SDA Round 4 Innerleithen

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Round 4 of the Scottish Downhill Association Series took place at a rather wet Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders last weekend but spirits weren’t dampened as it was a super fun track that greeted us.

Round 4 of the Scottish Downhill Association Series took place at a rather wet Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders last weekend but spirits weren’t dampened as it was a super fun track that greeted us.

Innerleithen copes well with rain as the ground is quite stony and usually offers good grip. I tried out some new tyres this weekend and quickly realised they could be my new favourite tyre as they were super stable and grippy on the variety of roots, rock, shale and mud that covered the track.

Right from the start it was a blast down a tricky off cambered root covered straight and into a lovely right turn that spat you our real fast before droping into more root and rock covered corners then onto the flowy jump section. On exiting this section it was a hard pedal as speed was sucked from beneath your wheels on the slight uphill to flat section.

Dropping back into the trees and across the fire road there was a selection of great berms and tight flowy corners with the usuall mixture of exposed roots popping up.

The track then finished with the very steep switchback section which was great to ride before sprinting across the road and into the finish.

It was an easy track to learn with all its very familliar sections and Saturday practice was fun riding with the Chain Reaction Cycles guys on their Nukeproof Scalps and we managed to get in 5 runs.

 

Sundays race runs soon came and the track conditions had not changed much from the damp conditions of the day before. I got up to a good pace right from the start and  had a very good run hitting most lines perfect and felt quite relaxed as I descended down the hill. A big pedal effort was required as I came onto the flat section after the jumps and I managed to dig in and power through it before picking up speed again as I dropped back into the trees.

Soon the steep switchback section appeared which is real fun as you blast into it and throw yourself round the tight corners trying not to touch the brakes. I got this quite good but could maybe have let go a bit more. From here it was a final dash across the finish line where I went into the lead with a time of  3.36 with Neil Wilson doing a 3.44 and Steve Felstead 3.59.

Second race run I felt faster through most of the track taking a few more risks and hitting some sections real good but others not so good as I got a couple wrong losing a bit of time. On the steep switchbacks i got distracted and hit a tree losing the bars for a moment and briefly stopping. I crossed the line with a time of 3.44 with Steve felstead doing a 4.00 and Ian McIntyre (Chain reaction Cycles) 4.02. Wilson crashed out.

And so I took the win with Neil Wilson (Glentress Riders) taking 2nd with his first run time and Steve Felstead (ticket2ridebc.com) making a welcome return to Scottish Podiums with 3rd.

 

And so the season gradually winds down with only a couple of races to go, it’s passed real quick and  I’m not getting that usual end of season feeling of relief that its nearly over, still loving the riding, racing, and fun. My Nukeproof Scalp has been punished more than any other bike I have ridden in one season and has indeed proved to be Nukeproof.

Next Race is the rescheduled SDA at Glencoe.

www.mtbrideguide.co.uk    

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