Farmer Johns – Northern Champs – 25 Oct

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Farmer Johns – Northern Champs – 25 Oct

Race report – farmer johns champs I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect of the track whilst travelling down on Sunday, I knew it would be interesting with the weather but after my first practice run It wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought, the top was a struggle though due to the tacky mud which meant that ruts were forming on the take offs of jumps and in other places. This made the track harder to ride because you had to be extra mindful of these sections which you would otherwise class as straight forward. By the time race runs came around I felt okay on track, just lacking in energy.

My first race run was good, I rode smooth and just had a few dabs and mistakes. I had a solid run with a competitive time which was my aim, this meant I could open it up for my second race run to try and kill a few seconds. I was in 4th place and only 2 second off the win which was more than doable. My second race run felt a lot faster to me but that might have been down to the fact that I had a few wild moments and managed to save them, I ended up just over 0.5 faster than my previous run. This meant that I placed 5th.

Not a bad result by any means but it’s just not what I wanted. Any result is a good result for me after the disastrous season I have had. Despite this being another frustrating race I’m happy to be showing some consistency and I know I’ve got more speed there, I just need to put it down with some flow in a race run.

I have been yet again amazed with my GT Fury, after riding the bike for a year now it still never fails to amaze me, it’s such a machine to race on but also keeps riding so much fun! I didn’t have to tweak or change one thing throughout the while day, such a reliable bike! I’d like to say a massive thanks to my friend for helping me out on Sunday. Also to Rich for giving me the opportunity to ride for TRG racing a year ago, it’s been a great move and I’m sure it will continue to work well in future seasons!

Results:

Liam Mcdermott 2nd Experts

Mick Waud 1st Grand vets

Richie Molloy 9th Vets

Henry Giles 5th Youth

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Borderline Events UK DH, Round 3, Caersws 18th October 2015

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Borderline Events UK DH, Round 3, Caersws  18th October 2015

So a week after passing my driving test I was questioning wether I would actually make it to Wales for the borderline race at caersws. But I did and what a track it was. Caersws has been closed for the past year so it was good to have the venue back up and running. I arrived with team mate James Gregory and friend James Fearnley around 9am Saturday morning. After a quick track walk we jumped on the uplift to soon find dust under our tires, in Wales! The track was steep, fast and dusty which suited my Gt Fury down to a T. I later met team mate Blake White who was also having a belting day. After practice me and Tj Smith went to freshen up at the worlds poshest b&b to later join Mike Marsden and Duncan Maffey in the pub for a pint ( in Duncan’s case too many) And some food.

Sunday morning bright and early I managed to get in around 4 practice runs. After a crash I decided to relax untill my race run. My 1st run went really well, a little stall in a corner cost me abit of time but when crossing the line I managed to gain 3rd place, juat 1.6 seconds off 1st. I was happy with my riding and could almost smell 1st place. I was confident on the start gate but with the rain coming in I knew certain sections would change. My run felt allot better than my 1st, I hit all my lines and thought I had it, unfortunately when coming round the last corner into the finish field the wet grass attacked. Both wheels drifted but I managed to hold it, I lost allot of speed and crossed the line in 4th place 1 second slower than my 1st run but still 1.6 back from 1st place in experts. I was gutted I narrowly missed out on the podium but I was super happy with how I rode that weekend. Well done to the lads in my category for a good race and well done to everyone else racing that weekend. Blake finished 18th in seniors followed by James Gregory also in seniors in 46th place. Thanks Mike and team for another brilliant event and see you at the next one.lmd2 lmd1

Farmer Johns Race Weekend 26-27 Sept

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Farmer Johns Race Weekend 26-27 Sept

Race report. Farmer johns race weekender. After many Sundays watching the rest of team race, it was good but not racing.

So I decided I was racing. But needs a bike. my nephews got a new bike So went to pick it up Friday and it was locked in his dads shed n keys was in France we both agreed it was an omen not to ride. Got home n looked at my old hard tail And wanted to race.

So I set to work on it. later that evening I was unpacked from hols n packed for racing. Saturday via the golden M. of course and a track walk with the TIlfords , a few things had change over the year and felt I could do the top section with no problems although the woods was the usual section where you need somat like a dh rig. So 6 push ups later n I had it sussed with no offs. Watching the boggy race was comical rather than a race. Night time came and the night race began. New/old team mate tony Gay had a run n got 2nd master it was a brave feet.

Then the Beer flowed till we dropped.

Race day and the sun was still shining on us. Managed to get a couple of sketchy runs wilst everybody sobered up. Forgot about the nerves until I started queuing for my run. felt like I was at fort bill. Stalled twice in the woods n got down in 1.52. Every body else had a clean run with possibility of getting a podium inc tony.

So back up the hill n thinking I could get 1.45 with a clean run. Pushed harder at the top and a cleaner run in the woods, but only knocked 2 secs off. Got me ont podium though in 3rd place. The rest of team did well. Cath 1st well done and to bens suprize 2nd. Liam 4th out of 80. Henry and tony matching Liam with 4th. Blake what happend to Blake ! James, James who ? Coopy was somewhere much more interesting ! Thanks Richard for asking me to be in team. N thanks team n everybody involved with us thanks

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BDS Final Round Antur Stiniog 19-20 Sept

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BDS Final Round Antur Stiniog 19-20 Sept

Race report And that’s a wrap…. 2015 season was all done and dusted this weekend at the final round of the BDS held at Antur Stiniog.. or as I like to remember it.. Stinky dog!

There was definitely something in the air because everyone seemed so relaxed and just really enjoying themselves. Maybe it was because this round would be the last race of the season for most riders or maybe it was something to do with all the legends floating about that place. Certainly made for a good atmosphere.

I was in a very fortunate position knowing I had to be within the top 5 to claim the overall series win,. With that in the back of my mind I knew I had no pressure and could really enjoy it. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the previous rounds but knowing you can just cruise down makes you feel lighter.

Mick and Liam are legends, so much fun to be around on and off the bikes. We all pushed each other to attempt things that are slightly out of a comfort zone. Well saying that we didn’t need to push Liam he was already sending it off all the tough sections. Note to self though… maybe I wont follow Mick through jumps for the first time.. I honestly thought he had decked it big time when he landed with his wheel facing the wrong way. He managed to hold on tight and ride out of it… the circuit training has really paid off! Phew Saturday was glorious sunshine with riders moaning about the heat. Track was fast and loose.

Sunday was foggy, wet and windy with riders moaning about the cold. Track was pretty slick but still good fun. Race day was interesting. The rain gradually came in as the day wore on which effected the course conditions. Most riders times were slower for their race runs by around 2 seconds. I remember hitting the slab rock section and my back wheel fishtailing all over the shop.. adding to the twitchy bum reaction. I managed a cleanish run and came across the line in 1st place with 2 seconds up on 2nd place.

Woooohoooo no way I’ve won! was my first reaction!

How amazing is that.. but it also means I’ve definitely clinched the overall series title too. What a fantastic way to end an already brilliant weekend. 2015 has taken me to some amazing riding spots, got to meet a ton of new people and top it off I can walk away saying I’m National Champ, National Series winner and Welsh Champ. No bad ey …

Thanks Team TRG Racing for all your support, it’s been a blast meeting and riding with you all. Certainly made this season much more fun. Stay loose, keep it pinned and have fun!

Results:

Hazel Wakefield 1st and overall series win.

Mick Waud 3rd and 3rd overall in the series.

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Welsh Champs – Llangollen 5-6 Sept

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Welsh Champs – Llangollen 5-6 Sept

Just a few words from Hazel to sum up the fantastic race we had at The Welsh Champs – LLangollen.

Chuffed to bits to come away with these two jerseys this season, its been a wild ride and I’ve enjoyed every minute. Looking forward to the final round of the BDS in a couple of weeks. Big thank you goes out to Team TRG for all the support and laughs.. good eggs those guys. Also a massive thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way, I don’t think I could say thanks enough. Hella good fun riding bikes…
#trgracing #bringthesunshine #mtb

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National Champs – Part 2

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National Champs – Part 2

Llangollen Uk national champs 2015 by Michael Coupe
The return to one of my favourite race locations ‘Llangollen’ Steep, tight twisting corners, flat out straight sections, jumps and of course the big step downs to finish guaranteed fun no matter what the British weather can throw at you.
Saturday practice can only be described as a blur. With no time for track walk and with no sign of the crew I headed on up on my own to see what was waiting to be shredded. The track was looking fast at the top and with dust clouds being kicked up from every corner & I couldn’t wait to get on it. Setting of for the first run was all straight forward until I got to the new sections. Although there wasn’t much line choice trying to ride blind is never a good thing and with some of the berms full of dust it was quite easy to lose the front end. Overall the bike was performing spot on as always even though I was running 26” wheels, 7 speed and not the most suitable tyres for the conditions. Not wasting anytime I got back on the uplift to get as many runs in as I could. As I couldn’t remember any of the middle section and I only had until dinner to practice as I sadly had to get back home. With all the rushing around that morning the only team member I bumped into was our mega manager Rich Molloy. Probably because he stood out more than usual with a freak hair bleaching incident ‘well at least it matched our bright yellow race shirts’
Sunday race day: With torrential rain on the drive down from Manchester I was expecting a river running down the track NOT BIKES. But on arrival it thankfully wasn’t that bad and with the forecast good for the rest of the day anything that was wet would rapidly dry and turn back in to a dust bowl.
Sunday practice: With 2 clean runs in & only just getting to grips with the middle section of the track. It was time to get back up & get the seeding run completed. With the seeding run being my first real chance to hit all the track with speed It felt more like a gamble run, well the gamble paid off crossing the finish line in 8th place. With a few mistakes and lack of high end gears making fast pedal sections look like scrappy doo was on the bike it turned out to be a good run. A bit of time to chill out and catch some sun rays before our race run. I was busy thinking of my next plan of attack and most importantly making sure I kept it cool & didn’t over cook it in the corners which changed on every run that weekend.
Race run: firing off the line with a bit more effort things got up to speed very quick & the flow felt much better through all the twisty stuff. Once through the ‘make or break ‘it was out on to the final quarter. This is the point when you start to shout at yourself to hold it together & really concentrate. Finally sending it off the last step down in to the field is an awesome feeling. And a huge relief as just a flat hard packed field is all that separates you from the distant finish line. With a flat out pedal to the finish I knew it was a better run, but was it enough? As the remaining riders crossed the line it was all looking good & with the final call the top 3 riders announced I managed to grab 3rd place which was a buzzing result to end the weekend. And with a team get together at the end of the day it turned out we all got within top 10 which in my book is a top result all round. Really looking forward to returning to Llangollen again for the Welsh champs in September.

Ben Tilford 2:39 9th
Cath Tilford 3:15 2nd
Hazel Wakefield 2:53 1st
Mick waud 2:46 5th
Rich Molloy 3:06 10th
Michael Coupe 2:19 3rd

Another great weekend of racing and a big thanks to all those involved in putting on yet another great event, and of course all our sponsors that keep us going strong. Please check out the links below.

rsdsports.com
www.tig.uk.net
www.todayscyclist.co.uk
spinbymonet.bigcartel.com/
www.kendauk.com
www.pandaitsolutions.co.uk
www.fibrax.com
www.gtbicycles.com
www.fouriers-bike.com
www.saving-you.com
welovemountains.com
tecsealbuildingsupplies.co.uk
www.keep-a-breast.org

National Champs – Llangollon 18 19 July

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National Champs – Llangollon 18 19 July

How to win a National champs – Hazel Wakefield.

Here’s my slightly later on race report from the National Champs in Llangollen. Sorry Rich… ! It’s more of a reflection really.

On a whole the weekend was brilliant with a super fun track and the TRG team out in force. Also trying to teach Mick a Welsh accent whilst sipping tea and consuming a pack of choccy biscuits!

In a way it’s been good to look back, I think sometimes you have races that you learn a lot from even if at the time you don’t initially know it. Here’s a couple of things I learnt:-
1. To have more confidence in my riding ability, I’m a bit of a doubter sometimes. Moan less.
2. To not overthink – remember kids we do this for fun!
3. That being really nervous increases the rate that you’ll be running through the field for a pre race wee!

All in all a ‘cracking’ weekend. (That ones for you Mick)

I came away with the Masters Ladies Champs which is pretty fantastic. The last time I rode a champs was 13yrs ago when I was dressed head to toe in lycra and I thought slogging up a big climb was ok. I definitely have more fun riding DH.
The people, the challenges and that adrenaline is very addictive.
Massive well done to the TRG team, reckon we did a good job! Coops getting 3rd, Cath getting 2nd and Rich, Mick and Ben for shredding the whole weekend. Thanks guys
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BDS rd5 Moelfre 12th July

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BDS rd5 Moelfre 12th July

Moelfre rd5
At last after missing a the last few races I was back at a bds race!
The first ever downhill race I competed in was moelfre, and now 5 years later rd5 of the bds was here and I was looking forward to it.

The track by large was the classic moelfre we all now at love with the addition of a few new jumps up top and a slightly reworked switch back section, the lower section remained the same and took in the end of the 4x course before snaking to the finish with a cheeky couple of grass turns.

Saturday’s weather was dry and sunny and the track was dusty and loose and very fast. After a couple of runs with no front brake I finally sorted this and started to get my head round the track, Mick and Hazel we’re loving it too and with the uplift running smoothly we all got plenty of practice runs in.

Sunday saw a muddy greasy track for first runs but pretty soon the sun and stif breeze the track was back to its dusty best. Seeding went without a hitch for all of us with Mick seeding 2nd with some work to do improve, Hazel also seeded 2nd but happy she had more to give even though she was pretty beat up after a crash in practice. I was 12 after a steady but enjoyable run.

Race runs: Mick was away first in grand Vets determined to take the top spot and set off and gave it the full beans, crossing the line a good 6 seconds faster unfortunately still wasn’t good enough to beat his rival Steve Falstead – there rivalry continues onto rd6. I was away next and had a fun smooth run, it was great to be back on the bike and back at moelfre, my run was good enough for 11th. Hazel was last of TRG Racing down the hill, her determination and long legs powered her down the track putting her up 2 seconds at the split when disaster struck the drive train on her bike jammed and so from then on the only option was to tuck and pump, coming into the final sprint to the shouts of ‘pedal’ all Hazel could do was keep low and not brake, oh and shout a reply of “I can’t!” – had she done enough? yes! By the slimmest of margins she managed to pip Becci Skelton and take the win! Making that 4 podiums in a row at the BDS(3 wins and a 2nd).

Overall a fantastic weekend and a old school track that still delivered the goods.

Results:
Hazel Wakefield (master ladies) 1st 3:18
Mick Waud (Grand Vets) 2nd 3:18
Richie Molloy (vets) 11th 3:47

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BDS RD4 Bala -28th June

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BDS RD4 Bala -28th June

Bala rd4.
I caught up with Mick Waud, Grand veteran rider to find out what went down at Bala:
1: The track was pretty good.
2: The uplift was excellent, due to Pearce cycles.
3: The weather was nearly perfect.
4: The new jumps were not needed.
5: The main topic of discussion in the pits – boycott the bds in 2016 due to price increase etc.
6: Finished 2nd
7: Overall pretty good weekend.
8: Hazel smashed it to take 2nd
Yep Mick is a man of few words but apparently this sums the weekend up.

Results:
Mick Waud – 2nd 5:34
Hazel Wakefield – 2nd 5:31
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Farmer Johns Rd3 20/21 June

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Farmer Johns Rd3 20/21 June

North West Champs 2015 – Farmer Johns race report I headed down on Saturday in the afternoon to get an idea of the track, do some riding but try not to tire myself out (not being in the best shape after 3 months off the bike). It rained a lot when we arrived which made the top part of the track really hard with soggy jumps and terrible visibility. I spent some time hitting the new jump sections that had been put in, some not so new because I hadn’t been to Farmer Johns since the last round of 2014!

The bottom half of the track, in the woods, was ace to ride, it was full of roots and loamy corners with the addition of the old school farmer johns awkward section thrown in there! It begin to rut out pretty quickly but after getting hot and bothered in the humid weather we burnt ourselves out and headed back home to prepare for a bright and early start for race day.

First run of the track on Sunday was amazing, the top was almost fully dry so it ran faster than the day before and the woods were very dry which made them a lot better to ride. I only did around 2 hours of practice before calling it a do and waiting for my first race run, this was because my wrist started to ache and I wanted to save myself for race runs.

My first race run was solid, no super wild moments but I knew that there were places where I could make up time, especially in the pedalling at the top and the beginning of the woods. I was very surprised to be in 2nd place after my first run, only being beaten by 0.2 something of a second! My second race run (that I nearly missed!) was very nearly ended on one of the very first jumps, a weird pedal movement/sprint before it made me nearly got OTB! I managed to save it and compose myself to carry on attacking the course.

My run was going very well until the woods, I messed up the same section that I had in my first race run and then nearly stalled in one of the last corners, I came across the line expecting to of been knocked right down because I had only made up a fraction of time on my first race run but my time managed to hold me a podium position and I came away with 3rd! Not very far off the win either.

I’m pretty happy with 3rd, it’s nice to know I’ve still got the pace to be up there after a pretty big injury at the first national. Excited for the BDS at Bala next weekend, looks like it’ll be a good race and I’m looking for a solid result, nothing amazing, just a bit of damage control after a disastrous season so far! Big thanks to the team, TRG Racing, for bringing me on board at the end of last season and I’m glad I’ve brought in my first podium for TRG! Big thanks to GT bicycles for the fury, that bike is on another level! Hopefully I can bring it home to some more podiums this season.

Results

Henry Giles 3rd Youth.