Stand forth Brian at The Cycle Jersey and David Keningale for helping with the design and manufacturing! Nick's tops have now been debuted! I think you'll agree, they look stunning!
Can all the team's 2012 sponsors please step forward and take a bow, without your help we simply could not do what we do, thank you all so very much indeed:
Frank Wadelton and FTW Industries
Royal Racing (Nick)
Fox Racing (Angela)
Oury Grips USA
The Cycle Jersey
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Angie takes over the crib: Headed up to Scotland on the 22nd to race the Pitfichie SDA, the forecast was to be wet and it held its promise. I've never seen rain like it. From Friday to Sunday it didn't stop once, heavy with thunder showers!
I got there on Friday night with Ellen Tipple, it was her first race and we walked the course, it was a new track that hadn't been raced on before so I was pretty excited. The top bit was pretty much the same as the other courses up there through the open heather singletrack and then it dropped down into the new woods section, there seemed to be loads of line choice and plenty rocks and roots! I was debuting my new FTW Industries FB10 on this race and was eager to see how it handled.
The race was an old school push-up-to-the-top so Saturday morning I got pushing! Managed to get 4 runs in and sessioned a few sections. The track was running sweet in the morning but after 130 riders had been down a few times it was started to get pretty beat up with more roots showing through meaning every run was different and I had to adjust and change some lines. There were some huge ruts forming that were quickly filling with water as a stream flowed down the track! Pretty hard going but sooooooo much fun riding in the wet, you can take the girl out of the North-East....!!
(Unknown Photographer - make yourself known to Lee!)
The new FTW took me a while to adjust to, however after a few runs I seemed to get right into it, it just felt so good on the rocks :-) *thumbs up!!* The new Hayes brakes still needed bedding in a little but after two runs they were awesome, I never thought anything would live up to my Hopes that I had had for four years but they were amazing and I love the fact you adjust the lever reach without an allen key - I only have wee fingers! :-)
On Sunday morning I got one practice run in which went pretty well so I thought I'd leave it on a good note for my first race run. That first race run could possibly have been my worst ever, I went over the bars three times and had some other moments as well. The woods was just so physically demanding, with nine girls racing I was sitting in 3rd place with a 4.53, about 15 seconds off the win, feeling pretty annoyed with myself!
I went up for second race run, absolutely cold and soaking wet by this point. I was in more of a chilled mood though (see what I did then!) and seemed to hold a much better run together. Admittedly I did have a little crash but stayed with the bike and got down the rest of the track totally sweet finishing almost half a minute faster with a 4.24 which put me into 1st place. I was mega happy!
(Another unknown photographer!)
Just a six-hour drive home after that but worth a trip up!
Thanks for sorting everything out Lee, you've been a star!! :-)Tweet
Nick: I was really pumped for this race as when the IXS came to Innerleithen two years ago the event was run so well and the course was one of the best I have ever been on. However unlike two years ago when the weather was bone dry this weekend was completly wet and muddy. I knew that the nature of the track combined with the wet conditions were going to make for some difficult going.
Photo copyright of Ian Linton
Friday's practice went really well, as tough as the track was it beginning to bed in nicely. It was pretty much the same as before with a couple of the big drops in the middle of the track and the addition of some jumps in the finishing field. I had stupidly forgotten my spiked mud tyres, a lot of sections were impossible to get any grip on and I had a massive stack at the bottom of the course. I just couldn't get any grip and didn't have any opportunity to hit the jumps with the speed needed. They were a good size however on the track-walk we realised how soft both the take offs and landings were, spiked tyres were a must in these conditions!
Photo copyright Richard Easton
Up nice and early on Saturday and finally got hold of some spiked tyres. Really happy with the set up of the FTW bike. It was so wet and muddy I went through an entire roll of my 'rip n rolls' on my goggles and had to change my gloves three times, this was pure GLOOP! Considering the conditions, the track was running really well and I was having so much fun pinning the corners speedway style!
Photo copyright of Ian Linton
Qualifying was on the Saturday afternoon, I sprinted out the start and after about 100 metres in something didnt quite feel right. Got to the end of the straight flat-out section and went to hang a left around a nicely developed rut and did a massive 180. It was then clear I had a rear puncture, gutted! Instead of destroying a perfectly good rear wheel I made the decision to get a lift down on the uplift vehicle's return. This meant I couldn't do my timed run and therefore nothing I could use to compare myself to the others with.
Photo copyright of Euan Law
Come Sunday morning I was kinda happy with my lines though, I only put one practice run in and chilled out until racing. As I was a DNF in qualifying I was off fairly early. Put a really good run in although in hindsight (always a wonderful thing!) I could have been quicker but subconsciously I didn't want another DNF. Coming into the bottom of the track I realised I hadn't hit the jump into the field yet or the one immediately after. It was now or never, I came out of the last berm put some cranks into it and launched the gully jump into the field, cleared it easily but landed in the muddy slop and nearly chinned my bars, jeez! Crossed the line and sat in the hot-seat (wet-seat in this case!) for a while which was great!
Now I'm off on holiday for a week then when I come back I'm heading up to pin it at Glencoe for the BDS!