Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Alpine Bikes Winter Series Rnd 3, Innerleithen 4th March 2012

Another trip to Innerleithen for the final stage of the Alpine Bikes Winter Series. This stage was a downhill race so a bit more familiar to me than the Day/Night Enduro of the last round.
As it was my first downhill race of the year and wasn't quite sure how I would place against the other girls. I'd done quite a lot of training however it has been more cross-country than downhill based and y'know, wasn't sure how that would pay off.

The track was awesome, I love Inners! It started off down the steep stuff at the top, over a couple of drops into some shaley turns which spewed you out over the fire road. From there it's into some nice(!) slippy, twisty roots and tight corners making it hard to get the pedal strokes in. After the next fire road crossing was into the drop zone and then out into some jumps with a hip jump that I chose to sneak along the outside of after watching some of the elite guys take that line during practice, it was much quicker to stay on the ground pedalling like the clappers!

(Photo courtesy of Barry Primrose)

It finished over the infamous bombhole jump however it cut right afterwards into the flat turns and then through the normal finish line. All in, couldn't fault it at all.

The weather was pretty mixed, dry during the Friday's track walk then wet on Saturday morning but it soon dried up nicely in the sun shine later in the day. However this is Scotland! And Scotland being Scotland, well it chucked a heep of snow down over Saturday night so it was tricky choosing the right tyres and adapting your lines for the weather, in the end I just stuck with Maxxis High Rollers and kept my chosen lines.

(Photo courtesy of Barry Primrose)

Sunday came along and my first race run went OK I guess, messed up a couple of lines stalling. I placed 2nd, three seconds off Bex Reilly who was in the lead. I knew I could make up a couple of seconds if I had a good second run mind, I came down six seconds faster and took the win 3 seconds up on Bex who had a crash on her 2nd run.

I was pretty happy to have started the season with a win in an Enduro and a Downhill race - I got the Winter Series Overall Win too. Dead chuffed!

I'm pretty excited for the rest of the year especially once I'm on the new FTW steed but know I'm gonna have to train like a beast to get closer to the big dogs in the British Downhill Series.

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