What a month it has been for our local rider Dane. He spent the last week of April at Tweed Base Hospital after rupturing his esophagus which could have put a hold on his trip to Germany for the iXS Dirt-Masters Festival in Winterberg. He likes to blame his mum’s chicken for the tear however she claims he just doesn’t chew his food properly haha! On returning home from the hospital, he was determined to build his strength up again and start training hard for this GOLD-level Slopestyle event.
During the first week of May, Dane was fortunate enough to have Caroline Buchanan (@cbuchanan68) visit and train with him, along with Mike Ross (@mikerossrides), Harriet Burbidge-Smith (@haznationbikes), and Kat Hoebergen. On his 16th birthday, he was invited to ride at Ryan Williams @rwillyofficial compound (Nitro Circus legend) with Caroline. Although he was still recovering, he put in lots of hours preparing and training for his trip to Germany. Would you believe he only got the ‘all clear’ from his Doctors and was considered ‘fit to fly’ just three days prior to his flight!
Germany was an insanely valuable experience for our young Dane, and he got to meet some great riders from all over the world, some of which he idols. Dane was the youngest, out of 30 riders in the event, and was one of 3 Australians in the competition. Luke Parker (@lukeparkermtb) gained 6th place and Gaelen Slaney (@gaelen_slaney) gained 20th. Conditions were icy cold and windy (15km winds with gusts of 30Km). The wind is always a hazard for Slopestyle riders as it puts their safety at risk and can cause them to crash out during their runs. At one stage they were going to postpone the event however the following day didn’t look any better. Dane landed a smooth 1st run which had him in 17th place, however, he crashed out on his second run which was very disappointing for our shredder as he had so much more in his tank. This pushed him back to 18th place, still an incredible achievement for the young rider. He is super happy with his result and hopes to compete again next year, however, is keener than ever to improve on his riding and strength.
Dane is now looking forward to the Australian Slopestyle Tour which starts in July so watch this space for updates!
Please check out his Instagram @dane_mtb.