Injury knocks Pitts out of World Cup Race |

Injury knocks Pitts out of World Cup Race

Submitted photo by Sven Martin

Graeme Pitts, of Nevada City, earned a coveted spot representing the United States in Hafjell, Norway, at the final World Cup race of the 2012 Downhill Mountain Bike Series.

Being able to travel to Norway to compete against the world’s top riders caps off a successful year for Pitts which included eight podium finishes, and four first place finishes in 13 races. This event is the first World Cup event ever held at the Hafjell venue, and Pitts had been hoping all year to be able to go because the trails resemble his local training grounds in Nevada County.

Pitts arrived in Norway a few days in advance to have adequate time to recover from the trip and practice on Thursday went perfectly. Pitts was counted among only a handful of the top world racers who were attempting and surviving a difficult obstacle.

“It was a road gap of about 40 feet out and 10 feet down with no take off ramp,” Pitts said. “Most people were rolling over it, but I was jumping it.”

At this level, only 80 riders qualify to race and approximately 150 were registered. Qualifying was held Friday afternoon, but unfortunately for Pitts he sustained a knee injury during practice earlier that morning.

“I knew this was worse than a bruise because I was having trouble walking,” Pitts said. “I didn’t travel all that way for nothing, so I rallied for the 4 minutes it would take to do my qualifying run.

“In the steep, wooded section, I crashed, and the bike got stuck a bit uphill from me — not good! If walking was hard, running uphill to get my bike was more than my knee needed. But I got back on and finished my run.”

Despite Pitts perseverance, it wasn’t enough to qualify.

An EMT on the scene checked Pitts out, and made the call that the injury seemed to involve only soft tissue.

If that turns out to be accurate, when Pitts returns, look for him to compete in the last downhill bike event of the year at Northstar at Tahoe’s Race4Tara7. This event draws a big crowd, including luminaries of the bike racing world.

For more information about Pitts go to

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