Wednesday, 1 August 2012

British Downhill Series, Glencoe 8th July 2012

Here's Nicklaus with the Glencoe British Downhill Series weekend run down:

I was back up at Glencoe for the BDS, and back from my holiday where I may have overdone the free food and drink *pats tummy*.  Can you believe it, it wasn't raining....unlike the rest of the UK which was being flooded!  The track was looking pretty dry compared to my last visit and was also taped out a little differently which opened up a lot of sections. I was also debuting the new Development team jerseys, and I have to say they do look bloody good, yes, I know, such modesty!

Come practice on Saturday I was really stoked to ride in the dry.  My first run didn't go quite to plan, my rear shock blew up through the rock garden and I had to take the walk of shame to the chair lift station and took the trip back down to the pits.  A quick dash back to the car I soon had my old shock fitted to the bike so I hadn't missed too much practice time, phew!  

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

As I progressed through my first main run I began to notice that although the track was much dryer then normal it didn't have a massive amount of grip.  However the bike was riding great and the new Boxxer fork upgrade from the guys at TF Tuned were working awesomely, taking all the huge impacts with a plomb.  It was apparent where the toughest parts of the track were as there were a lot of riders stopped at the side trying to scout the best line. The two steep and rocky shoots where causing the most trouble, lots of crashing, lots of punctures, lots of damaged bikes!  I found my bike was more than capable of doing its job and tracking well through the sections, this is one of Frank Wadelton's legacy's....he knows his shit when it comes to frame designing and building!  Glencoe is very steep, very rough and very fast, I had 100% trust in my Sun-Ringle wheels and Hayes Primes brakes, no dings, no buckling, no fading, no arm-pump, everything was working flawlessly.

Practice went pretty well, stoked with the bike's handling.  Come race day my qualifying run went well, made a couple of mistakes but nothing out of the ordinary and knew where I could improve. 

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

I was really motivated for the race run, feeling good and the bike was riding perfectly. I set out of the start gate spinning it, took a chunk out of the ground with my Burgtecs, get in!  Blitzed along on the top section and hit the the more difficult parts of the track bang on. Came into a right hander half-way down where my front wheel washed out on some loose rocks and I hit the deck, Couldn't lose the time and I knew I was pinning it, jumped straight back on galloping the FTW down the hill like a demon possessed determined to make up the lost time.  When I got to the open section near the bottom before the big ski jump, a spectator was shouting "Rider!" at me so I pulled to the side as I thought with my crash the next rider had caught me.  As the rider got closer he was telling me to keep going, turns out I had passed him further up and he had caught me up after my crash, bloody spectators, god!  I got back on the track and sprinted through the finish line.  I was really hacked off by the incident, by pulling over for no reason lost me some considerable time.  Taking the crash into consideration and the pulling over for no reason I still got 20th place, however it's left me with a big 'What might have been', sure, it's all part and parcel of racing.  I was just so gutted, I loved the course, the bike was handling it so amazingly well and I was gunning for the podium.  Gutted!

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