Zerode G2 DH Privateer Rupert Chapman European Update

Zerode G2 DH Privateer Rupert Chapman European Update

It's coming up to that time of year when mountain biking competition moves from Europe across the North America and alpine locations give way to forests in Canada and the United States and this gives us a chance to catch up with Zerode G2 DH privateer Rupert Chapman before he crosses the Atlantic Ocean.

Rupert has been competing in UCI World Cup Downhill and IXS Downhill Cup events driving his van from event to event, including a side trip to run in the Megavalanche.

Since we last spoke to you last you have competed in 2 UCI World Cup downhill events, how did they go for you?
Fort William didn't really go that well for me. I crashed in qualifying in a muddy bit, twisted my bars and got mud all over my grips meaning I couldn't really finish the run the way I would have liked. I didn't end up not qualifying which was a bit gutting. In Leogang I managed to qualify and ended up 60th in the finals of what was a pretty tight race

Are you looking forward to Mont Sainte-Anne in a couple of weeks time?
Yeah, really looking forward to Mont Sainte-Anne. I've been there before 4 years ago and really enjoyed it

You have also competed in some IXS Downhill Cup races, how have you done in those?
I've done the IXS Downhill Cup races in Val Di Sole and Les Deux Alpes. In Val Di Sole I seeded first which I was really surprised and pretty stoked about. I finished the finals in 6th place, which I was happy with, but knew I could have done better after a pretty messy run in the wet. Les Deux Alpes didnt go well for me, I wasn't really feeling that good on the track all week and I ended up out the arse in 30 something-place... 

What’s the big differences between an IXS Downhill Cup race and a UCI World Cup race?
The standard is definitely a lot higher at the World Cup races. Everyone goes a lot harder. The fact you don't have to qualify at IXS Cup races makes them a lot easier... it takes off that pressure of running qualifying runs.

How has your Zerode G2 been performing?
The Zerode G2 is still running mint! They have so little maintainance requirements, which is awesome. It's also so good on the real rough tracks I've been riding. I raced the Megavalanche on it last weekend which is not really a downhill bike race, but it was still all good.

Have you made any tweaks to it? Added anything new or taken anything away?
Nah, haven't done anything to it except changed the suspension setting a a few times. I put a dropper post on it for the Mega but that's about it.

How have you found living out of a van for the last few months?
Living out of the van is fine when it's sunny but hard in the wet. At the moment I'm in Morzine, France it's going well, it's hot and cheap!

If you could add things to the van to make life easy, what would they be?
Good question! Ha - maybe an awning would be nice out the front and a sunroof I guess. An actual campervan would be mint though!

Events are moving from Europe to North America (Canada and the USA) for a few weeks, does this make your life easier or harder competing?
Doesn't make too much difference. It's probably easier because everyone speaks English. Just another race with lots of stuff to organise!

What advice would you offer anyone considering following your path as a privateer and heading to Europe/North America to compete for a summer season?
Just get out there and do it! It's pretty hard at times and stuff will definitely go wrong but just keep going and remember to have fun, that's what it's all about!

If you'd like to know more about the Zerode G2 DH bike, have a look here. Meanwhile keep any eye out for Rupert at the next UCI World Cup Downhill event, 31st July to August 3rd 2014.

Source: Zerode Bikes

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