This is my first year into vets and I have been a little anxious not really knowing where I will fall in the ranks of rapid gents…
Having just missed out on a Podium at Steel City and feeling so close at the Hamsterley round of Borderline series I was very keen to get to FJ’s and give it all I had. I went down on my own knowing I would meet up with a few people I know being pretty regular at these races.
The first thing I did when I got there was a track walk, knowing that there had been some significant changes to the top section of the track and the bottom always being interesting. The double had been taken out (thankfully) and replaced with a respectful table top and the run in was now perfect. I had seen a track preview that had not done the bottom justice, it was a revamp of carnage corner… hopefully it wasn’t going to rain! Meeting up with not so young Andy we went for a days practice trying to nail the bottom half as the top was just about how long you could stay off brakes and how long your legs would pedal.
I left the day happy with my lines and was very much up for my pint (or two, three) of wizard.
Race day brought familiar and unfamiliar faces. Trying to sus out who was vet and who wasn’t was amusing and led to me staring at random folk, no Idea what they thought ha! I did see a few I knew and they were fast, I knew I had a race on!!! My first run I held back a little wanting to just put a safe run down but most disappointing was messing up one of the last corners I had been nailing all day Saturday, could have been nerves or just a different pace. Coming down I was in 1st and was grinning from ear to ear. Then good old Duncan informed me they were waiting for one more time, when I came I was dropped down to 2nd place by a second.
The second run consisted of me pedalling my ass off over shooting the table, having a near miss on the bridge jump and basically blowing all my energy, I dropped into the finish with the clock in full view all I could see was I had not beaten my first time…! I was however still worried that Chris had improved on his time after crashing in his first run, thankfully I had held onto second place by a mere second. So this was my first official podium and it was commented that I was probably the happiest they had ever seen. I am so stoked and cannot wait for the next race.
Thanks to all our sponsors and friends.
Ben Tilford 2nd Vets
Richie Molloy 11th Vets
Cath Tilford 1st Ladies
James Gregory 13th Senior
Well what a week it’s been… The weather has been its usual indecisive self and teasing us with odd days of glorious sunshine to then a quick change over night to torrential rain and snow, but I guess that’s the highlands for you.
The Macavalanche was a mechanical nightmare with tyres off of rims and a busted free hub, but that’s Glencoe for you. Brutal and unforgiving! Still the Scottish people are always willing to help and rally round to get you going again. This is definitely one to do. Sliding your bike through the snow is a definite highlight, just hang on get yer leg out and whatever you do .. Don’t touch the brakes!! Though I walked away (my bike was unrideable) having a pretty rubbish race, the people and location of it really made up for that, well worth the 10hr drive up there.
Then for the next couple of days we just drank tea and watched come dine with me whilst listening to the rain hammer down on the chalet roof, I never thought it was going to stop! We ventured out a couple of times just to spin the legs and after being tipped off by a Scottish Viking workman, we even managed to find a couple of sneaky enduro lines near where we were staying. These were ace fun as the lines traversed through beautiful woodlands and crossed a hidden stream that was just stunning. By Wednesday the weather man upstairs decided he’d grace us with two days of beautiful sunshine so I headed over Fort bill and rode and sessions the course as much as my arms and bike would allow too. As usual I took a couple of dodgy lines that resulted in a bent mech and a heckle, that will teach me! Fortunately we managed to get half of the gears running which was great as I could keep practicing. The course truly is brilliant and really isn’t for the faint hearted, though not crazy technical it’s just the abuse your arms get and weather you can hang on for the whole ride. A couple of the top riders turned up early to practice and it just blows me away how quick they are… just amazing!
Friday was a rest day but still ended up hanging around the race site, was good to catch up with everyone. Then our luck would change and the weather really took a dive as the wind was gusting at 70mph on the tops, which meant no gondola access. Pretty gutted but I guess it’s probably for the best as I went to bed that night dreaming about being blown off the board walk. Though a lot people were saying that we’d just be racing the lower section there was still a hope of doing the whole thing and I went to bed that night prepared to finally experience racing at Fort Bill.
But unfortunately this was not the case and with a fresh dumping of snow at the top it was deemed to severe for the marshals, which is fair because it looked bloody cold up there. It was very weird atmosphere at the race, a lot of disappointed folk and also a ton of people went home. It’s tough one as it a long ol way there and you’ve paid the money to be uplifted etc but for me personally I’ve been thinking about this race since last year and if I only get to ride the bottom at least il know that section for the next I head there. With the shortened course we has a 30 min push up which was ok, it got you warmed and also a chance to chat with other racers and listen to their near misses on the start chute. This was bugger as you went from stand still straight into a steepish mud chute that had a couple of small drop off at the end, it was basically a matter of go in slowly and let the brakes go.
Typically I rode this beautifully in my two practice runs but then in my race run I was all over the shop and resulted in one foot being un clipped for the majority of the race. Stupid bloody pedals…. Finally after getting my foot back in I just pedalled as fast as I could to the finish, legs were screaming by I just kept going. I didn’t attempt the two funny double so just pedalled through the best I could… probably looked like a right plonker but from I could see most people were struggling getting through these. I think even the elites were casing these so that just shows they need to practice more! I actually couldn’t quite believe it when I managed to hold on to the hot spot, with Becci and Lucy behind I knew that they were very strong and had done the jumps but fortunately the pedalling paid off and I crossed the line with a responsible time and my first BDS win of the year. Stoked!
It was so good to see Mick and Liam, you guys had me crying with laughter on Saturday night at dinner and this really made me so much better about the race… laughter always helps. With Mick walking away with a 3rd it really was a fantastic day for TRG racing though we were all gutted when we found out about Liam. Really hope you get better soon but to be fair having a sling round your neck when your holiday will definitely get the ladies fussing over you! Thanks for everyone’s support and it felt good to wear my new jersey at the race. Will see you guys at Llangollen in two weeks….. Gulp!
Hamsterley English champs 2015
The race I very nearly missed, thankfully with a bit of good old team persuasion I made it. After a tour of the country- picking James and Liam up on route we finally arrived with the 3 mighty GT’s squashed into the back of the new kia venga DH transporter. With no time for track walk or talk we got ready and jumped straight on the uplift eager to see what was in store. Thankfully there wasn’t too much to learn, as the track marked out was familiar to us but with a few tweaks in the forest section they caught just about everyone out that weekend. Track conditions were pretty greasy at the start of the day and with no mud tyres we had no choice but to get loose and hang on.
Towards the end of the day the pace was picking up and I was feeling pretty confident with the line choices, and with no real dramas and the bike performing perfectly as always it was turning out to be a great start to the weekends practice.
Race day: Again another epic effort to arrive on time and still feeling like I had left my head in bed we all rushed around to get our 2 practices runs in. And all managed with ease thanks to Mike Marsden’s efforts on making the uplifts run a bit quicker. With the usual nervous wait for the race runs it was my time to line up for the start and see what I could do.
Giving it everything off the line I hit the first corners too quick and made some minor mistakes but kept it together getting to the bottom with a good time and position.
Last race: run with the rain clouds just about holding off I set off again trying my best to balance the speed and it paid off apart from the table top landing where I carried to much speed and nose-dived the bike down to hit the landing almost going over the bars. With the final result in I had managed to take just over a second off my first run leaving me 4th on the race but 3rd for the English champs so I was buzzing to get on the podium after such a competitive race.
As with all the races me and Liam also have a great time trying to beat each other’s time which just adds to the fun and pushes you further in the sport of course he beat me by 2 seconds this time putting in a mega time of 1:38 & finishing 4th well done.
And with some very good efforts from the rest of the team too….
Ben Tilford 1:51 6th
Cath Tilford 2:11 2nd
James G 1:49 32nd
Mick w 1:55 2nd
Rich 2:07 15th
Me 1: 40 3rd
A great weekend of racing and a big thanks to borderline events and the desend hamsterley guys for putting on yet another great event, and of course all our sponsors that keep us going strong. Please check out the links below.
Here it was again, Steve Peats steel city Downhill.It’s a race everybody looks forward to from amateur to pro and luckily for us guys and girls at trg racing we managed to book a spot to race. Steel city is a one day event where grenoside woods in Sheffield is filled with 350 riders and around 1k-2k spectators. The atmosphere is amazing. This was my fourth race here, in youth I came 5th, junior 1st (dressed as luke skywalker) And last year in the Pro category 14th. I was hoping to better last year’s result and felt confident on the GT Fury.
After practice and some heckling it’s was time to race. Just before It was time for my race run I was bet £10 to throw a suicide no hander over the gap jump which was littered with spectators. So me being me who loves a challenge I set off the start ramp and weaved my way through the first section of the track, with the hecklers in sight and the megaphones screaming I hit the jump with a (just see what happens) attitude. I nailed it and the spectators went mad.
Throughout the rest of the race I kept my bike flowing through the turns and threwdown a big whip, i crossed the line with a time of 1:19 with a huge smile on my face which sat me in 15th. Only 2 seconds off the podium! Currently rich was sitting in 31st Mick Waud 22nd micheal Coupe 5th Ben 5th,unfortunately cath had a crash and hurt her collar bone but she was back on it on her second run and finished 7th.
As second runs approached the rain started to fall and the track was looking slippery. As I sprinted off the start ramp I gave it my full through the first section. After crossing the gap jump and pumping through the carved out turns I could feel the track getting slower, I could hear the crowd shouting abuse as I approached the 2nd gap jump, so a last minute decision I pulled another suicide to make up for a slower run, what do I have to loose? The crowd was buzzing and I laughed to myself in my helmet. I crossed the line around 6 seconds slower which kept me in 15th position in the Pro category.
Maybe if I didn’t Try showboating on the jumps then I could of saved some time but hey ho! I’d say it was worth it as I only went and won the £200 cash prize for the best trick/crowd pleaser! It’s fair to say the track was running allot slower the second time and everyone in the team apart from cath kept their first results. Everyone went home with smiles on their faces and steel didn’t fail to impress yet again. Even mick hill enjoyed himself! Unfortunately he wasn’t racing due to injury but he was there to offer his support as usual and be chief line spotter, cheers mick. Next stop! Hamsterley forest followed by bds fortwilliam! See you there!