We Love Mountains DH Team – Innerlei then UK National Champs 2014

July 24, 2014

A lot of stamina was needed for this race and that was before you made it on the track with about a two mile pedal to get on the uplift bus and then at the top, a big hill push up, one of the many tracks Innerleit then has to offer just to get to the start gate.

We started off the weekend with a foggy wet Saturday making a wet and slippery track, with the tight trees, open roots and steep rocky sections, made this a interesting combination. All was going well for the team as they took practice one step at a time but unfortunately rider Justin took the wrong step on the hill and twisted his ankle forcing an early retirement from the race.

The track started from the hut looking down Cresta Run and on the first off you are over a web of roots into a left S bend corner with tight trees through the trees and onto some fast sections before getting to the steep technical shoot before the first fire road.

Once over the road, you are back on the steep stuff dodging in and out the trees, at first your eyes are still trying to adjust with the brightness into darkness making it a challenge while doing this with speed. This part of the track consists with a series of fast berms and more weaving of in and out of the trees, one false move and you will be hugging the bark!

Once you pass, this point begins the fastest part of the track with a fire road and a couple of bus stops which fires you out back into the open between two tight trees. But not in the open for long as straight back in between the trees weaving left and right, in the dry you can really get some serious speed as you make it over a couple more fire roads brings you to a gap jump and straight onto two little tabletop style jumps.

Shortly after, is a sharp left bend and onto the bottom part of the track with a couple of wide berms and over the final road into the finish arena.

Here is a link to a preview of the track

http://vimeo.com/100812834

On race day with the long uplift procedure, we managed to get one practice run before going back up for seeding run. Marc was up first and took his seeding run just easy placing 13th. With the lack of uplifts, some of the riders used the seeding run as a final check on the track as there was a lot going on in one track, in Marc’s race run he managed to get some pedals down and was on for a good time until misjudging a tight section sending Marc over the bars, finishing in 13th in masters category 4 minutes 19 seconds.

Stewart was up next, after a clean seeding run placing 16th in category. He started off good on his race run after overtaking a fellow rider Stewart managed to get hooked between two trees. Once back on the bike, Stewart managed to cross the line in 14th in a time of 4 minutes 40 seconds .

Next up was a rider who doesn’t know how to go slow, Andy and putting in a great time in seeding placing 3rd. Andy mentioned shortly after he knew he could go faster as long as he manages to stay on his race line, stormed down the track gaining 2 seconds faster than his seeding placed 2nd in a great time 3 minutes 23 seconds.

Rider Adam was up next and after a few injuries with his shoulder earlier in season, he was out to prove he has what it takes to challenge the seniors, putting a strong time in seeding placing him 15th in a 3 minutes 41 seconds, but then had a few mistakes in his race run slipping off on the fire road and two stalls in the woods got a time 3 minutes 41 seconds placing 18th in category

Normally I would put Luke’s story first, as he is in the Juvenile category but I had to leave the best till last, Luke started the weekend on a flyer and finished on a flyer, from all the team and supporters a massive Well Done! We are very proud of the hard work you have put in on and off the race track and that hard work paid off, putting in an amazing time of 3 minutes 29 seconds in seeding run gaining the top spot, he then got slightly quicker in his race run in a time of 3 minutes 28 seconds taking the win in category with a winning margin of over 10 seconds, crowning Luke UK National Juvenile Champ!

Well Done to all riders who raced the UK National Champs.

Thank you to all Sponsors and supporters for helping the team

A big thank you to the guys in the Silverfish pit tent for the rear axle along with onsite support to keep Luke on his bike and team mechanic Paul Stoddart.

Next race is World Master Champs in Norway for riders Andy and Stewart , and back to Innerlie then for the SDA for Marc, Adam, Justin and Luke.

 

Words – Stewart Wood

 

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