I travelled to the 2009 ISDE in Portugal with Kurt (my mechanic) in the van, meeting various other riders on the boat from Plymouth to Santander. After many games of bingo and watching magic shows we arrived in Spain at 11am the next day. Travelling through bright sunshine we made the 7-8 hour journey through Spain and into Portugal. Arriving a little later than expected we booked the caravan into the campsite and I went to meet the others at the team hotel where everyone looked fresh faced and ready for action. After a meal and a shower we had a good nights sleep ready to explore the area which would be our new home for the next 14 days.
Unfortunately the weather the following day was not on our side and we had very hard thunderstorms, delaying our test walking for a short period. After a few days of unpredictable showers it settled down and the sun shone.
After walking various sandy tests we decided we should get out on the test track which was a very deep sandy track of around 40 seconds long. It was a good indication of how the bikes would run and also how hard the week would be if the rider struggled in the sand.
Back to the pits with no problems and time to get the bike prepped for technical inspection the next day. We showed our documents and signed the papers at 5.30pm on the Thursday and our technical inspection was 9am on Friday morning. All bikes went through without problems although some needed to make small adjustments to their silencers.
The rest of Friday was spent walking tests and sorting bits out for the coming week.
Their was an opening ceremony held on Saturday night with a parade of all the countries teams, some speeches, the purple helmets did a performance and then some fireworks at the end.
Sunday is normally the day of rest but it is usual for most people to just go to the park ferme and check they have everything sorted and ready for the next 6 days. Then come back and chill out for a while.
It was nice to get off the start line and get going on the first day. The first check we rode out of town, over the bridge and to the first check in an industrial estate. This was then effectively the start of the lap. After leaving this check we rode around the corner, off the road and into the very deep, powdery sand test. It was great fun to ride but on the first day your start position is mixed up so there are many slower riders in front. I caught a German rider and whilst trying to pass him I crashed but I wasn't going to let this get me down. Out of the test and into a long dry, hardpack and dusty check to the fuel.
Then another check but this was an Enduro test which was tight and rocky. Whilst coming off a drop off the bike stalled and in my rush to get going again I was twisting the throttle therefore it did not start for about 15 to 20 seconds. After the test we rode round the corner to the check. Then another check with a nice flowing sandy test at the end. My first test of the day was pretty good and a lot of fun to ride. Then it was back to the check in the industrial area for another lap. My tests on this lap varied with some being better and others not so good.
After the lap we rode back to the town but had to ride what was known as the KTM super test which consisted of a test laid out on the beach front with long straights and dunes of about 3 minutes long. Again this was great fun to ride but was so deep and powdery it was very easy to crash.
In my 15 minute work period I decided to change both the front and rear tyre because I was not happy with my choice of front tyre so opted to put an extreme hard on. All went well but my front spindle would not go in as hard as I tried. This was due to the quick release bolt inside the shaft heating up and expanding. I had to bodge the wheel in and fix it in the morning which I did with no problems.
Day 2 was the same course and tests as the first day and I
knew that I had to step it up if I were to do well and get a gold medal
so I did and had a much better day pulling myself up a lot of places.
Finishing after 2 days, 7 seconds behind Si Wakely.
Day 3 + 4
Thanks to all the support crews and helpers at the ISDE!
Italy - European Championship Rnd 4 (3 days)
Kurt and I set off in the van and made the 15 hour journey to Castiglion Fiorentino in Italy for the final round of the European Enduro Championship. The start was situated in the middle of the town on top of a hill with amazing views all around. Upon arrival the weather was unsettled but by the look of the ground it had not rained seriously for quite a while.
The British contingency was all parked together and there was a great atmosphere with so many riders making the journey. By Thursday morning we had all been to the test track and the bikes were prepped. There were 2 tests a lap, an Enduro test which consisted of a very rocky, technical riverbed and long fast straights and an MX test which weaved in and out of the final motocross track with soft powdery berms.
Day 3, (motocross)
Thanks to all the support crews who helped out especially Deb Harvey who kept me, James Jackman and Julian Crimp in order.
It took 21 hours driving in convoy with the car and van to get to Slovakia. On the way we stopped over night in Germany. The last leg of the route took us through the Slovakian A roads which have ruts in like a welsh forest. With an hour to go the phone rang and the car had a puncture. Somehow it wasn't the person who was sitting over it who felt it because he had slept the entire journey (Mr Paget). After fitting the space saver we decided to look out for a tyre fitter on the way to the event. Luckily we asked a car parts shop and ended up in the back of someone's garden with the wheel out and haggling the price. We ended up paying 30 euros for a used tyre, fitted and balanced but he wouldn't let us leave without taking another tyre for free so we let him win and chucked it in the van for good measure.
Once at the event we spent the whole of Thursday walking the tests and scoping the area. Then Friday was the day of testing and getting signed in. Unfortunately this was also the time when Brad crashed whilst testing and injured himself. Everyone eventually got through the technical and we walked the extreme test once more.
Day 1. 1st extreme test was untimed. It was just over 2 minutes long through a gulley with a few logs and steep climbs. Then onto a fast and dry motocross test with some nice jumps. After a fuel check there was a long Enduro test through the woods. Dust was a big issue so check times were reasonably slack although some people thought they would follow the squirrel trail on the first check. On the first timed extreme test I managed to fall and get the bike to fall on top of me costing me to lose around 40 seconds. I pushed hard on the motocross tests and had pretty good times. My Enduro tests were not as fast as I had hoped but this will be addressed.
I finished in 11th position
Day 2, By now all the tests were extremely dusty, technical and deep. My extreme tests were steady without drama and I again enjoyed the motocross tests with my times showing it. The Enduro test still had the better of me but a better day all round.
I finished in 7th position
Thanks to all the sponsors and wish Brad a speedy recovery.
Back on track
After missing the first round of the European Championship Ollie was eager to get back to racing in Europe. Seeded at the back of the class along with friend and fellow competitor Matt Ridgeway, the dry and dusty first day would prove very difficult to post fast special test times. During the first check of the day Ollie was the first to attend to Matt after his Hungarian Bush pig incident which unfortunately put him in hospital. Due to the amount of riders in front who were of a slower pace and the amount of dust that hung in the air, Ollie struggled to break into the top 10 and finished the day very frustrated. Nearing the end of the first day it started to rain which settled the dust for the next morning making conditions perfect. Ollie was out to prove a point and took 16 seconds off his previous motocross test time and 25 from his Enduro test. On the second loop the rain had started again and what had previously been a dry and dusty event slowly turned into a very wet and slippery one. Not letting this phase him Ollie still posted some good times and finished the day with a smile on his face and in 7th position. For the next event he will be seeded further up the front so will hopefully have less people to pass on the tests.
Thanks to all the sponsors and especially Knock off Nigel (Robbo) and Leo who drove the big rig to the event. Hope everyone who was injured makes a full and fast recovery.
Winning Return for Moyce
Having not ridden an event for 6 weeks or more due to an A/C separation (shoulder separation) Ollie Moyce was itching to compete again and decided to do so in the 4th round of the South Eastern Centre Enduro Championship at West Harting Down.
Upon arrival there was a downpour lasting for a good hour which would make the already slick course more like a welsh Enduro.
It was a roughly 10 mile lap and every lap was a check, completing 1 test on each of the first 2 laps. Ollie decided it was a good idea to turn his mapping switch down to smooth and he set the fastest time on the first test by 4 seconds. On lap 2 he continued to be fast and took another 3 seconds off his previous test leaving him in the lead with the rest of the checks to go.
It is normal for the SEEC to try and take at least 1 minute from the entry at each event so with the conditions it was going to be tight. Ollie was slightly sceptical in the first tight check worrying about his newly healed shoulder and probably didn't push as hard as he could have. He dropped 5 minutes and was still in the lead. After another slack check there was one other tight check and Ollie was feeling better about the course and himself. He narrowly missed out on cleaning the check but was happy with the day.
"I had a fun day racing and I am really glad to be back on my bike again. I knew it was going to be slippery so I just adjusted the power to suit. It was a great event and am looking forward to my next" commented Ollie.
Name: Oliver Moyce
Official website http://www.olliemoyceracing.co.uk/