action -- the creative thinking here is to be admired!