BDS Round 1 – Ae Forest

The season came around real quick this year and before we knew it me and Dad were off to Ae Forest just outside of Dumfries in Scotland for the first round of the British Downhill Series.

The weekend didn’t get off to the best start with a lot of rain on the Friday meant everyone had to be towed into the camping field by tractor, ┬áso after a long wait we got in and set up our pits. Later in the day once fellow racers from the South West Charlie and Ryan had also got settled in we headed up for track walk. The track was similar to last years with a few changes in the top and middle section. It was quite a wet and muddy which suited me with a few flat out hard pack bits which I knew I would really have to work hard on.

View from the start gate, mud!

Popping turns in practice photo by Noah Collins.

Popping turns in practice photo by Noah Collins.

I managed to get 5 runs practice on Saturday which wasn’t great due to the slow uplift but I felt like I had all my lines dialled in ready to go for seeding Sunday morning. I tried to put in a fairly good time for seeding run to see where it put me but at the same time I didn’t want to tire myself out for finals. After an ok run with a few mistakes and not a lot of pedalling I seeded 30th/41 in the Expert category. Not amazing but where I expected to be in my first year in Expert.


 

Quick rear wheel change before wheels due to a bit of heavy rock garden smashing!

Quick rear wheel change before wheels due to a bit of heavy rock garden smashing!

Photo of seeding run from Noah Collins.

Photo of seeding run from Noah Collins.

The track had a dried out a lot for finals and with a bit of last minute bike prep after destroying a rear wheel and chain device in seeding we were up top ready to go! Dropping in fairly excited as its pretty intense when going all out on a finals run I had a good one going. I hit all my lines and pedalled as hard a as I could, crossing the line in 4th place. After the rest of the category came down I managed to improve one place into 29th but was pleased that I improved 6 seconds faster than my seeding run. So not a too bad start to the year but something to build on. Last year on this track in the Senior category I finished 22nd and this year my time would have put me into 6th place so really happy with the progression.

Onto Fort Bill in 3 weeks!

Coming hot out the gate! Photo by Ian Lean.

Coming hot out the gate! Photo by Ian Lean.

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