1st Place! - British Downhill Series - 7th/8th July 2012
Brad Mather (our sponsored rider) at the British Downhill Series at Glencoe, Scotland, taking 1st Place in the Expert category!
Event: British Downhill Series - Round 3
Date: 7th & 8th July 2012
Place: Glencoe, Scotland
Riding: Empire Cycles AP-1
Saturday - Practice.
Friday morning we set off for a 6 hour drive up to Glencoe for the 3rd round of the nationals, this race was going to be decided by the weather, if it was anything like last year’s round we would have been turning round for the 6 hours back home. Fortunately we arrived with sun in the sky and a calm breeze, me and my dad headed up on the chairlift for a track walk, walking the first top section was simple, a few turns and jumps with pedalling straights to spin the legs, then the track drops into its first couple of switchbacks, these turns can keep you on your toes, full of loose gravel gave you plenty of drifting opportunities, the track then dropped down into its first gnarly section, this part is basically the track dug down to the rock, this part dropped into a sharp left hander full of holes and boulders, you then turned into a steep rocky chute with a switchback exit and into a long fast rock section, crashing here would put you out for a while. The track from here on was more flowing than the top section but no smoother, the straights on these lower sections provided full bottom out and continuous flats, luckily I managed to sustain no flats all weekend. The very bottom of the track dropped into a sketchy rock made berm which led into a small rock garden, exiting out of the rock garden into a left hander led you into a gravely straight for the only big jump on the track, a few pedals could be gained before sending the jump and landing into the finish arena, the sprint for the finish was a 100m long rocky pedal and across the line. Saturdays practice was good, with plentiful runs thanks to the gondola and dry dusty conditions, around 2 o’clock the rain started to pour, if anything conditions made the track run a better, until the continued deluge made the track slippery and even more loose.
Sunday – Race day.
Sunday we woke up to rain over the mountain, we headed up the track for first run of the day and to scope out the new conditions. The first run went well, the track became a little slippy but unchanged. Second practice run seen full blown out holes ready for racing. I headed up for seeding run. At my start point it had started to rain again but was no issue, the run went well with a few mistakes which took time off me, but I seeded first in expert with a 2.35.
I knew I could better this time a lot more if I got my head in the game. So the final race run came around and I was quietly confident. Out of the start gate I set off and less than quarter of the way down and I was red flagged - gutted!.
Commissaries gave me a re-run and so I headed up for what was hopefully the last time. I was anxious and nervous at this point and a little tired after doing another run of this track. This time the run was crazy, back end was swapping all over the place, front wheel drifts nearly got the better of me. I carried on this loose until the very end and crossed the finish line with 2.28 and the win in expert! The weekend went well and I got a national win. Now for the mission to get home!
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