New Zealand's downhill phenom Sam Blenkinsop is busy training and filming in Eastern Europe, and is in the final phase of preparations for the World Championships in Fort William, Scotland, September 3-9, where he will again be representing his country. This year will be his first racing in the elite category. He won silver in the junior race at the 2006 World downhill championships in Rotorua, New Zealand.
The young 18 year-old rider suffered some bad luck earlier this season, but has since logged fine performances in Italy and France. He also recently launched his own website, www.samblenkinsop.com to keep friends, family, and fans updated.
In Ravascletto, Italy, Blenkinsop took the win in the final round of the Italian National Series. He travelled there with compatriots Nathan Rankin, Glenn Haden, and junior Matthew Scoles, from their base in Morzine, France. The Italian race format has qualifications in the morning, followed by a best of two races run format in the afternoon. He won all three runs.
"The track had heaps of pedalling and was really dusty. We had a good time there and the Italian races are well organised and fun to do," said Blenkinsop after his return from the Avalanche Cup.
In France, he took third in the sprint Avalanche Cup in Oz en Oisans and seventh in the Megavalanche Cup at the Alpe d'Huez.