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.
Henry Giles 3rd Youth.
Hazel Wakefield recounts her trip to the Death Woods!
This is my round up of the BDS race Saturday consisted of this:-
1. Broken down smoke filled van
2. Abandoned van at a random ladies house, Bev. Her five year son had bad chicken pox and would only speak welsh to me!
3. Rescued by friends and eventually arrived at the race site.
4. Mick marched me over to the signing on tent and wouldn’t take no for an answer (I was late there so had missed the signing on time) we got lucky and Micks sweet talking did the trick.
5. 2 slow and dodgy practice laps completed
6. Burger, beer and bed.
Sunday was like this:-
1. Scary practice lap.. like riding on an oiled cake tin. Death woods will eat me alive!
2. Seeding run was partially spent wrestling a tree that I got stuck behind whilst trying to pass a couple of girls in front. But still managed to seed first.
3. Ate two babybell cheese things, handful of grapes and ran to the ports loos around 50 times due to nerves
4. During my category a tree fell down (sounds about right) so my race start was delayed. Did a few star jumps to keep warm. Dropped in and managed to ride a clean and steady race run, and even rode one of the steeper death wood lines. Very proud of myself. Crossed the line in 1st which I was really surprised with.
5. I conquered Llangollen!
6. Van remained in North wales for nearly a week.
7. Finally got my van back from the garage today and the mechanics can’t work out why it filled with smoke.
8. Maybe i dreamt the whole weekend up?