NDH Mini DH Chopwell 17th November

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NDH Mini DH Chopwell 17th November

So here it is Liams Race report from Chopwell:
Here it was. The final race of 2013 at Chopwell organised by the guys at NorthernDownHill. Not only was this the teams last race for 2013 but the last race I would be doing on my trusty Devinci. With this been a season ending race, me, Blake, Rich and both Micks were keen as always to put in a good result.
Around 8am we arrived and signed on. It was abit chilly but when we saw how much pedalling was needed we soon got the blood pumping. After 2 or 3 practice runs I called it a day and chilled out in the van for my race. The rest of the lads put in a few more to get every part of the track dialled.
The race was classes as a trail bike TT. Therefore an enduro bike was most likely the best bet for putting in a quick time. Unfortunatley I had no other choice than my dh bike. Mick Hill rode his hardtail kona and Mick Waud, Rich and Blake chose to use their dh rigs.
My 1st race run went smoothly with not as much pedalling as I should of but I placed 2nd, 4seconds behind 1st place. I was happy but wasn’t settled. I could smell 1st place and that’s what I wanted. In the meantime the other lads put in their run and had a good one except Blake who unfortunatley had a minor off the track moment.
After a re-group at the van and a few rude things drawn on Riches number board we were ready to get our arses in gear. This time there was no messing about. A heavy dh bike wasn’t goin to stop me putting the power down in every corner. I wanted to make my time up and wanted it badly. Pedalling through every section I could I blocked out the pain. Reaching the finish with my legs feeling like led I made up my time and planted 1st place. With been chuffed to bits I made my way to the woods to watch my team mates come through and give them some abuse. First through were the old boys who looked very fast. Poor little Richard, god I’ve never seen that guy pedal so hard! His head was bobbing and he was hungry for it. Mick Hill finished 6th Mick Waud 8th and rich 9th. We then all Waited for Blakey boy to come through until one racer took a tumble injuring his knee which called the race to be delayed. Meanwhile me and Mick Hill helped carry him down on the stretcher. (Hope you heal up soon enough mate!) the race was then resumed and we cheered Blake on to get those legs moving. He came down smashing into the berm and hopped over the rock with his shoulder scrapping the tree. Man he looked quick! He was on it! We soon caught up with Blake for him to tell us he finished 7th out of 53 which is awesome!. I could secretly tell he wasn’t happy but bearing in mind 85% of people were on enduro bikes and he pedalled his little heart out on his transition.
As the darkness closed in the podiums were done and the flow of traffic was creeping out of the forest.
During the journey back watching the white lines on the motorway disappear underneath the van I was thinking what a great season Trg has had with so many great results and so many laughs with each other. It’s quite sad to see the old bike go and 2013 disapear into memories and results on roots and rain.
Coming from everyone at TeamRockGardener, thankyou to all of our sponsors for supporting us all through 2013 and to everyone else who has done the same and we look forward to working with our current and new sponsors throughout 2014. Also thankyou to Carl at NorthernDownHill for putting on this event and everyone else who helped out.

Urban X – Help the troops II

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Urban X – Help the troops II

New team members Ben & Cath had a great weekend at the Urban X race – here’s Ben’s Race report:
So this was our second race as official members of TRG. Cath didn’t race Urban X’s Help for Heros race last year as she was ill. I did and some how managed to pull a 1st in Masters so this year I was feeling the pressure and knew there were a fair few gunning for me.
We had been down the day before to have a little practice as we’d had a few weeks off our bikes and knew we were a little out of shape. Meeting up with a few others the basically went like this… push up, ride, crash, hail, rain, hail, home!
Not feeling a 100% percent we rocked up nice and early to get some more bike time in. It’s hard to go to these grass roots events and get your race face on straight away as they are so social but that’s what we love, so after saying our hellos we headed up to the track. The sky was clear blue and sun was warming us up nicely but reports of the track was bogged up in the middle single track and top half was full of water.
After watching a debate on who should drop in first in front of us I rolled into the top shoot trying not to obsess over where I had an off the day before but sadly I couldn’t help myself and slid out in the exact same spot but managed to recover and stay on track. After several runs at it I had a new safer line dialled and was feeling good.
The middle Section was bogged up and wet, heading back into the woods it was rough, greasy and wetter. Not wanting to waste energy we only did one full run an sessioned the sections that needed attention.
Race runs came and I knew the Masters field was littered with guys that could take my mantle from last year, I would need to put in a pretty much perfect run in to keep it! I dropped in and hit my lines clearing everything and carrying some definite speed, cheers to Blakey Boy and his secret line out of the last bit of top section, wow that was fast!
Into the middle and I was already out of gas, having raised my seat for this bit I sat down and put in some xc strokes. The sun was aiming straight down the single track and creating some full on glare. Feeling the bike going I slid off to the right, half expecting to get pulled fully into the under growth but some how managing to find my way back onto track only to slide off to the left. Now pedalling my ass off just to get back up to speed I knew I was going to struggle with the entrance back into the woods where it gets a little ruff again.
As I was about to enter I emerged out of the bus stop to be greeted by a yapping little dog and a group of people screaming! Avoiding this feisty little chap I pushed on chuckling as I could here the owners shouting to come back, it was chasing me!
Now into the last section I managed to keep the switch backs nice and smooth and just pedalled as much as my legs would let me and finally choosing to trust the root riddled berms I broke out of the woods completely spent…
I watched genuine fast lads Paul & Craig pop out and across the finsh. After some banter they had both put in faster times. I knew I had more if I could keep the middle clean and was amped for the second run.
Sadly one of the riders had a serous crash and the race was called off after the 1st runs. We really hope Simon makes a speedy recovery, best wishes to you dude!
Catching up with Cath she was very pleased to tell me she was comfortably in 1st but I had already guessed this as she was looking pinned all morning. Even with a second run there was no real worry with her runs consistently being faster than her 1st.
We would both like to thank our new team and team boss, it’s good to be in a team that works as a team. We can’t wait for the new season!
Thanks to Trev & Co for the event and Dave for the pictures.
It was great to see everyone

Cath Tilford 1st Women
Ben Tilford 3rd Masters