Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Scottish Championships - Dunkeld 11/07/2010

This past weekend saw the Scottish Champs at Dunkeld. Last year I grabbed second unfortunately due to not being a Scot I couldn't grab a podium spot, bugger! This track is renown for being a tough brute, damned rooty with some steep rocky shoots at the top. To help make it clearer for those who haven't been up there before, they don't let the young-uns ride the top section, and to make it easier it was raining!!!

Saturday practice went really well, the FTW was skipping nicely through the rocks and I found that the back-end seemed to track loads better than the Orange 224 I used to ride. This definitely helped with having the slippiest roots in the world to contend with. Had clean and tidy runs all day and tried to work on some lines but the track conditions were changing quite a lot, all in though I felt happy with my riding.
Photo courtesy of Ian Linton

Saturday night the heavens opened and on the uplift for the first practice come Sunday you could see deep puddles on track. Me and the the guys I was riding with decided to hang back and let the first uplift of about 40 riders get down to clear the puddles and make some nice ruts, let them do the work, ahem! Didn't get off to a good start mind you, got a bit carried away and did an over-the-bars on one of top rock sections, didn't hurt but still felt like a numpty!
Practice was really hard as the course was littered with bodies, seriously, there were bodies everywhere, it made it really difficult to get a clear run in.

It thankfully stop raining for the race runs which was great. Had a pretty good run apart from through the rock garden where I lost my pedals and struggled to get my feet back on as my cranks kept hitting rocks and roots. Cruised down after that and was ecstatic to see that I was in the Hot Seat when I crossed the line. By the end of the racing I was knocked down to around 7th, still happy with that considering the mistakes, and the 'company' I was in.

Coming up for the second runs I knew the track would be quicker as it had dried up loads. Rode the top section the fastest I had all weekend so was really confident, came to a section which had some off camber roots and a rock slab into a few boggy drops. Unfortunately grabbed too much brake and washed out on the roots, went down the boggy drops with my crotch in the back wheel (sooooooo glad I didn't have mud spikes on, can just about picture a castration by mud tyre!!!!!!) and as a result finished slower then my first run.

Photo courtesy of Richard Turner
Had a great weekend up there and grabbing a good number of points. Loads of people are interested in the new bike, we're all chuffed.
Full race report can be found on Descent World here: http://www.descent-world.co.uk/2010/07/12/scottish-champs-dunkeld-2/

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