This was to be Gregs first World Cup to compete in so i was delighted to be on hand to see it. We all rocked up to the venue at lunchtime on Friday and headed straight to the OC Tuning pit area to say hi to James and Natalie. Greg like the other Irish riders was up on the hill practicing as much as possible as he was not a seeded Top 80 rider. He was very upbeat and really enjoying the course.
Myself, Hoppo and Johno had come prepared to cheer on all the boys up on the hill.
Some brought refreshments…..
…others brought flags and signs(more on that later).
After each run of the hill James was onhand to keep Gregs Solid M9 in top shape. The demanding track meant that the wheels took a serious bashing.
Greg and James discuss how the bike is handling on the Fort William Terrain. I always find these conversations very interesting as it was something that always came up during car set up discussions while at drift or track events. Greg is still very young but is starting to know exactly how to explain how the bike acts to the changes(must be in his blood as a well known motorbiking family).
James gets to work straight away tweeking the Fox Suspension on the Mission 9.
Greg on the other hand sits down and relaxes with his energy drinks and pasta.
He seems very confident even after a small ‘off’ earlier after his brakepad decided to give up after the high speed top section. But ever the professional he waits for James to finish the repairs and he heads for the Gondola again to get one last run in before the Qualifying starts.
We make a dash for the top so we can catch a glimpse of him on his final run. You couldnt miss us now could ya….
Then out of nowhere the train of Irish riders come blasting down the hill. First up was Relentless Rider Seanan O Riordan in his ‘All Black’ gear….Seanan you know my feelings on this!!!!!! (brighter gear so we can see you guys)
Quickly followed by Greg. They didnt go full belt on the pedally bits but still commited none the less.
With practice outta the way it was nearly time for the qualifying. Just before that though the famous Meercat dropped by to wish Greg best of luck……..
Greg was very popular in the World Cup paddock and had developed a strong following. So much so that he planned his own Autograph signing after Cerdic Gracia had decided to copy his logo and make foamhands*
Sadly Greg was too busy in the end and couldnt make it……
So onto game time….The fans where out on the hill waiting to cheer the Irish along.
Out of the gate Greg was flying and took the first few bends really well.
Unfortunatly he punctured going through the rockgarden at the top and he failed to qualify. But he now knows what to expect in the future. Next stop is Leogang, Austria this weekend. So check out Freecaster.tv for the live stream on Sunday to see if he makes the main event.
*This may not be totally true?