well here it is, hot of the press….Ben Tilfords SDA rd1 race report:
Having ridden Innerleithen 3 years ago and being one of our first real introductions to downhill we were keen to get to race here. We booked on this 1st round of SDA a month in advance to avoid weather watching and choosing whether to race or not. We got lucky and the snow cleared, the winds stayed down and the sun came out. The first thing we all noticed is that none of the faces were familiar, being so used to social scene this side of the border it was a little strange.
The track to be used was a mix of several that mixed it up a bit. The top was sloppy and flat over the fire road into a fast jumpy section. Out of this lead into a total pedal fest… sigh… back into the woods and then jumping out onto the fire road into a series of deep ruts. Now halfway into the track we entered back into the woods where it got interesting, nice and steep with multiple lines and then into open for a one last tricky corner through the gully and into the infamous finishing area.
Inners is a proper DH venue and the tracks all look amazing but sadly the uplift was shocking, taking about an hour to get to the top including the massive pedal along the road to the pickup point and a monster push to the start hut. This sadly meant we only got 4 practice runs on the Saturday and 1 practice on race day. This just wasn’t enough time for me to warm up on race day and dial every line in. I came down from each race run disappointed about mistakes and not having the fitness to power through the pedal section.
The SDA event its self was really well organised and the friendly but was definitely an atmosphere of a serious race. Cath, Liam and I all left the race feeling we need to work on fitness but felt positive about the weekend. Personally I can’t wait for the next race, another new venue for us at Caersws and the rest of the team are all at the 1st round of the BDS next week