After an action-packed 2014, the Rocky Mountain URGE BP Rally team is back together and looking strong! Florian Nicolai was noticeably one of the fastest in Rotorua, cutting rooty corners with unbelievable grace on his bright yellow Altitude. Here is the first round of the Enduro World Series from their perspective:

After a long off season always comes the fun. As soon as the team 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 jungle for practice.

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3 days are dedicated to the practices of the seven very different stages. From fast downhill sections to very tight and sketchy turns with roots everywhere, the woods of Rotorua offer several kind of terrains 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 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. Jesse and I after a very long winter, did not lose our technical skills but had to find back the right pace.

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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 ourselves, 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 stages but was for sure waiting for the stage 6… His favourite one! He finally got a stage win on this one and I’m pretty sure he will have some more. What was his secret to win this one? “I was pedalling all the time, even on the jumps when my tyres did not touch the ground”. He was a serious contender for the podium before a flat tyre on the last stage. He still finished 5th and will look forward to the next round…

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Jesse almost already made it to the top 20. This engineer student has almost finished his semester and with more time to train, our Canadian will be one to watch out 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, round in Ireland…

Words: Rocky Mountain URGE BP team Photos: Matt Wragg

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