|Danny Kean race report from BDS rd3 Innerleithen:The weekend of the 1st of June saw the British Downhill Series take to the Scottish Borders at the little town of Innerleithen. Waking at 5am Micheal Hill arrived to pick me up and soon to set to the m6 where we would meet team manager Richie (fox) Molloy. Approaching Innerleithen the mix of excitement and nerves were kicking in knowing what lay ahead . After the rally drive through the hills following Mick ‘McRae’ we were soon upon the course ready to do a blind run !
As we were to late to do a course walk, the line choice was somewhat wild but soon to get better after meeting mr Blakey white who soon put us right. Practice day went by getting 5 runs in which didn’t seem enough to get settled on the bike but as the uplift was off pace it was the same for everyone. Unfortunately missing Liam and Jamie all day we finally caught up with them in the afternoon. The weather was on our side this weekend which made the track run very smooth and very fast, a variety of steep shoots, grass banks, drops and rooty single track made up the course with a few technical sections which had a thousand line choices to decide upon …………or not.
After shaving a few trees the Saturdays practice went well for everybody with no major mechanicals or injury and left us all eager to get back in the morning. Arriving at the B&B was nice knowing there was food and a bed waiting rather than a van floor to sleep on, although Liam wasn’t to impressed with the company of me as his roomie! We had a little episode of move the spider in room 4 ……followed by showers in the dark before came a few cocktails which led to a hilarious night of banter and laughs with Mick and Rick on top form. we found out that Mick likes mustard lolly pops and Rich settles for sit down showers! After a key mishap we all hit the pillows ready for race day .
Sunday morning came around and after a practice run with Liam and Jamie we were ready to smash seeding. The dusty uplift bus was a squeeze sat at the back with the trg crew but was sorted by sitting on each others knees. Seeding went steady for everyone putting in competitive times, although myself not to happy with line choice knew I could do a lot better in my race run ! Everybody seemed positive about the seeding and couldn’t wait to race! So began the two mile slog down the road to the uplift where surprisingly no que meant for a brilliant up lift leaving plenty of time for the nerves to set in in the mid day sun; allowing me to get my head in the game with the view of all the elite women warming up… Showing us to shame on the turbo trainers!
Before I knew it I was in the gate, starring down the track with a quiet confidence that I could definitely improve on my seeding. I set off to encouraging cheers from Jamie and James Kidd to get my legs pumping. Sprinting out the start gate to the first corner, feeling on pace down the rocky shoot and over the road gap at the top half of the course. The sun lead to difficult visibility coming in and out the trees, but the track was brilliantly taped out and ran fast, the Kenda nevegal’s rolling at top speed putting me way head of my seeding time in the top section.
Unfortunately as I came to the second fire road I learnt the lesson every rider dreads and punctured my back tyre; I was running on low pressure, this mixed with a spot of bad luck meant my hopes of an impressive finish vanished. With the crowd behind me I didn’t give up on the pedalling and drifted across the line with a time of 3:26.
The rest of the team had a little bit more luck than me, with Jamie and Liam getting sub-3 minute times, Blake on the top 20 seniors and our two veterans Richard and Mick completing competitive runs, proving Team Rock Garderner are here to be took seriously. It was a shame Coupe’s shoulder was still haunting him from Fort Bill, but with two more rounds to go it means there’s still chance for him and the rest of us to put in another competitive race run at the BDS hopefully without a punctured tyre.
Final results for round3 BDS Innerleithen:
All Photos: Ian Britton