Tony kay race report.
Entered this race last minute on the friday as weekend weather looked good and race organiser Mike Marsden was kind enough to get me a spot.
So turned up sunday morning 8am carpark already full with racers. Found myself a parking spot and started to set up, smiling as i pulled the kona process 153 dl out of my car. Had the bike 4 weeks and still brings a big smile to my sexy face every time i see her as she is so dialed and smooth to ride.
Once set up bumped into 2 friends from masters and decided to do the loop together in practice.
Stage one was quite easy smooth single track into berms that lasted 40 secs onto a fireroad, and yes it was up hill…… for-ever! Then it lead onto hully gully a fast fun track, massive berms and quite flowy no drama.
Stage 2 was the newly done up dh track starting with the leap of faith ( a double ) then over a fire road onto the dh track with lots of drop offs then into the woods. The woods was super nice and loads of grip thanks the kenda tyre up front digging in deep.
Stage 3 started super fast over loose rocks into a tight left hand with no berm into pure dirty wet peaty mud! Had to really remember to get the gear right for this corner. Then it carried on for around 2 mins of pure bog and roots in the woods super fun and techy. Once clear of this it opened up onto a fast single track had to get the cranks in!
With no practice on the sat i knew the other guys would have a advantage over me. Once racing started i didnt go crazy tried to keep it smooth and steady. Kinda paid off as got 14th out of 109. Quite happy but i know deep down could of broke top 10. How-ever didnt want to push to hard and risk a crash as 3 nationals to hit in may and need to be 100% fit for them.
Every enduro race im getting better and better results, the kona process has defo helped me reach these results.
Massive thanks to all our sponsors means alot.
For my first outing on the Process 153DL i chose the mini downhill race at Penshaw monument organised by the lovely people at Sanctuary Bikes.
Starting right next to the monument the track blasted off down a grassy sprint broken up with a couple of chicanes before a long right hander through a narrow gate and on to a fast twisty section. After this the course dropped into the woods proper and the speeds increased – railing burms and dodging trees would be the order of the day! Fast flowy berm led into fast flowy berm with drops, jumps and tables thrown in for good measure! First impressions of Penshaw were big smiles all round.
My self and team mate Michael Coupe pushed back up and we soon flying back to the bottom again, 5 practice runs later and it was time for the first race runs.
Coupes was away first so i wished him good look and watched him sprint away from the start – soon it was my turn, I sprinted from the line the 153 easily accelerating up to race pace and before long I was flying through the woods and over the line – 5th, Coupes on the other hand was sitting in first! but with only 10th’s of seconds separating the top 3 in the master class he new he’d after nail his second run. Meanwhile Blake was sitting in 7th in seniors.
Second runs and again coupes was away before me so after watching him off I had a quiet word with myself – I needed to absolutely nail this run if wanted to podium. I was off and stomping on the pedals, the 153 felt great, light enough to sprint on but big enough for the hits too – this time I knew I was faster and I hit all the corners smooth and sprinted for the line – 4th! I’d improved but just not quite enough – at least i could drive home knowing Id given it my best shot.
Catching up with coupes I was very pleased he’d managed to stay in first place in masters. Unfortunately Blake hadn’t improved on his 7th from his first run.
All in all a good day, the process 153DL is an awesome bike and I can’t wait to race it again.
Michael Coupe 1st masters
Richie Molloy 4th Vets
Blake White 7th Seniors
well now, it wasn’t just Downhill last weekend, Team rider Tony Kay was riding up hills as well as down at AE forest! here is his report:
Tony Kay race report – Round 1 Uk Gravity enduro Ae. Friday 11 – Sunday 13th April.
Waking up friday morning feeling good and ready for the weekend sun shinning for once was super excited. Got all my gear together ready for steve owen to pick me up ready for the long journey to AE.
We made good time and rolled onto the campsite for around 4.30 with already lots of people set up in tents and the lucky one’s in motor homes oh how the rich live!!! Defo need that lotto win.
Once all set up and ready to roll it was time to head out with the kona process 153dl and see what she can really do as had only rode her twice on easy local tracks. On the way up to stage one and five it was a transition of 1hour all climbing, but for once didnt mind the climbing as Miss process pedalled really well was impressed.
Once at the top had a few minutes to relaxed and take in the great views felt good to be out and ennoying the views scotland had to offer. Rest over blasted down stage one, was quite easy fast and smooth through woods, dropped over a fire road onto a fast man made section. This was fast, flowly, tables and jumps was amazing then dropped into the woods for the last section and was damn steep and loose was mega! Really good stage as fast loose and open.
This dropped us into the arena so had the nice long transition to do again. Once back at the top hit stage 5. This was a pure dh track quite techy in places and super fast. At the bottom flowed into two big berms where i had my first crash. Wasnt ready for the speed the process can carry and washed out on 2nd berm getting some nice gravel rash down one arm and elbow.
Back to the tents for a nice bbq and relax ready for sat practice and seeding.
Woke up sat feeling quite good and excited. Breakfast all done and off we went again with young Elliott Heap tagging along with me and Steve Owen. Spirits was high good banter on the way up. Hit stage one alot faster than on friday as knew what was coming up. Moved onto stage 2 wich was only a 15 min transition. Stage sucked a bit very slow corners and really had to get the pedals in. Once down we set off for stage 3 wich was miles away!!! 1 hour 10 min transtion.
Hit stage 3 was wide open at the top man made with lots of steep tables but the strong winds was catching alot of people out. We just sailed over them like whipping pro’s , style for the win. Then it dropped into some nice flowy single track. Once back in the arena got ready for seeding wich was stage 5.
My seeding run wasnt great made 4 mistakes putting me in 49 out of 109, played it quite safe and wanted to get down safe but know i had alot more in the tank but was happy.
Saturday night was nice and relaxed a few beers and camp fire with a few people.
Woke up sunday morning sun blazing!!! Every one in good spirits and ready for a great day of racing!
Race day went ok for me no real drama played it safe and wanted to finish in top 50% as last year had so many bike problems i didnt clear top 90 %!! But the Kona process didnt let me down once over the weekend amazing bike.
Ended up finishing 49 out of 109 so very happy with that as was alot of talented riders in masters. Stage 5 pushed abit harder and was 25th out of 109 for that stage. Next race want to finish top 40% get fitter and push harder!
Ride more! Race more! Have fun!
Big thanks to sponsors.
And every one that raced!
what better way to relax after a hard days work than with the next thrilling instalment of The Adventures of TRG Racing! this time we have Liams tale of Crashes, cracked helmets and the presuure of the number 1 race plate! read on and enjoy:
After 3 weekends of results I wasn’t too happy with it was time to head down to Stockport for round 2 of farmer johns held by Boarderline Events.
This was just a one day event for me, rich and mick. We did a track walk early Sunday morning and found there was a new section taped out in the woods. It looked pretty cool so I was looking forward to taking the Kona Oporator for a blast.
At sign on I was blessed with the number 1 race plate so expectations were high.
Practice was fun and the bike was feeling spot on, I’ve been running my front end a little lower too which helps allot in the corners. I was loving the track and soon had my lines dialled in. The rest of the team were also feeling good and were all riding super smooth. Unfortunatley Jamie had to give Sundays race a miss due to a crash the day before injuring his leg, along with Mick Hill and Coupe’s both suffering from previous weekends, but were still there to offer their trackside support. It started to look like I would soon be in the same boat as them with a big over the bars moment. I was soon surrounded by spectators and medics and was lifted off the track. I was struggling to move my foot along with pains in the back of my neck and two cracks in my helmet, I then knew it was time to relax and see how I would feel for the race. Luckily after some deep heat I was slowly starting feel okay. It was time for my 1st race run and I was sprinting hard out of the start gate. Due to the Kona’s spot on head angle and lighter frame I could really put the power down and scrub the jumps. Coming into the woods with the crowd heckling I hit my usual line feeling pinned, untill…. It happened again. I was sent over the bars and rolled the rest of the track crossing the line without even looking at my time. I was told I was 12 seconds off the leading time and knew that without a crash I could smoke it. But with injuries flaring up my mind was elsewhere. After some motivational speaking from rich and race organiser mike I used my motto ‘fresh kit fresh mind’ and whipped on my fresh race kit.
Back pedalling in the start gate I was focused and thinking my lines over. Before I knew it I was in the woods and approaching crash zone littered with hecklers hurling abuse at you. With full concentration I made it through the steep slippery shoot and made it down the rest of the track an crossed the line with a time of 1.16.48. As the rest of the expert names flashed up on the timing screen I was still sitting in 1st. The last rider came through just 0.09 behind. A breath of relief was given and I had done it, my first 1st place finish as an expert, I was chuffed to bits.
The rest of the team also did brilliantly. With Becci Skelton finishing 1st place in senior women’s closely followed by Cath Tilford in 2nd. Ben managed to place 12th in masters along Mick in 7th and Rich in 10th in the veterans class. TRG Racing had some cracking results once again, now it’s time to hit the training ready for round 2 of the British Downhill Series FortWilliam.
See you there!
Photos: Dave Clarkson
Borderline UK DH Series – Round 1 Caersws
Good preparation was essential going into my first race under the wings of TRG Racing, so what better way to start a long weekend off , than a trip to Revolution Bike Park. Several trees later, I was a bit battered, had less skin on my shins, and a fat shoulder but was feeling good on my steed. I was riding well on the slippery roots and sending some technical drops so confidence was high and my wrist (which I broke 5 months previous, and now had a screw holding it together) was feeling strong. Having been told by the big South African…’Chick…you got balls man!’, I headed over to Caersws feeling positive.
Saturday practise arrived and I met up with the Tilfords. First practise runs never go well for me so why break a habit? I bottled the road gap at the top of the track, and in an attempt to regain my ‘balls’ I sent the next kicker only to ‘pirouette’ (bystanders description) off my bike into a thorn bush. I cased the small double and things didn’t get much better than that for a few runs. ‘Balls’ momentarily lost. I finally managed to get a few decent runs in and my confidence was starting to grow again. ‘Balls’ returning. Inevitably, the final run of the day resulted in an over the bars on a techy roots section and I face plant snapping, my already gaffer taped, visor off. Zip ties and more tape required. The track conditions at this point had become pretty grim; windy at the top (definitely no road gap now) and thick, slippery mud all the way down. A call out to my new team mates for some spikes and the lovely Mick Waud comes to the rescue.
Race day. Despite not feeling great in practise, I was still fairly confident I could crack on and get a decent result. First run down went ok, not fast but staying on my bike was priority at the time and becoming quite an achievement. Conditions had become even worse so Cath and I had a tyre change. I had two more runs to get used to running a spike. It felt a bit twitchy but definitely gripped more through the relentless mud. Once again, the last practise run was dire…but stylish apparently, as I cartwheeled over a berm and received an 8/10 from a spectator. Bonus.
First race run. I pulled on my brand spanking new TRG jersey and felt good to go. A team gun show was then required…obviously. As we reached the top of the hill, the wind had picked up again. I was first down out of the ladies. I felt ok through the top few berms but then got stuck in a rut at the bottom of the roller coaster section and my back end washed out. At this point, my racing Tourette’s kicked in. I got back on but lost a good 5-10 seconds. I finished the run with only a few minor mistakes and put in a time of 2.57…2nd place. It was slow and I knew I could give more. Monet Adams was 20 seconds ahead, and the lovely Mrs Tilford was sitting in 3rd. Was pretty dishearten by the time gap until I found out Monet was an Elite and had been riding with the ‘big’ girls at Stiniog the week previous. I knew top spot wasn’t really an option but if I could knock 10 seconds off, I would be happy. The lads put in good first runs with Liam sitting in 3rd and Ben, Richie and Mick all getting decent times.
Second race run. Team body warmth sharing, one handed handstands and pistol squats were the uplifts entertainment. It became apparent that the wind has once again picked up as it blew me sideways into a tree stump, after getting a bit of air off a small kicker. The red mist set in and I was desperate to make time back. Things went from bad to worse…bad lines and stupid mistakes were to follow. I cleared the double but for some reason, opted to use the embankment and my head to stop me, instead of my brakes. Then came the rooty section, which can only be described as un dignified, before washing out on a berm. I got to the bottom of the track in about 4 days, 2 hours and 27seconds. I managed to retain 2nd, with Cath closely behind in 3rd. I’m happy with the result but not pleased with my riding, I know I have a lot more to give.
Unfortunately, Liam crashed out in his second run and slipped down into 6th position leaving just the girls representing on the podiums for TRG.
Despite the mud, blood, wind and rain, I had an awesome weekend with valuable experience gained, and I’m feeling stoked about further races with TRG. Bring it!
Grab a brew and enjoy the tale of BDS Rd1 – Liam McDermotts race report:
Well the winter is coming to an end and it’s time to get the gloves out and battle with the big boy’s. BDS round 1 had us in the welsh hills at Antur Stiniog for the first round out of 5.
From seeing videos of the track we was racing I imagined it to be a pedal fest and wasn’t looking forward to it too much, but I was wrong. Infact the only major pedally bit was a long stretch to the finish, the rest of the track was, well rather steep an rocky. The slippery welsh slate claimed many victims aswell as both rock drops did. This is a track you really didn’t want to crash on.
I pulled the Kona out of the van and went hillside for practice. The 1st and 2nd run was very stop start with red flags and line checking. Run 3 on the other hand wasn’t so easy going. I took a huge crash over the bars from and amateur mistake on the big boulder drop at the bottom. After a trip to see the medics with a swollen elbow, hand and head ache I was told not to ride again and to rest untill race day. But I wasn’t the only one to stack it, Rich, Michael Coupes and James hurst had a tumble too which resulted in Rich being patched up by the medics. Infact the only person still going strong was Mick Waud!
Feeling fresh but rather achey Sunday morning the team only put in one run for practice, James hurst looked super smooth and I had a good feeling he would do well on his 1st race on the new Kona. Unfortunately Michael Coupes had to miss out on race day due to an injured shoulder. But the rest of us were ready to race.
My seeding was a steady run just to get another feel of the track but on my race run I knew I had to step things up. Due to my crash the day before I felt like I hadn’t practiced the track enough and descided to miss out the boulder drop at the bottom. This probably cost me around 2 seconds but I wasn’t feeling too confident physically or mentally to hit it again.
On my race run I felt quick through the top but in the middle I got a few wrong lines and along the bottom I couldn’t get clipped in. I jumped into the finish arena a little dis heartened knowing that I hadn’t done enough.
I finished 35th out of 50 in the experts category with 9 seconds off a podium spot.
James came 22nd in juniors, who also felt he could of done better. Rich placed 22nd in the veteran category along side Micheal Waud in 21st