Well first race of 2016 Kicked off at good old farmer Johns and riding the 2016 GT FURY WORLD CUP again this year with a new fox shock and amazing paint job, that even Tim peak can see from the international space station. Although with snow and sub-zero conditions on arrival it seemed a sledge might have been the better tool for the job.
As always with fjs there are continuous track improvements going on which makes every visit exciting and this year it was clear a lot of hard graft had gone in to making it even better. The track walk was looking amazing with 2 good size drop offs right from the start, tables, rock gardens, board walk sections and not forgetting death woods. It had everything you could ask for a good days racing. With the only job being to change the front tyre for a spike, sign on and grab a brew it was a very chilled start to the day. Ex-team mate Michael Rodeo Hill came out of the wood work for the day and as usual was great support making sure we hit the fast lines and shouted at us if we didn’t!
Practice was kept to 3 runs mainly to hold on to abit of energy as the track saps the life from you when it’s wet. First run was almost my last as I hit the first table top and the lip kicked the back end up unexpectedly sending the bike in to a nose dive, thankfully that’s where the drama ended & I carried on smashing the track. Second run was much smoother on the top section but took a tumble in death woods slamming my ribs first on the muddy deck again, no major damage just a little reminder that it still hurts when you fall off! Third run went without a hitch so I felt pretty confident by this point.
After a quick re-fuel and clean down from the thick layer of mud that swamped the track and site, it was time to get the race face on and get back up the track and put a time in. The top section rides brilliant even though gravity doesn’t help much at fjs and the track was wet, you can really pick some speed up and maintain it just enough before your lungs catch fire and legs burn just as you enter the woods. The plan of attack was to take it steady to help avoid stupid mistakes, this seemed to pay off well as I crossed the line with a clean run and a time of 1.40 putting me in 1st place, but with 2nd and 3rd hot on my heels and a second timed run I knew I couldn’t relax too much.
With the track drying out, times would also tumble so I kept with the same plan for the last run, only this time hitting the top section harder and steady through the woods. All went well again at the top but losing some of the flow in the woods had a major knock on effect on the traverse sections, not convinced I had improved on the time I powered every last ounce of energy towards the finish! I glanced up at the timer seeing 1.39 just clinging on to 1st place.
Richard Molloy and Blake White also put in a great effort with a 2.19 for Rich putting him 10th and a 1.43 for Blake landing him 9th.
Big thanks to Rich and the new sponsors Flare Clothing for making us all look pro for this season even though I was told off for wearing the wrong coloured shorts- I’m sure the results will let me off….
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
Hazel Wakefield bagged her first win of the season riding for TRG Racing at the the 661 Mini DH at the Forest of Dean on the 25th of January.
Hazel posted a time of 1:48 to take the win a clear 6.8 seconds in front of second place!
All of TRG Racing are chuffed to have such a talented rider on board and hope she continues as she has started.
Well this was it the final Borderline Event and sadly one of the last big races of the year which turned out to be an epic battle on every level.
Setting off early Saturday morning with mad Mick McRay we made our way swiftly towards Molefre via the famous golden arches for a heart stopping breakfast. Parking was a doddle as the field was almost empty, a quick change & we headed straight for the uplift. Thankfully there was no need to do one of our famous and meticulous track walks as we had already done so 2 weeks ago on a sneaky uplift day. We caught up with Ben and Kath Tilford who had also come down for the full weekend. Once at the top the breeze was somewhat noticeable and blowing the wrong way too, nether the less I put that to one side and put the power on the cranks to try and get up to speed. It was immediately obvious peddling was futile so a bit of aerodynamics had to come in to the equation, basically just rest your chin on the bars and look where you’re going. Picking up speed we had no sooner got going when Mick Rodeo Hill had pulled over with a puncture, so a gentle ride down from that point and back to the pits for repair and more psi. This process continued 3 times for some bizarre reason, although Molefre does have some ridiculously sharp rocks ready to shred both you and your tyres. 3 tubes later and a rim splitting 50psi we hit it again, by this point the track was drying out a bit and the speed was starting to pick up nicely, well that was until Mick turned his attention to smashing his rear mech off in one of his spectacular crashes. With Mick busy fixing, I went for another run and found myself back in the pits with a broken gear cable. With the day drawing to an end I was ready for calling it a day but mick insisted on a chainless last run which turned out to be completely uneventful for the first time that day. Thanks to a speedy uplift service and chief marshall Ben Tilford making everything run ever so smoothly we got all the practice we needed for the day. After a long day on the hills it was off to put our feet up at a local B&B for the night, fuelling ourselves up ready to attack race day.
Race day and let the battles commence. Driving up through fields trying to find our parking space from the day before, all eyes were on the lookout for the Yorkshires boys Rich Molloy, Liam McDermott and Mick Ward who decided they only needed to turn up on the Sunday. How very anti-social and to top it off they parked on another field creating a border between us Lancashire lads, never mind Mick Rodeo Hill had a master plan up his sleeve later that day. With Mick still needing to fix his steed from the day before, I got myself straight to the uplift, well that’s what team mates do isn’t it?? Reports where coming in from riders who had already come down the track that the relentless breeze from yesterday had turned into a storm force gale at the top, which didn’t fill me with enthusiasm in the slightest. Everyone jumped off the trailers, some were blown off! Everyone just piled into one big group all trying to find shelter from the insane wind. It was at this point I realised I was missing a bar end plug and without it unable to go down the track. Feeling like a proper mud muppet I raced back down the fire road to the car park to sort it. When I finally got on the track for the first practice run, the conditions where as expected with a side wind all the way down to the first corner, even thinking about lifting the wheels off the ground was crazy. With sheltered spots few and far between it was a constant battle against the elements pretty much to the finish. With the bike running as reliable as ever and thanks to a 450lb spring, taking care of the extra weight I’ve managed to somehow put on this year (fat fucker!!!!) it was down to me to do the rest of the work. On the 2nd practice run decisions had been made to bring the start further down the hill for safety reasons. Both happy with practice it was time to chill for a while. The start times where up and we all got our race faces on. With team mate Ben Tilford recovering from a nasty rib slamming crash at Farmer Johns the previous weekend, I was doing it on my own for the masters class. With the long wait over it was finally my time to rip it up. With the red light out I put every ounce of energy down on the pedals. With a successful start and no drama on the top section I came to the fast shoot down to the fire road descending like a pin ball all the way down, luckily I managed to pull it back in line before hitting the savage head wind along the traverse. With one or two sketchy moments of veering off the narrow single track it was down to the final quarter, this section was nail biting as I had lost it in a previous race once before on the final corners, but only this time crossing the finish line in 2nd place. Made up with that I tracked down the rest of the team to see how they had done. So far so good, with only Liam to come down the track all eyes were on him. When the first lot of results came in, it turned out me and Liam had a battle on our hands with me on a 2:04 and Liam on 2:05, the 2nd run would have to step up a notch. Whilst one battle was going on another was brewing in the bottom field with Mick Rodeo Hill kindly decorating Mr Molloy’s VW camper van, with the very fashionable Lancashire red rose beer mats!! Sadly Molly took a dislike to the upgrade and disposed of them immediately. Within this time the rain clouds had rolled in which meant times were going to be hard to match. At this point I was in the frame of mind of settling for 2nd place that was until the 3 trusty veterans’ came down from their 2nd run and demanded I get up the hill for my 2nd run as the wind had now calmed down up top. Sure enough things had improved but after the rain the track felt like I was riding on slicks. With another respectable run down I awaited the final time which due to technical difficulties only came in towards the end of the day, which turned out to be a fraction quicker, landing me 1st place but was it enough to beat Liam’s time ?? No is the answer with me on a 2:04.87 & Liam on 2:04.37 making it one of the closest races between us, he walked away with the crown this time. Well done to Cath for making the podium & doing it for the girls and Mr Rodeo for a very good effort with a narrow miss on the podium himself. Pedal harder the rest of you you know I’m only joking. So the final results for the weekend are as follows:
Rich Molly 14th2:40.22
Mick Ward 11th2:29.01
Mick Hill 5th 2:21.83
Cath Tilford 3rd 2:41.45
Liam McDermott 8th 2:04.37
Michael Coupe 1st 2:04.87
Ben Tilford DNS -excuse (sore ribs)
On the Friday evening before the steel city race. Me, my brother and dad went to have a look at the track and were hoping to find some sneaky lines we could rail the following day. Whilst walking it we noticed that a few berms had been built up and most importantly it was dusty dry!
It was the same track as the previous year so we new we could get straight into hammering it in the morning. I could have probably gone to bed a bit earlier than I did that night to make sure I was rested up for the day ahead but knowing it was only a short track I new I was fit enough to lay down a flyer. The following morning I went for a spin on the xc bike and felt fit for the race. At 8:00 we set off in high spirits. When we arrived I met up with Liam and went to sign on. As soon as practice started I was at the top, buzzing to get riding.
My first practice run was like any other first practice run. Knackering and wobbly! I always try to hit all my lines on the first run so I can get straight into it on the next run. Because there wasn’t many lines I new exactly what I needed to do to bring home the win. 11:30 soon came around and after 3 practice runs I felt ready to race. After heckling louder than ever before at Ben, cath, becci, rich, tony, coops and the micks I set off up for my run. At the top I was pretty confident but starting to overheat as us Brits aren’t used to hot weather. Hearing the beeps I was raring to go. When my run was underway I was trying to go fast but all the heckling at the Jump into the open section made me just want to put on a show. To please all the hecklers I pulled a huge goon which made them go wild! The rest of my run was pretty good but quite chilled. I crossed the line in 1st but was then knocked back to 2nd only 0.3 seconds off. I was surprised I got this close as I was on the downhill bike and everyone else was on all mountain bikes which are more suited to the track. However the super light carbon operator made it as close as I was going to get to an all mountain bike.
Sitting in 2nd I was pretty keen to get back to the top to do my second run. With team mate Liam in the pro category he was still to come after my run. I went up to the hecklers jump to watch Liam compete with the super fast pro category. I could see him flying through the trees to where I was stood. With everyone shouting him on he ripped the carbon kona operator past us, pedalling in the air. He was on a flyer! He went into 11th in a category with quite a few World Cup racers which is pretty impressive! After 1st race runs everyone was up for smashing their times to pieces and were looking forward to 2nd runs. After some dinner and more heckling I went up for my 2nd race run. I knew what I needed to do. I was going to take this one more serious! Very soon I was in the gate and focused on the win.
When the beeps went I exploded out of the start gate, pre-hopping the first jump and getting straight on the pedals. Staying completely off the brakes I was on a flyer. I came up to the hecklers jump and remembered to keep it low on this one. Squashing the jump hard I was into the rough open section where I was doubling up what holes I could. I was soon in the bottom section where the all mountain bikes generally excel so I knew I had to pin it. Fully committing to all the corners I was spat on to the finish straight before the bomb hole drop. Sprinting hard and squashing the bomb hole I tucked over the line. I was relieved to hear a shout through the speakers saying “2 seconds up!” All I had to do know is wait for the last man down.
He crossed the line 1.8 seconds back. Id won! I was relived and I knew I could relax now! It was a great day with some good results throughout the team. In the pro category Liam took 14th place in the end with a storming time. In the masters category tony came away with 8th and coops right behind in 9th. Ben took 17th. In the vets category mick hill came 13th with mick waud right behind him in 14th. Team manager Richie Molloy took 28th. In the women’s category becci came away with a great 5th place and kath behind her in 6th! The next race is for the british national series at AE forest where everyone’s going to smash it!
Race Report – Fort William BDS
To say I was bricking it, going into my first BDS was an understatement! The nerves were matched with excitement, though as I set off early doors on Friday to meet up with the lads and make the long journey up to Fort William. I got to chauffeur the infamous Tony Kay (north west champ) and he didn’t disappoint with tales of cake making, mega ships and earth facts! A low point was his request for Atomic Kitten and Beyoncé…can you get ejector seats for Polos?
We arrived in convoy at a Fort Bill and cracked on with a track walk. I’d rode the track last year but forgot how massive it was. Considering there had been quite a bit of rainfall, first impressions on the condition of the track were great! As we got closer to the wood section, however, we were greeted by a few worried faces, head shakes and ‘it’s crazy in there, man!’ We weren’t disappointed, the woods were slop mixed with roots, stumps, off camber hell and a bit more slop! Awesome! The rest of the track looked like its usual gnarly goodness, with the ‘experienced’ lads showing their years of riding knowledge, picking up some sweet lines! At this point, Rich’s belly was rumbling so we headed back down and got to the hotel just in time for tea and a few steady pints!
Saturdays practice came and a slightly thick head was not helping my nerves of tackling this massive track! It was the first time I’d rode with my kenda nexcavator tires so was interested to see how they held on the loose berms at the top of the course…they worked a treat and I soon got into my flow. Following the lads down, I was pretty stoked to be keeping with them, might have been a different story if Tony didn’t have a gammy hand, (he made me put that bit in) but confidence was growing with every run.
I really wanted to hit the Hazzard Hoofer river gap and pretty sure I could have nailed it but with no spare wheels (or limbs) I couldn’t afford the risk. The wood section however, was a nightmare. Loads seemed to be struggling with it’s delightful maze of stumps, roots and mud and only got one clean run through it all day, but it was only a small portion of the track so tried not to get too worked up about it. The motorway section was, as expected, ridiculously massive but mega fun. Even pedalling my head off…I was nowhere near clearing the tables! I got the hip jump (kinda) so was pleased with my efforts! Practise day over and despite an over the bars from Mick Hill, all remained pretty much unscathed. Food and beer required.
Race Day arrived and we all got a decent practise in early doors to settle the nerves. Tony, Mick Waud and Mick Hill all put in good seeding times. Team captain Rich had watch issues(!) and I think Liam had a mechanical, but got down safe. I finished my seeding run 20 seconds down from Bev Barnes in top spot. I wasn’t too disappointed as I knew I’d made a few mistakes at the top, and wasn’t pushing as hard as I knew I could. I made it through the woods cleanly though (even though a rut upto your handle bars had appeared)!
It was a long wait until the race runs and rain had become torrential so I settled down for a little kip in the Polo. Awesome race prep! After a bit of food, we headed up for our race run…only to have a delay of about 40 mins, I think there was a timing issue, I’m sure it couldn’t be helped but waiting around does naff all for nerves! The lads went down first. It was great to see them setting off but would have loved to see them smashing it into the arena!
It was my turn to head down, and whilst I tried to remain calm and chilled on the outside…internally I was a bag of nerves. A deep breath and I was off. First bermy section and the rock gardens went ok. I knew I wasn’t going as fast as I was in practise but I just kept reassuring myself I was doing ok…just stay confident! Everything was going well until I got to the nightmare woods. I slip on an off camber root and I was down in the mud! I picked myself up as quick as I could and pointed my bike in the direction of the rut hoping it would guide me down. It did the trick and I was back on it. I felt quick past the silver line wall ride and down to the Hazzard hoofer….for a split second I thought ‘go for the glory shot’ but bottled it and splashed through the river. I carried my speed well into the final wood section and then onto the motorway, a deep breath and I was over the bridge heading for the loose berm into the hip jump. I over took a couple of girls on the tables and was desperate to cross the finish line. I let off the brakes as much as my lady balls would let me on the mega steep log drop and came into the arena and crossed the line. Knackered! Bev Barnes crossed the line and she looked quick! Panic! I looked up and saw Tony and Mick Hill looking at the results monitor. They had a big grin on their faces and TK was holding one finger up! I’d bloody done it!
It got a bit messy after this…champagne, beer, whiskey, wrestling and rum make for an interesting evening!
Liam and Coupes put in solid performances, as did the Micks and Rich (no watch issues). Unfortunately, Tony crashed out in the woods…twice…and got beat by a girl.
Thanks to all the mega sponsors, and event organisers, but especially to my TRG team mates. You were awesome all weekend and your support really helped me get to that top spot. Massive fist bump to you all
lots of Photos of Fort william and all our races by Ian Britton Photography here: https://www.facebook.com/TeamRockGardener/photos_stream
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
So here it is – did a hangover stop Mrs Cath Tilford smashing farmer Johns – no it did not! read on….
I’ve raced Farmer Johns MTB park now for over 1 year, so I guess you could say I know it well. Its done me no end of good in terms of developing my skills, confidence and its been a great introduction towards me completing in bigger events. Again I find myself excited by prospect of new team, good friends and another challenge.
Its not the steepest of tracks nor is it the most technical, in fact you could say its quite flat in places, and those that have ridden it will know, it never ceases to deliver good quality fun and atmosphere.
Yet, this time I really really had to dig deep to even ride my bike let alone race, having gone Team TRG Karting the day before and had a few too many beers, my energy reserves were low and I struggled especially with upper body strength, a battle already lost by fellow team members Mcdermott, White, Kean and a husband who spent the afternoon drinking tea, heckling or behind the lens nursing their hangovers. Yet, Molloy, Hill and Ward were ready to show the young prodigies how its done.
My practice consisted of a few scruffy runs of the bottom section but only one full practice, in a bid to preserve energy for the race I missed out the gap jump due to the muddy conditions. A couple of hours later, was I ready to race?…not in the slightest but I was determined to give it my best shot.
So I wandered over to the “muck off team” with a slightly nauseous stomach I hoped that cleaning my bike with would give a perception that loosing a ton of mud may make me ride faster with less effort!!!!
After a bit of pre race banter with the other 3 girls in the women’s category I prepared early at the start ramp and began to think through the line choices, I knew I had to peddle and stay off the brakes where possible and I knew I had to hit the gap if I was to get a good time.
The race beeps sounded and I took a deep breath as I got into position. I raced out of the start hut and took a line over the grass to the left and drifted around the immediate berms with a little feather of the back brake, through the trees and out into the open section. I peddled to clear the small table tops but only managed to land them half way. I pretty much rode the cat litter tray in a straight line to carry as much speed as possible and then swiftly changed gear to give plenty of cranks towards the gap jump.
As I didn’t hit this in practice I knew I’d have to give it several enormous cranks to get over it and I knew this was essential to getting a good time. I didn’t think it was even possible to give it too much but somehow I ended up overshooting it and panic breaking as I landed in the banking to the left narrowly avoiding the fence…I swore rather loudly and wished I had the “moto” skills of Danny Hart having felt like I lost a shit load of speed. I swiftly pointed my bike…in “one direction only” and got back on the peddles to regain some speed.
The track from this point runs over a series of rock gardens via the berms, hitting the gap jump well should usually give plenty of speed but I felt heavy as I opted to pump them and rode towards the wooden table and over the hut jump.
The bottom section was a line not used since last year and this time it included the drop into the fast sweeping left handed berm that really kicked out extra speed into a tight switchback, steep rooty section into a final couple of slippy corners towards the finish.
I immediately knew I didn’t have the run that I wanted…loosing more speed on the final corner I practically came to a stop, costing me time, I was in second place.
My second race run, I decided I needed to get a better line over the gap jump and have a clean run in the wooded section. I also realised that I needed to utilise my gears more something that I’ve not really considered in other races. At the race beeps I peddled out of the start gate and into the immediate berms, again drifting down the line through the trees… Again I cranked several times toward the gap jump but rather than overshoot I nearly didn’t make it at all as I lifted the front end I dropped the back wheel on the lip!!! but it didn’t cost me too much time as it gave me the speed I needed to clear the rock garden, rail the berms like a roller coaster and into the wooded section with a new found confidence…and clean over the finish line …..had I done enough??? I sure did. I managed to make nearly 9 seconds on my previous time and secured a mighty 1st Place.
My final race of 2013 as a member of TRG was a success, having found a new confidence and a new speed, I feel ready to push my skills in racing and I’m looking forwards to 2014.
Cath Tilford 1st Ladies
Mick Hill 1st Vets
James Hurst 1st Youth
So here it is Liams Race report from Chopwell:
Here it was. The final race of 2013 at Chopwell organised by the guys at NorthernDownHill. Not only was this the teams last race for 2013 but the last race I would be doing on my trusty Devinci. With this been a season ending race, me, Blake, Rich and both Micks were keen as always to put in a good result.
Around 8am we arrived and signed on. It was abit chilly but when we saw how much pedalling was needed we soon got the blood pumping. After 2 or 3 practice runs I called it a day and chilled out in the van for my race. The rest of the lads put in a few more to get every part of the track dialled.
The race was classes as a trail bike TT. Therefore an enduro bike was most likely the best bet for putting in a quick time. Unfortunatley I had no other choice than my dh bike. Mick Hill rode his hardtail kona and Mick Waud, Rich and Blake chose to use their dh rigs.
My 1st race run went smoothly with not as much pedalling as I should of but I placed 2nd, 4seconds behind 1st place. I was happy but wasn’t settled. I could smell 1st place and that’s what I wanted. In the meantime the other lads put in their run and had a good one except Blake who unfortunatley had a minor off the track moment.
After a re-group at the van and a few rude things drawn on Riches number board we were ready to get our arses in gear. This time there was no messing about. A heavy dh bike wasn’t goin to stop me putting the power down in every corner. I wanted to make my time up and wanted it badly. Pedalling through every section I could I blocked out the pain. Reaching the finish with my legs feeling like led I made up my time and planted 1st place. With been chuffed to bits I made my way to the woods to watch my team mates come through and give them some abuse. First through were the old boys who looked very fast. Poor little Richard, god I’ve never seen that guy pedal so hard! His head was bobbing and he was hungry for it. Mick Hill finished 6th Mick Waud 8th and rich 9th. We then all Waited for Blakey boy to come through until one racer took a tumble injuring his knee which called the race to be delayed. Meanwhile me and Mick Hill helped carry him down on the stretcher. (Hope you heal up soon enough mate!) the race was then resumed and we cheered Blake on to get those legs moving. He came down smashing into the berm and hopped over the rock with his shoulder scrapping the tree. Man he looked quick! He was on it! We soon caught up with Blake for him to tell us he finished 7th out of 53 which is awesome!. I could secretly tell he wasn’t happy but bearing in mind 85% of people were on enduro bikes and he pedalled his little heart out on his transition.
As the darkness closed in the podiums were done and the flow of traffic was creeping out of the forest.
During the journey back watching the white lines on the motorway disappear underneath the van I was thinking what a great season Trg has had with so many great results and so many laughs with each other. It’s quite sad to see the old bike go and 2013 disapear into memories and results on roots and rain.
Coming from everyone at TeamRockGardener, thankyou to all of our sponsors for supporting us all through 2013 and to everyone else who has done the same and we look forward to working with our current and new sponsors throughout 2014. Also thankyou to Carl at NorthernDownHill for putting on this event and everyone else who helped out.
With low numbers due to a bad weather forecast predicted across the uk numbers were a little low and all the fair weather riders were a little put off. But not the fantastic 4! Me, rich, mick Waud and Mick Hill grew a pair and got ourselves down to the welsh lands of caersws. I wasn’t too fussed about the weather to be honest, with it been my final points race, final bc ranked race as a junior and possibly my last race report written as a junior I just wanted a great day with my mates and a great result.
As I currently sit here writing this on the bus on the way to college I can’t help but think back what a laugh we had sliding around in the welsh mud and watching Rodeo Hill live up to his name and tumble down the hillside.
Caersws was a one day thing for us. I was picked up by rich and mick w at 5:45 and later met up with mick hill and James at McDonalds.
As we arrived at the track the rain tumbled down almost straight away. We threw our kit on and made our way to the uplift.
On out first run down I couldn’t stop laughing, to the point where it was actually affecting my riding. I was following Mick rodeo Hill down and to watch him sliding all over really made my day. We were loving it. Further down course I spotted a nice line and went for it. Unfortunatley I ended up sliding sideways towards Mick, which then caused him to look back and end up riding through the tape. With both of us piss wet through we couldn’t help but laugh. We were met by Mick w, Rich and James at the bottom of the track, all looking like drowned rats. We all agreed to keep out spirits high and get back up the hill.
Practice was going good and surprisingly I felt confident and upto speed. Race runs soon came about and up the hill on the trailer we went. I was first the first man down out of TRG. And could already feel the wind holding me back. Through the top section I was strong and in control. The conditions weren’t bothering me much until through the woods where I went a little off line to loose myself a little time. I crossed the line in 2nd place behind a local lad. The rest of the boys came down, some with crashes some without. But more importantly second runs were ready to smash.
Rich was feeling very excited as he was in front of Mick w due to a crash. We gathered at the top and tried to keep warm from the icy cold gusts of wind and lashing rain. Setting off from the start I could really feel the wind picking up. I knew I had to push a little more this run to keep up in the table. But before I knew it I was down. I jumped back on and overkill kicked in, I was down again. I rolled the rest and crossed the line with a much slower time and settled for 2nd.
On the other hand Mick Hill bagged 1st and believe it or not Rich bagged 2nd! My god he was chuffed as little mint balls. Mick Waud came across the line hard on the pedals but unfortunatley it wasn’t enough for the podium and finished 4th. He tried his best but sometimes the track gets the better of you. And this was the case. James also came in looking a little pissed off with a not so good run. But at the end of the day this was winter racing at its best.
So in a nut shell TRG Racing receive 3 podiums with ;
Micheal Hill in 1st vets
Rich Molloy in 2nd vets
Mick Waud in 4th vets
And little me in 2nd juniors.
We had an early finish and was away for 3, already thinking about next season as the sun eventually started to show.
Thank you to Mike Marsden (boarderline events) for such a great, well organised day and to everyone else who made it happen.