First race of 2012 for Alastair

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Fetish Bike Company DH series Rd 1 – Innerleithen: I couldn’t wait to get down to this race as I have just received my 2012 Nukeproof Scalp Pro full build and was desperate to give it a proper test. 

Fetish Bike Company DH series Rd 1 – Innerleithen: I couldn’t wait to get down to this race as I have just received my 2012 Nukeproof Scalp Pro full build and was desperate to give it a proper test.  Its essentially the same bike as I rode 2011 Season apart from the addition of Sram XO brakes and drivetrain. I hadn’t ridden the bike before arriving at the race so expected to have to make a few adjustments to get it just right. Having set the Boxxer forks and Cane Creek Shock to the standard factory settings I set off for a practice run down what was a fantastic fun track. It was a fast and flowy affair with plenty of roots, drops and fast steep sections. Right from the start I felt completely at home with the bike and was loving the feeling of the newness of all the components. Forks and shock were working great and didn’t feel like they would need too much bedding in. After making a couple of small adjustments to the bike I didn’t touch it for the rest of the weekend and concentrated on just having fun riding and getting my downhill head on again as I have not ridden my DH bike since the end of last season. I put 5 runs in for Saturday practice and felt I was riding well and was very happy with the bike.

Race day was dry again and the track was maybe running a bit softer due to the mild weather further melting the ice that had been around a few days earlier. The track was really grippy and fun to ride.

On the first race run I started well and soon got into the flow nailing most of my lines and felt things were going well. Towards the bottom of the course I came out of the bombhole well but knew I was slow round the rough berm at the bottom as I braked too much and instantly lost momentum and then struggled in the wrong gear to get bak up to pace. I lost valuable time here but had had a great run up to there so can’t complain. I crossed the line to take 2nd spot just over 2 secs behind new young Vet David Tallontire (Uplift Scotland) with Martin Hodgeson (i Cycles) a further 18 secs adrift.

Race run 2 started great and I hit the top half of the track nice and fast before making a mixture of mistakes in the lower half trying too hard and paying the price. I crossed the line with the same time as my first run and stayed in 2nd place behind David Tallontire with Hodgeson clinging onto 3rd place. 

Overall a great weekend with perfect weather on a fantastic track that suited everyone. Great to be back on the DH bike and a good measure of the work that still needs to be done before the start of the season ahead.

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