Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Nukeproof/Team MTB Ride Guide Rider Alastair MacLennan reports from Round 3 of the British Downhill Series in Innerleithen, Scotland.
I love racing at Innerleithen and its always guaranteed to be a great track.
We rolled up for Rnd 3 of the BDS to find Pete Williams had not disappointed us and marked out a real nice one.
Straight from the off it was flat out down the well worn root tunnel at the top of the hill and into a soft newly cut left hander before careering further down the deep rutted section and onwards down the quarry and over the road gap. There followed flat out traverses and tricky sketchy corners down through the forest eventually leading into the famous Innerleithen bomb hole and launching off towards the big right hand berm and series of tight corners before crossing the road into the finish.
This was an important race for me as I’m dropping the next round as it clashes with another event, so my poor first round result will have to count.
The uplift was slow all weekend and I managed 5 practice runs which all felt good and I was happy.
Race day was warm and sunny and it was perfect conditions on the now dry dusty track.
After 2 practice runs I went up for my seeding run which started great and was going well until I clipped a tree with the bars at full speed and flew through the trees for a while without my bike. It was a long fall time wise but when I got going again I was up to speed quickly and managed a good run into the finish to come in 3rd 9 secs down on Darren Howarth who had posted the fastest time. Apart from the fall I was happy with everything and confident I could throw down a pretty good race run.
I had a good warm up before my race run and felt fresh and strong. I again had a good start and felt great through everything and was carrying good speed all the way down the hill but unfortunately got a bit carried away and didn’t manage to hold onto a long front wheel slide which ended up with me being launched through the tapes into a wood pile with the bike tangled in some branches. I got going again and had a real good ride all the way to the finish to scrape into 3rd place with Mark weightman 2nd and darren Howarth taking the win.
Although I didn’t get the result I was looking for I came away very happy as my race run felt very good and I was only 3 secs of the win so I knew I was well on pace. 3rd place was actually a relief as I assumed after crashing I would be further down the field, and as a bonus I came away from this race still 1 point ahead in the series so all was not lost.
Thanks as usual to all marshals and medics and to the great crowd that was on the hill supporting everyone.