Monday, 3 June 2013

British Downhill Series Round 3, Innerleithen 1st & 2nd June 2013

A lightning quick update coming at y'all, Nick here....

Was looking forward to this weekend, there was an awesome turn out of the international teams who were using the BDS Innerleithen event as a warm-up for the World Cup at Fort Bill next weekend.  Even better, we were all blessed with gorgeous warm and dry weather ......well it's about bloody time!

As usual at any given national event there was a lot of queuing to be had, it wasn't so bad with the nice weather mind you (yes, I am pandering to the stereotypical British thing and discussing the weather!) there was plenty of good social chit-chat going on.  Big props going out to Pete Williams who marked the course out, it was a blinder!  The track was super fast with quite a few tricky sections where a lot of riders were getting caught out.  There were some serious crashes and lots of red flags throughout the whole weekend, top stuff I tell ya!

On the Saturday I managed to squeeze in five runs which left me a little disappointed, I didn't feel I had learned my lines.  Come Sunday I squeezed in two further practise runs before qualification, the track was a lot slippier due to the amount of churned up dust.  Innerleithen is the type of track that is better when it's slightly damp and everything's 'held down' so to speak. I reckon I was praising the good weather too much now!  Throughout the weekend my runs were steady, I didn't click with any lines as such, feeling it more important to keep smooth and keep the momentum going!  My bike is the bomb I can tell you that right now!

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

Went back up the hill for my seeding run and relaxed in the Scottish sun!  There was a delay due to a number of red flags, other riders were hitting the dirt left, right and centre.  I set off out of the start-gate hooked the quary jump and into the trees, it then gets a bit tighter.  Had a near-death experience with a tree; there is a slight left hander over some roots, my front wheel drifted as I hit them which saw my bar and hand smashing into the tree resulting in an explosion of wood chippings and a few whoops from the spectators!  As soon as I realised my finger was still attached I was off!  The rest of the run was pretty much bang on the buck, I took a low line over the fire road which slowed me down and I made mental notes to change it in the later runs.

Gave the bike a quick once over when I got back to the pits, she was ready to rock 'n roll! There must have been more crashes, getting back to the top of the hill took an age, an hour and a half delay I reckon it was.  This wasn't good mentally or physically with all the standing around. 

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

Anyway back to business, my race run went well, getting a bit wild through trying to smash out a fast run. My heart stopped beating briefly near the bottom of the course, hitting the bomb hole jump and taking off all dodgy, drifting to the right in the air then landing in the loose boulders and shit!  Getting really loose manageing to hold it together was amazed and relieved to make it out of the next corner alive!  The Boxxers and the X-fusion shock did their magic taking the big hits and helping me gain traction back.  After that it was straight back on the gas for the fire road and the finish line

I improved on my seeding run but was pissed off with my result due to the lack of practice on the course I didnt develop a flow which is definately needed at Innerleithen.  We need Tom Barker back on his motorbike and all the tow ropes, them were the days!

A huge thanks to the team's boss Lee for getting the new jerseys up to Inners with a direct delivery via Linda at The Stanes, the new tops are awesome!

Photo copyright of Ian Linton, and yes, we do know Nick looks about 12 years old!

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