Cairn of Peebles Takes On The UCI World Cup Rd 1, Lourdes!

Cairns Lourdes 2
Cairn of Peebles took advantage of Go Ape adventure this year back in April when she took on the UCI World Cup Rd 1 Lourdes.

Here is her adventure in her own words …

“Setting off…

The 24th of April had arrived it was time to head down to Bristol for my flight to Toulouse the next day, I drove down with my Dad and all my kit, we made it down to Bristol in around 7 hours, super hungry and no idea where we’d be staying we met up with one of my fellow downhill riders and she took us to a fab Chinese restaurant for a quick bite to eat. We then headed back to her street where we were parking the van for the week and where we’d be staying the night. Tuesday morning came and it was time to go to the

airport, the taxi arrived we got the kit in and off we went! We arrived at the airport in good time, got my bags and bike checked in and off they went, was time for us to relax and get some food. GATE 20 TOULOUSE, it was us we were boarding the plane, we got settled on the plane and off we went onto France! We landed safely in France, i got all my kit back with me and onto Lourdes. So the next part was by far the scariest, Dad had never driven on the right side of the road how were we going to survive… an hour and a half later we safely made it into Lourdes, We got checked into the hotel and now time to relax before the weekend!

Track walk…

It was Thursday the 27th, it was time to head along to the venue to sign on and walk the track! We walked through the pits seeing all the pro pits and riders and one very special new 29er Santa Cruz v10, this bike had just been released and i got to see it in the flesh what a bike it was! So onto sign on, pink number board with a 33 on was what would be my bike for the weekend! 12 o’clock came and it was time to head up to walk the track, i had no idea what to expect i had heard so many different things, i was super nervous as what it would look like as i was walking down taking photos of tricky bits it was then i saw a crowd of people looking at the famous ‘WALL’, I looked down thinking oh no to my relief that i knew i’d be fine and it was very similar to something i had raced in 2016 at a SDA! After walking the track i had one doubts about the two massive road gaps the rest i felt pretty confident about and couldn’t wait to ride my bike!

Practice…

SNOW! Woke up on first morning of practice to yes snow on the mountains. I was at the top of the hill super nervous, goggles on and time to go… I got to the wall eased off the brakes and went for it ‘yes’ i made it down. My first practice run couldn’t have gone any better. As i did more runs i kept trying to hit my lines and increase speed this was all going great! Practice on Saturday morning came the track had dried out so much so this meant that it was running sweet! Got all my lines and felt confident for qualifying! Was time to get that GB jersey one!

Qualifying…

Onto the carriage we went was time to head up for qualifying, this time Dad was allowed to come. Got to the top and was time to warm up, at first i watched the last of the elite men finishing practice and chilled out. I then began my warm up… Stretched off and it was time to get in the que, at this point i was getting super nervous and then i reminded myself i’m just riding my bike, 5 4 3 2 1 BEEEP, that was it i was i had started go to the first rock garden the fastest i even had even though i hit my rim pretty bad, PEDAL PEDAL! I sent the jumps, now i was at the wall what a relief i made it down safe round the corner and PEDAL, Oh no what’s that??? A Puncture 🙁 hitting my rim in the first rock garden caused me to ding my rim badly and all the air come out my tyre along with the sealant, i knew then there was nothing i could do to be in with a chance of qualifying. Made it to the bottom in one piece to be greeted by my Dad, i was gutted not to qualify but also very happy to have be able to ride down that track and feel confident about it! So that was that my weekend of racing was done, time to chill and watch the racing on Sunday!

Cairns Lourdes 1

Home Time…

Bike was all packed and off to Toulouse airport we went… Time to fly home, the plane was 50% downhill riders which was cool to see, we set of up we went and back to Britain we go. We landed collect my bags and off to the taxi to take us back to the van… We set off home, ‘OH NO’ the brakes in the van weren’t working, we had to wait 2 hours for the AA to come look at the van, Dad had checked already and knew what was up a leaky piston so we waited another hour for the tow truck to come, we received a call to say we would get a hire car to drive back home, back to the airport we went to collect the car then we set off home finally. Time to stop for food we were tired and hungry so we stopped for coffee and food before the trip home. I was woken up by a knock on the window and a policeman, routine checks done then on we go again. 4 o’clock came and we had finally arrived home after 22 hours of travelling it was time to go to sleep! Apart from our disaster on the way home the trip was amazing and i had a great time! Was awesome to get to ride my bike abroad and cannot wait to race at Fort William World Cup in a few weeks time!”