Photo Feature: Giant Training Camp at Thredbo

Words by Damian Breach | Images by Damian Breach

Flow was recently invited to the Giant Australia DH team pre-season camp at Thredbo.  How could we say no?  Lift access, good food, excellent beer, and a fun crew of riders meant that it would be a great weekend.

And it was.

Three days of spending time with the 2013 team showed just why each have their place. From the Giant-for-life, Jared Rando to the newest and youngest, the Crimmins boys, everyone was pumped to get together to bond and train for the season ahead.  Sessioning the trails and having fun was what it was all about and everyone seemed to grow and learn from each other over the weekend.

Flow learnt a few things too:

  • Jared Rando showed that he can jump big gaps from the shortest take-offs.
  • Will Rischbieth can corner on his rear wheel.
  • Ben Cory is still very tall and very, very fast.  He also likes beer.
  • Andrew Crimmins cannot play chess.
  • Timmy Eaton is a good test dummy and horrible at teaching chess.
  • Thomas Crimmins, well, he’s just a nice guy who happens to ride a bike very fast.

Come on a photo journey with us as we document the weekend…

Thredbo is a unique part of Australia. Not only for the flora and fauna, but it’s one of only a few lift accessed places to ride.

Canberran Jared Rando has been with Giant for 10 years now. ‘I have always been riding Giants and I always will,’ said Jared. ‘It’s awesome to be part of the team again and be with the new young guys coming through.’ ‘I am keen to get back into a bit of downhill racing again and really looking forward to the season. After 2010 I was probably a little burnt out on downhill racing but being back on my bike this weekend I have started really enjoyed it again.’

The conditions were perfect and the team got to get in some sneaky practice for the upcoming national at Thredbo. Thredbo has a proud history with racing and it’s great to see it back on the schedule.

Pushing each other and having fun were the mainstays for the weekend. If you call it, you have to do it……..all with a smile of course.

Ben Cory, also from Canberra, is continuing his relationship with Giant in 2013 and is most recent form is a good guide to what may be a successful year.  ‘I am very stoked to be back with Giant and I have no plans of leaving any time soon,’ said Ben. ‘It’s really great to see Giant have a big, proper downhill team again. and it’s really, really great to see Will back on the team. This weekend was a hell of a lot of fun and getting to ride with everyone, hangout and have a few laughs was good – they’re all good guys.’

Studio time and time to get cleaned up.  From L-R: Ben Cory, Thomas Crimmins, Jared Rando.

It wasn’t all riding. Time to relax and hit the town. Thredbo is a little quieter in summer but that’s better because you never have to line up or wait for anything. Having a strong bond in a team is an important dynamic and the weekend at Thredbo enabled to team to develop those bonds further. What happens on camp stays on camp.

Tim Eaton tried to teach Andrew Crimmins how to play chess. It didn’t work. We blamed Tim.

15 year old Andrew Crimmins from Bredbo, NSW is new to the Giant team and for such a young rider he has a s$%t-load of skill (pardon the french). ‘I was really happy when I got on the team and riding with everyone else on the team is only going to make me faster,’ said Andrew. ‘I was really happy with the camp and I learnt a few things for sure and this season I hope to get a few podiums and get around to do all the state and national rounds.’

Each person on the team has their own strengths and weaknesses and spending the weekend on the trails together enabled them to work with each other. It’s interesting sitting on the sidelines watching, even after only a short weekend we definitely saw the speeds increasing. Downhill racing is very much a head game and having a relaxed atmosphere surely helps the mind too.

Do you remember the TV show, ‘Eight is Enough’? Well just add some parents into this picture and you will have pretty much the same thing.  We are not going to get into who’s who though 🙂

Hailing from Radelaide (Adelaide) Will Rischbieth has had a tough time over the past few years. Will has been battling a chronic back injury and after a season racing World Cups he took a break for a while to recover and organise his non-bike life. Back in 2013 and riding for Giant again Will has some realistic goals of how he will represent the brand. ‘Right now I am just easing back into it. It’s going to be a long process and I am going to just have fun with it in the meantime,’ said Will. ‘I am so lucky to have the people at Giant still want to support me and give me this opportunity again.’

As a team they work well together and Will Rischbieth summed it up so well: ‘Especially to ride with all these guys. No egos, just getting out on the bikes and having fun.’

Flow loves Thredbo and it’s not an industry suck-up type thing. We have been racing there for years and the mountain is just so good for riding.  We have always wished for more and make sure you check out issue #2 of Flow to find out about some new and exciting plans for mountain biking at Thredbo.

Tim ‘Timmy’ Eaton is recently internet famous for a huge crash at a recent Victorian State Series downhill race. He’s one very tough cookie and that stuff just doesn’t faze him at all. Smashing it all weekend, and staying on the bike, Timmy looks to be someone to watch out for in 2013. ‘I am stoked to be on Giant this year and it’s great to be getting support from them,’ said Tim. ‘The bike is awesome with a good head angle and components make it really light.’ ‘This weekend was been good, and the Crimmins boys are so fast – they keep me on my toes.’

‘The new Glory is great. They’ve made a few tweaks to the geometry and it’s all really positive improvement,’ said Ben Cory. Just like most in Australia you have to be your own wrench and away from the race scene you definitely have to be able to live without team support. Most of the team were on the new bikes for the first time and the camp enabled them to dial their bikes and make those little adjustments.

17 year old Thomas Crimmins is the older brother of Andrew, and whilst growing up and riding together they both have developed such individual styles. Also new on Giant, Tom is definitely looking forward to the season. ‘It’s definitely really exciting to be on Giant and it will be a good season with a really good bunch of guys,’ said Tom. ‘I probably learnt the most from Rando this weekend, he’s very tuck-and-straight.’ ‘I hope to get selected for the Junior Worlds team again in 2013 and try and get overseas and do as much racing as possible,’ Tom said when asked about his goals.

Studio time again.  L-to-R: Andrew Crimmins, Tim Eaton, Will Rischbieth.

Will and Ben finish up our photo feature. It was a fun weekend, and that was what stood out the most. Thanks Giant, thanks Thredbo Resort and a special thanks to Thredbo Alpine Hotel – you looked after us like a dream.

 

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