The weather here in the Alps has been amazing for the past few weeks so it was inevitable that for the first race of the season all would change and the downpours would begin!
Tahnée's Intense 951 has only recently been finished and she has not had time for testing so she thought the Sprint Avalanche in Lyon was a better option than the IXS in Monte Tamaro.
Anyone who knows about the Sprint Avalanche will realize that it is not really a downhill race but more of a DH/4X track more suited to a short travel bike... even so, Tahnée was desperate to ride and race her new bike.
Having missed training on the Friday, Tahnée was straight into the action on Saturday morning. It was a pedally track and certainly suited the short travel bikes and even hardtails (as ridden by the great Anne Caroline Chausson) but Tahnée was just loving it on her DH bike - a couple of the other girls were also on big travel bikes which was good.
After swapping and changing for a few runs, finally Jason (who was helping us for the day) switched the tires to cut spikes and pumped up the shock and for the final training run, the bike was working amazing and just seems to accelerate round corners perfectly (or maybe its the rider)!!
Run 1: I was a bit nervous at the top, but that all went when i started out the start, it was a cool track. I made a couple of mistakes, but i was proud with my run, i came down in 2:02 - 3rd place behind World Cup racer Myriam Nicole and riding legend - Anne Caroline Chausson.
Run 2: My second race felt better, not loads better, just more powerful in the pedally bits - when i got of my bike at the bottom, my legs felt like jelly! I was looking to get under 2 minutes and I equalled Myriam Nicole's 1st run with a 1:57:50, but she was quicker in her second run and beat me by 3 seconds. As you would imagine from the Olympic BMX Gold Medalist and multi-world champion, Anne Caro, was amazing and took the win.
The top 4 girls qualified for the 4X the following day but there was no way I was doing that on my 951!!
I knew when we finished building my bike this year it looked sic but the amount of people that stared at it this weekend, really made me proud - I was also stoked for the first time when some boys came up for the first time and asked ME for some stickers!!
The IXS in Monte Tamaro was cancelled so it looks like we made the right decision! It was a great weekend and I really can not wait to get onto a proper DH track with this bike...
To learn more about Tahnee, check out her website Follow My Dream
Special thanks to Jason, who gave up his Saturday to help us this weekend, Olivia and the organisers at the Avalanche Cup plus everyone that supports me: Intense Cycles, Marzocchi, Hope, NukeProof, Oakley, POC Sports, Monster Energy, Goodridge, MRP, FiveTen and Gravity Mountain Bike.