DHI Column: Bring on 2019

After a serious bout of bad luck and crashes, Stef is excited and keen to see what 2019 has in store!

Stef stoked after fully recovering from a major injury.

2018 has been a crazy year in every way possible but I learned a lot about myself and life in general.

I honestly feel that we need big setbacks in life in order to grow. If everything ran smoothly all the time, then we would probably lose interest as there would be no challenge. I think as athletes there will be ups and downs which is totally normal. It is just simply not possible to always be on top and I think that’s the way it should be, that’s the challenge, that’s the motivation to work harder and change it up.

Going into 2019 I am making some big changes for myself. This severity of my injury really gave me some perspective on life and what I want out of it. It showed me that there is more to life than racing bikes, but racing is a lot of fun if done right. So, I decided in the end that I do still want to race going forward and I do still love it, but I have seen that there is more out there for me. This led me to a decision to do everything in my power to race and get the support I need to be at the top level. I am not willing to race again with the financial struggles of this year as it just takes the fun out of the sport I love. However, with the right support and not having the financial stress, it is still very much my main focus going forward.

I also decided to run the equipment that I want to run as much as possible as this is what gives you confidence as a rider. I think though in these tough times it calls for some big changes to re-motivate you and have a fresh start. The first big change will be my bike; I will be on a different brand and I will be on big wheels for next year which I am super excited about! I can’t say too much else yet but basically, I will probably be buying the frame and most of the parts as I won’t get any support from the brands that I really want to ride. To be honest they have top riders already, so I can’t blame them. Soon I will be higher on their list 😉

Stef showing off his race kit.

I will also be changing my training program as I have been doing something similar for years and just want to have a complete change. I will be changing many of my current sponsors due to various reasons but it’s super exciting and I am looking forward to the new partnerships on the way. I will also be spending more 2019time in Europe pre-season to ease into the DH bike again and really make sure I am ready before I get on the race track. I am looking to return to racing again for rd.2 of the World Cup series in Fort William, Scotland. There is a small possibility that I could be back earlier, but I don’t want to commit just yet and I think Fort William is a realistic goal, plus I love the track.

I have learned to really appreciate things this year and I am honestly so excited for the challenge of coming back and proving that I can be up there better than before! I like being the underdog and I think most people will not be thinking about me going into 2019. I say bring it on! Stay tuned on my social media handles for updates on my plans, sponsors and bikes! However, I am first going to make the most of my forced sabbatical, haha!

Until next time…

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