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AFter a long off season always comes the fun.  As soon as the tream was back together we felt like Finale Ligure was yesterday.  How exciting it is to be in New Zealand for the first race of the season?  None of us has ever traveled so far!  The happiness of being back together was soon joined with a huge willingness to grab our bikes and smash the soft dirt of Rotorua's jungel for practice.

3 days are dedicated to the practice of the seven very different stages.  From fast downhill sections to very tight and sketchy turns with roots everywhere, the woods of Rortorua offer several kinds of terrain and for sure some of us will remember it.  Alex had a massive crash during the first day of practice.  it would take a normal person three days to get back on the bike but Cure was already charging his bike again a few hours Later.  Florian as usual was having fun during the practices and his nickname "Flying Flo" take all its meaning, he was literally flying over the roots.  Jesee and I after a very long winter, did not lose our technical skills but had to find back the right pace. 

On the race day, we've started in an incredible scenery among the steam of the pohutu geyser.  it was the beginning of a 7 hours adventure that would take us through seven stages.  A battle against ourseleves, the roots and the slippery conditions where consistency is the key.  Unfortunately, Alex had to stop before proving he had put some work in this winter.  A mechanical on stage 2 put him out of the race.

Florian liked all the states but was for sure waiting for the stage .  His favourite one! h He finally got a stage win on this one i"m pretty sure he will have some more.  What was his secret to win the one?  "I was peddalling all the time, even on the jumps when my typres did not touch the ground. " He was a serious contender for the podium before a flat typre on the last stage.  He still finished 5th and will look forward to the next round.

Jesse almost made it into the top 20.  This engineering student has almost finished his semester and wilth more time ot train, our Canaian will be one to watch out for in 2015. 

We've kicked off the season the right way and it sounds like we are ready for this long battle around the world.  Next onto the round in Ireland..