Friday, October 26, 2007

2007 End of Season Thankyous

It has been a few weeks since the last national point series weekend where I claimed the British Marathon series title. I had planned to race solo at Dusk ‘til Dawn, but my excuses are quite lengthy: Firstly my legs were officially knackered after 2 years of racing without an off season in between, and I had no way of actually getting to Thetford with my Cotic Soda. I could have ridden to Thetford from Nottingham, and then raced solo for 12hrs, but Ian thought that might be defeating the purpose of racing.
It was nice to finish the 2007 race season on a happy high. I attended the Cycle Show and worked on both the COTIC and TORQ stands. I had the time of my life talking bikes, bits and over dosing on Torq bars. It was lovely catching up with people I see at the races every couple of weeks, and meeting new faces who took the time to come over and have a chat. It was also lovely to find out how many people have been following my blog this year. I love writing about racing and any other biking adventures that come my way. I hope it has inspired others to challenge themselves to a biking adventure of some sort in the near future.

2007 saw the beginning of the Cotic Bontrager Race Team. I don’t know exactly how it all came about or when exactly it all came together, but it did, and as a result I have a lot of very special people to thank for supporting me this year.

COTIC – Cy & Jeffa Turner, Kelvin & Niall.
I remember promising my good friend Cy Turner that one day I would race a Cotic bike. At the time, Cy had no race management experience, but he had, and still has the passion to build confidence inspiring and awesome handling bikes. Perfect for moi who is quite the ‘scaredy cat’ at the best of times…except when Ian steals my TORQ bars and then you can guess who becomes real scared!
I knew when Ian was testing the prototype Soda out here in the Pyrenees that I wanted one….badly. I was sick of Ian making me hurt up the climbs and then leaving me effortlessly on the descents. I casually mentioned how much I wanted to rip Ian’s legs off next time we go riding (in a lovingly way of course). Before I knew it Cy had created a race team around me. Cy was one half of the mastermind behind the race team and because of Cy I had my dream team of co-sponsors, I had fantastic bikes to race and guide on, and I had both the professional and personal support that one needs to race at elite level. Thank you Cy for everything, but most importantly for believing in me.
A good man needs a good Mrs (hear that Ian), and I thank Jeffa for putting up with all the extra time that Cy has dedicated to the race team this year. Also, special Thank you to Kelvin and Niall for your support and helping me learn more about computers.

BONTRAGER WHEELWORKS & COMPONENTS - Andy Gowan, Griff and of course Keith Bontrager.
When Cy announced that Bontrager were also sponsoring the team, I was shocked…”Bontrager want to sponsor moi?” Wow, I was going to meet the man himself Mr Bontrager and I was going to have a fully kitted out Cotic with Bontrager bits. Andy and Griff went out of their way to ensure that I had everything I needed to get through an Aussie and British race season. One minute I needed kit to survive sand and salt in Oz, the next the muddiest of mud in the UK, and all I can say is that the Bontrager boys delivered the goods without any fuss. Thank you for all your support, and on going support. You are all such a great laugh, but very professional when it counts. I’m really excited to be representing the Bontrager brand again in 2008.

A QUICK RELEASE HOLIDAYS – Paul, Jane & Jon, plus AQR friends….Ian can wait for a thankyou until he returns my TORQ bar.
AQR has a fantastic group of people behind the company, who have also been there for me throughout the year. I owe a very special thank you to Paul Dexter and partner Jane who gave up their free time to support me at some of the races this year. It was scary to see Paul and Jane become Ian on race day. They made sure that bike and body were ready to race two days straight. Even when I was at my most chattiest, they still forced recovery drink down my throat and took my muddy shoes and socks off…even Ian refuses to touch my feet.
Special thanks to the AQR Crew (they know who they are) for all your support over the years and constant skills coaching.

TORQ FITNESS – Matt, Sasha & Milly Hart, Anth, Dean & Genevieve from TORQ Australia.
Firstly a special thank you to my coach Matt Hart who has worked above and beyond to ensure I’m race ready this year. How you do what you do and still find the time to listen and train me I don’t know, but I really appreciate everything you have done for me this year. Thank you to the rest of the TORQ family, including Dean and Gen who looked out for me in Oz. I couldn’t train or get through the races without TORQ fuel.

JOOLZE DYMOND PHOTOGRAPHY and taxi service :) – A very special thank you to Joolze & Dave.
I first met Joolze and Dave three years ago when I moved up to elite XC. I was absolutely petrified, but Joolze and Dave made me feel relaxed instantly. Over the past three years Joolze continues to make me laugh even when I’m busting a gut out on course. You can guarantee Joolze and Dave will be hiding out on the trail ready to take a photo of you at your muddy best. Joolze and Dave have been great friends and have helped the Potters out on too many occasions to list. Thank you for all your support and the great photos that I will always treasure. My aussie family thank you both too, because they can now appreciate what mountain biking is all about.

Thank you for your support this year. It was great to be able to promote another British company. I was also fortunate enough to be given a Pace waterproof jacket that has saved me on a number of occasions. All our AQR guides are now using one too, as it certainly is the best waterproof we have come across on the market. It was great to have Pace forks on board the Cotic, and we wish Pace forks all the best in the future as DT take them over.

I have always loved Hope brakes and I always will. Thank you to the boys at Hope for supporting my Cotic bikes this year, but more importantly giving me the stopping power I want when I want it.

I have been fortunate enough to have on board the co-sponsors I really wanted in 2007. It’s very difficult to train long hours and also hold down a 9-5 job. Most full time athletes who ride a bike will tell you that every little bit of support goes a long way. No mountain bike racer does it for the money, it’s not why I race by any means. I wouldn’t be able to race without the support from all my sponsors and that includes the co-sponsors who have helped me achieve my racing goals this year. A very special thankyou to –

LUMICYCLE – for showing me the light.
CRANK BROTHERS – for keeping me clipped in and on the right track.
SRAM – for driving me forward in Oz, UK and France.
CATLIKE HELMETS – for protecting my head!
BIGFOOT BAGS – Thankyou for protecting my bike when flying.
PURPLE EXTREME LUBRICATION – My chain was always humming lovely.
NIKE SHOES – for keeping my best asset safe.

Ian is the second half of the brains behind the Cotic Bontrager Race Team and director of A Quick Release Holidays. Ian works above and beyond his role as husband, skills coach, training partner and bike mechanic. I can’t thank Ian enough for everything he has done for me in the past and also continues to do for me every day. I just hope that I can make it up to Ian and one day in the not too distant future our roles will reverse. One day I will be watching Ian Potter pedal round in circles for 24hrs, as I overdose on coffee and flapjacks and call out sweet encouraging words: “PEDAL! YOU CALL THAT PEDDLING!”.
Thank you Ian for your patience…I’m proud to be a Potter :)

No comments: