Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Borderline Events - English Downhill Championship, Hamsterley Forest, 10th May 2015

Nick: Although Hamsterley Forest's my local riding spot I hadn't been there for a fair while and was looking forward to seeing how the track chosen by the Borderline Events posse flowed, quite literally at first as it turned out. 

It's a fairly short course by today's standards however it's physically demanding with no time to rest between sections, you take one big breath at the start gate and then it's a full on hammering until you cross the finish line.  Guess Danny Hart was at home with the weather that morning as it was absolutely pouring down, I was being kept warm and dry under my Berghaus coat so there was no grumbling from me mind! 

'Tommy Gun' Newrick arrived early Saturday morning and walked the new section of the track, he was at home from the word go as he practically lives on these courses!  Tom's had the new Manitou Revox shock fitted to his FTW, no bedding in required he was straight off ripping the course up with his mates.  

Both of us got more than enough runs in, the course is a game of two halves, keep the cadence up down the top section and then keep it loose across the technical sections down below.  It's a hard course to make up time due to its short length even if you merely clipped a pedal that would be the end of any winning run there and then.  Both of us were running Sun-Ringle's 650b A.D.D. Pro wheels for a bit of advantage over the rocks, power to the dark side of the force.

As Saturday progressed the track was drying out nicely making it a claggy in places I was building up pace and starting to blitz my lines.  Tom was absolutely nailing the course down, six runs in and he was on fire!

Come Sunday morning I squeezed in three steady runs and chilled out 'til race time.  Tom was a purple and red blur as he shot past me whilst I spectated on his first race run, I later learned he accidentally unclipped from his pedals before the table top and couldn't clip back in, unlucky.  I stalled near the finish on my first run and turned the air blue as it had all gone perfectly up until that point.  Hit my second run full on but just couldn't make up the time and took the fourteenth place in the Masters.

Tom had a little embarrassment through the new section on his second run when his foot slipped off the pedal, that said he still crossed the finish line in a respectable 7th place in the youths.

Next up, the big bad Fort Bill with the British Downhill Series.

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