Stu Houltham and Nic Leary take a bow! I'm going to spend a few words putting into context their performances yerterday as we often don't portray well enough just what they mean.
First up we know how strong the Euros are in XC racing, no doubt about that. Our NZ domestic racing season does little at a true high performance level to prepare our athletes in this sport for World Cup or Champs competition being six months out of sync, so to race to their finish positions at 13 minutes down rates as pretty gutsy for Stu and Nic. Stu has a huge smile on his face having met his own goals yesterday, and Nic continues to tick off her own realistic goals on her long term plan for 2012.
Massive crowds were all over Stromlo yesterday with the XC race incredibly well supported, and the DH practice sessions running through a spectator corridor lining both sides of the course from the top to the bottom. Our kiwis have been practicing in their race kit, usually in tight four or five rider NZ trains which looks amazing and has had the huge crowd not only talking about, but also eagerly looking for the kiwi chargers.
Which brings us to DH day. We have realistic chances of medalling in three categories today, and while we have some battered and bruised bodies to manage, not a single one of these athletes will give less than 100 when their start time clicks over. Tune into Freecaster if you have time today and send all your best wishes to our DH team - we've been preparing, planning and patiently waiting for this for what seems like a very long time, and everything is in place to now own those podiums. I'll have a final wrap up tomorrow morning, till then....