Tuesday, 28 June 2011

British Downhill Series Round 4 - Llangollen, Wales 26th June 2011

The British Downhill Series Circus rolled into Llangollen in Wales for their round 4, you can already guess the weather…. chucking it down!

This course followed on from the Dunkeld SDA race rather well in that it’s a nice and steep track, largely out in the open. Saturday was on and off with the rain, so Maxxis ‘Wet Scream’ tyres were the call of the day, perfectly suited. Queue times for the uplift were quite lengthy thankfully the lift itself didn’t take too long and I kept a beady eye on my brake hose this time around!

(Photo courtesy of Laurence Crossman-Emms)

The track started with a long traverse across the hill with a series of steep and tight corners. The middle section of which was absolutely flat out and my plan of attack was to death grip it, this is where the speed-trap was going to be. As the weekend progressed it became rougher but nothing that the FB10 couldn’t handle. Following on were more loose corners the last of which spat you out into a new off camber section followed by three drops and a sprint to the finish line. On the filmed run I landed quite sketchily sending me towards a tree, which made my arse twitch like a rabbit’s nose!!

(Photo courtesy of Tim Joyce)

As Saturday progressed the course became dryer. I kept the Wet Scream tyres on for the rest of the day as it was still patchy in places but swapped to the Minions on the Sunday due to improved course conditions. As a result Sunday was a hell of a lot faster! Managed to pull two practice runs out of the bag, which was good considering the uplift queuing and the fact it was blisteringly hot. Must have drunk about two litres of Vitamin Water to keep hydrated!

(Photo Courtesy of Tim Joyce)

Came down from my first race run disappointed to find myself 14 seconds off the pace and tried to figure out where I’d gone wrong, admittedly I semi-stalled higher up on the course, the rest of the run seemed perfectly fine though. Kept trying to visualize where I’d gone wrong.

(Photo courtesy of Tim Joyce)

My second run, well I felt loads quicker, pretty much nailed the top sections and had a good race pace going on. Flew into the off camber section and took a wider line to carry more speed however little did I know that the corner had disintegrated over the course of the day’s racing! I had a huge moment here yet somehow managed to stay on. I hit the field off the last drop flat out, got my head down and sprinted as hard as I could. Unfortunately I put the posted the same time again I was pretty damned gutted!

(Photo courtesy of Ian McConnell)

Other than the lack lustre result I loved the course and can’t wait for National Championships there in a few weeks’ time. I’m heading off out on the road bike now, gonna get some miles in around the Teesdale countryside!

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