Timaru mountainbiker David Ashby-Coventry broke his nose during a World Cup race in the Czech Republic and his $9000 bicycle was stolen while he was in hospital but he was determined not to let his supporters down. Instead of getting his nose straightened as soon as possible he chose to wait until he returns home on Thursday so he could compete in another world series race in Germany on Saturday.
His European campaign will help him to gain points for starting positions at the world championship in Norway in September. On May 24 Ashby-Coventry began a race at Nove Mesto Na Morave in the Czech Republic until injury sidelined him. Starting slowly due to a heavy cold, he was building into the race well with a fast second lap when he came unclipped from his pedals in a rock garden on the third lap. Falling face first into the rocks and breaking his nose, his race was over.
After returning from hospital he found his bike had been stolen. Fellow Kiwi mountainbiker Anton Cooper arranged for his pro team Cannondale to lend Ashby-Coventry a bike for the race at Albstadt in Germany on Saturday. A secondary infection on his chest meant though starting the race well he quickly found he was struggling to breathe so he slowed down, choosing to just ride the course and finish the race. He eventually finished 101st out of 125 riders. Despite all the problems the 19-year-old said the overseas experience he has had has been invaluable and he hopes to be well in time for the champs in September.