well here it is, hot of the press….Ben Tilfords SDA rd1 race report:
Having ridden Innerleithen 3 years ago and being one of our first real introductions to downhill we were keen to get to race here. We booked on this 1st round of SDA a month in advance to avoid weather watching and choosing whether to race or not. We got lucky and the snow cleared, the winds stayed down and the sun came out. The first thing we all noticed is that none of the faces were familiar, being so used to social scene this side of the border it was a little strange.
The track to be used was a mix of several that mixed it up a bit. The top was sloppy and flat over the fire road into a fast jumpy section. Out of this lead into a total pedal fest… sigh… back into the woods and then jumping out onto the fire road into a series of deep ruts. Now halfway into the track we entered back into the woods where it got interesting, nice and steep with multiple lines and then into open for a one last tricky corner through the gully and into the infamous finishing area.
Inners is a proper DH venue and the tracks all look amazing but sadly the uplift was shocking, taking about an hour to get to the top including the massive pedal along the road to the pickup point and a monster push to the start hut. This sadly meant we only got 4 practice runs on the Saturday and 1 practice on race day. This just wasn’t enough time for me to warm up on race day and dial every line in. I came down from each race run disappointed about mistakes and not having the fitness to power through the pedal section.
The SDA event its self was really well organised and the friendly but was definitely an atmosphere of a serious race. Cath, Liam and I all left the race feeling we need to work on fitness but felt positive about the weekend. Personally I can’t wait for the next race, another new venue for us at Caersws and the rest of the team are all at the 1st round of the BDS next week
Sorry this is a wee bit late! (unfortunately work gets in the way of having fun sometimes) so here it is Liam’s first race report as an Expert racer :
My first race this year was Boarderline events farmer johns.
Even though farmer johns isn’t a national I was still feeling a little nervous due to been in the expert category for the first time.
Out of Trg racing was myself, Jamie, Ben, cath and mick hill there to offer his support on Sunday due to his injured shoulder.
After a great day riding with Trg and a few others on Saturday I felt confident for Sunday. There was a few corners I needed work on but I knew and hour in the morning would polish them up nicely.
Sunday morning was a much more chilled environment than usual. Maybe that was because I was ready, and I had a good feeling the team would do well.
Around 11 my mum, dad and dog arrived to offer their support which was nice. A spot of lunch with plenty of carbs and sugar had me race ready and I pushed up the track to the start.
Sat in the start gate back pedalling my cranks with the noise of my Hub clicking away helped me focus on the track that layed ahead. With the all clear I was already upto speed floating over the jumps. With gym work through the winter I was feeling super strong, I was scrubbing the jumps and hitting the pedals where I could. The new kona oporator was feeling awesome! Dropping into the woods I had plenty of cheers and hecklers and scared a few people as I nearly lost the front end. Coming down the steep shoot I hit the corners I had been struggling on with ease and crossed the line feeling positive in a 2nd spot not even a second off 1st place.
Some more food and drink later I was back at the top in my coat waiting to be called. With my mum by the start gate she shouted me along the first straight untill I disappeared around the corner. I must admit I wasn’t feeling as strong as I did on my first run but my technique through the woods was so much more planted and the crowd so much louder. I reached the bottom clean to find I only just beat my previous time but unfortunatley I was still only 0.1secs off 1st place so I had to settle for 2nd place in my first expert race which I was incredibly happy with. The rest of team also did great. Jamie managed a 2nd in juniors, cath a 5th in women’s and ben with a 10th in masters.
Well what another great race put on from mike and john and the rest of the guys and girls at Boarderline events along with all the Marshall’s and crowd for making this event awesome.
Liam McDermott 2nd Experts
James Hurst 3rd Juniors
Cath Tilford 5th Women
Ben Tilford 10th Masters