Wednesday, May 23, 2007

News.

Hi Everyone,

There has been a bit of down time over the past couple of weeks. We've got two weekends without races. It's been a good chance to get some solid training in before the next block of racing starts.

There has been alot of talk over the past couple of weeks about wheels. My team is sponsored this year by MPC. Last year MPC really burst on to the scene at the World Champs. I know I used them, and aside from Joey Mantia I think they won a large percentage of the medals. Since then they've been working hard on develping wheels. They have released the VT models, which is our wheel of choice for dry marathons. As everyone knows they are also responsible for the famous Storm Surge wheel. In regards to 110mm wheels I have never skated on them, and to be honest I don't think I will this season unless they prove to be head and shoulders above 100mm. Also I have one eye fixed on the World Championships where you can only use a maximum of 100mm. Different skaters are popping up on 110mm set ups all the time and to be honest they have yet to make a huge impact. Powerslide is one company that has invested alot of time into the whole 110mm scene. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next 5 or 6 weeks, it could once again lead our sport in a different direction with material.

During the day we often do alot of nothing. Of course training takes up a large percentage of time. Over the next couple of weeks we are blessed with the Giro di Italia (Tour of Italy bike race). Since I am a pretty big cycling fan, most of my afternoons are spent in front of the TV.

Its is also important for us to rest when we can. Rest is often as important as the training itself.

Next Thursday we fly to Incheon. The race is Sunday morning and we leave Monday. There are a couple of talking points about this race, first the prize money. It's noramlly US$10,000 for the win so quite often the race for overall points gets thrown out the window and it's just a race for the money. Second, the hotel. All the WIC teams stay at the Hyatt. It's a 5 star hotel and that's quite a rare thing for most skaters.

Thanks for reading.

Scott

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rennes

Sorry for my late report but I didn't get back to Swiss until yesterday evening, and was really tired from the travel, let alone the race.

As I said before the WIC race in Rennes is famous for rain. The town of Rennes is located on the Western side of France and all sorts of weather gets blown in off the Atlantic. We left very early Saturday morning from Zug. We caught the train to Basel where Reyon and I met up with the rest of the Athleticum team. From there we caught the TGV to Paris, the metro (subway) in Paris to another station, and then another TGV from there to Rennes.

This is the only marathon of the season where the ladies' race is held seperate from the men's. The ladies' race is 40km and started at 1400 and the men's is 53km and started at 1600. It was raining and then it wasn't all morning. It made wheel choice quite a gamble: run with the new Storm Surge wheels in the hope it would rain, but if it dried it would be tough to push them for 53km; or use the 'normal' dry weather wheels, the pink VT's, but if it rained it would turn the course into (pardon the pun) a skating rink. In the end, I settled on the gold Street Fight wheels. It was sort of like having a dollar each way.

The race started under cloudy skies. The race was very fast considering the narrow and technical course. On the second lap there was a huge crash on one of the narrow sections. I crashed here and was just standing up when I was taken down again from behind. Because it was early in the race and as a great show of sportsmanship, the bunch waited for everyone to get going again. Almost straight away it started raining. There was a U-turn and I crashed again just as the winning breakaway took off. While I was unlucky, my teammate Roger Schneider made it. Over the course of the next 20km, the breakaway group steadily built its lead. During this time, we encountered some of the worst conditions I've ever raced in: pouring rain and winds that were strong enough to blow you over. The guys in the breakaway started attacking each other to try and go solo to the finish. Towards the end Roger, my teammate, and Shane Dobbin from Sportvital Rollerblade attacked and got a gap. Meanwhile, in the bunch, I attacked with about 10km left.

In the end, Roger held of Shane for this first big win of the season and the second WIC win for Athleticum in 2 weeks. Massi Presti led home the rest of the breakaway, then I came in for 7th and then my team mate Reyon Kay won the pack sprint for 9th. So it was another good weekend for Athleticum with 3 in the top 10.

Since we've been back in Swiss, it's been cold and wet. I hope it clears soon because I was looking forward to getting some good training in without having races on at the moment. Our next WIC race is at the start of June in Incheon, Korea. Everyone wants a good result there because it's our sport's richest race. So there is that extra motivation.

Thanks for reading.

Scott.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rennes.

Hi Everyone.

This coming Sunday is the next World Inline Cup race in Rennes, France. Rennes is famous amoung the skaters for wet weather, and this year it looks like it won't dissapoint. I just checked an online weather report and its saying a 70% chance of rain. We travel very early on Saturday morning on France's TGV train, and arrive in Rennes mid-afternoon. The race is at 2pm (CET) on Sunday. Then we return home early Monday morning.

The race is normally tough. The French skaters are usually quite strong, and the race itself is a little longer than the other WIC races at 53km. The usual wet weather and slippery roads are the icing on the cake.

Yesterday I did a training session on the new banked track in Switzerland. It was a huge training group, and skaters from all over the world were there; New Zealand, Australia, Swiss, Canada, Argentina, and Estonia! It was cool to skate with a big group.

Ok I better go and pack my bags.

Scott

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Basel Win

Hi Skaters.

It was a good day for me and my team, Athleticum-Rollerblade International. We won the team time trial in Basel. There was alot of presure on us because we were the defending champions. The offical results were-

1st Athleticum Rollerblade 41:00.95 43.885km/h
2nd Sportvital Rollerblade +10.10
3rd Powerslide Phuzion +45.99
4th Bont Hyper +1:35.90
5th Spirotiger Inline center +1:48.75

For complete results- www.datasport.ch

The race was held on wet roads with the odd rain shower. After the month of amazing weather we've had in Swiss it all went out the door! Both my team and the Sportvital Rollerblade team were racing on the MPC "Storm Surge." I am not normally a strong skater in the rain, but these wheels helped me alot.

It was a hard race mentally also. Especially because of the wet weather this year. Some teams try and race to a set lap time for the 5km lap. Our team though didn't worry too much about it. There is no hiding from how hard it is, so we decided to pretty much go full gas and hope to hold it.

We came home directly from the race last night. It was only about an hour from Basel to Zug (the town where I live). At the moment we are trying to spend as much time at home as we can because in a few weeks time when the bulk of the season hits there isn't much down time. Around the 1st of June we head to Incheon (Korea) and then every weekend from then on is a top class marathon!

Next weekend is the top class in Rennes. There is some exciting news, it is going to be live on the internet. Check out www.inlinetv.net for details.

Also have a look at www.teamrollerblade.com for a detailed race report and some good pictures.

Thanks for reading, I'm off to bed!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

40km points race!

Yesterday marked a couple of "firsts" for me. It was the first time that I've raced in the tiny country of Liechtenstein, and it was the first time that I (and most of the other racers) have skated a 40km points race.

It was also the first of May, a public holiday in some areas in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which is why there was a race on a Tuesday. Some skaters were tired from the races at Gross Gerau, but most of the skaters were using the 40K as their last hit out for the WIC race this weekend in Basel.

Once again, the weather was really hot for April. The race was held along with a cycling criterium, and on the same course. A 1km lap with a couple of small up and downs, and a tight corner about 150m before the finish. Points were awarded every 5 laps, and there were also a couple of money sprints in there, too.

The race started out quite fast. Kalon Dobbin from Powerslide and Wayne Begg from Bont/Inline Center both scored points early on. Meanwhile, my teammate Roger Schneider was making some strong attacks and putting pressure on others to chase.

I attacked a couple of km before the 4th sprint and held on to win the 3 points awarded. Soon the pack caught me. A couple of laps later I found myself in another breakaway with fellow Kiwi DJ Nation (Spirotiger/Inline Center). There were three sprints left, one money sprint and the final sprint. I won the first 2 sprints, DJ won the next sprint and the money sprint, and then I won the final sprint. Meanwhile back in the pack Kalon Dobbin was picking up the third places. In the end the results went-

1st Scott Arlidge 17 points
2nd Kalon Dobbin 13 points
3rd DJ Nation 12 points
4th Wayne Begg 8 points
5th Mauro Casu 5 points

While its seemed like and all Kiwi affair, there were also skaters from Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy. ... Now it's time for some R & R before Basel.