Monday, 1 August 2011

2011 British National Championships, Llangollen, Wales 23/24 July 2011

This weekend was all about strategy!

The National Champs took in a combination of the venue's two tracks and it was as steep as you like, bang on perfect for the FB10! Friday's track walk was good, great banter with my mates scoping out the lines and it was pretty damned wet with an inch of slop on top of the shiny roots thrown in for good measure. Tyre choices were gonna be interesting.

I have to say that none of the videos nor any of the photo's do the track justice..... walking up or down was nigh on impossible, thankfully the course builders had put in ropes between the trees to help spectators get around!

As soon as I got up on Saturday for practice, the Maxxis 'Wet Screams' were on without a moment's hesitation! The first run was so bloody hard going, trying to hit the lines you wanted in the gloop resulted in some almost-out-of-control sliding down the hill for everyone. Once it came to the flat section it was a big relief knowing that from there on it was flat out on to the older track.

Each run got better and better with more and more grip. After 3 runs I decided to throw on some Maxxis 'Minions' as the track was drying out fast. Although the course was great fun, due to the hang-on-for-the-ride nature of
it I dont think it's the best kind of course for a full bore race track, now please don't get me wrong here as it is such a challenging track regardless.

(...I like my wheels fast and my crouch down low.... Photo courtesy of Alex Tyler)

Come race day I managed to squeeze in two practice runs which went well. Had my seeding run which went frickin' awesome at the top, absolutely pinned it, the spectators could probably hear me laughing and whooping as I went past! Further down though some of the corners had started to be blown apart by this time and I had to pull back hard to make it through. Ended up in the middle of my field which I wasn't too mad about but really motivated for my race run. 

I was feeling really good on the bike, the top seemed to flow so much quicker and I put everything in. As I approached one of the blown out corners that caused me grief in the seeding I came in with a bit of caution and unfortunately I did the same thing again, pulled back way too hard. Kept my cool this time as I knew where to make up the time. I knocked off 10 seconds which I was happy with however disappointed I made the same mistake.

(Photo courtesy of Alex Tyler)

A big SHOUT OUT going to the boys at SRAM for replacing the damaged rebound damper and seal in my RockShox Boxxers quick sharp on race day, you guys rocked, thank you so much!

No comments:

Post a Comment