Win for Alastair at SDA2

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Nukeproof vet rider, Alastair Maclennan competed in the SDA Round 2 at the Nevis Range last weekend and took the win in his category.  Here’s Alasatir’s round-up of the weekend. 

Nukeproof vet rider, Alastair Maclennan competed in the SDA Round 2 at the Nevis Range last weekend and took the win in his category.  Here’s Alasatir’s round-up of the weekend.

Famed for being a bike and body breaker, Fort William certainly lived up to its reputation this weekend when it hosted Round 2 of the Scottish Downhill Association Series race.

Windy conditions caused havoc on the higher reaches of the mountain with many riders getting their wheels blown out from beneath them and then body slamming the hard rock surface. A speedy recovery to all concerned and high praises to all medics in attendance all weekend. 

I spent Saturday practicing with the other Nukeproof riders who had come over for the race and we had quite an impressive pits with the large easy ups and the much sought after Nukeproof Scalps in all available colours on full display.

I put in 5 practice runs which all felt good and fast and was confident of a good position come race day. 

With Fort William being a very rough and fast track the bike took a bit of a beating and handled it well with only the rear rim suffering from a few new dents and a bit of spoke tightening needed.

Main challengers for me this weekend were going to be the ever present Neil Wilson, wild man Stevie Boyd and fellow Scalp rider Ian McIntyre. I did a few runs with Ian and probably gave away a few of my lines but may have kept a few back from him as he is always a threat!

Talking to the lift operators it was clear that the weather was set to become severe as the day went on and the chances of getting our second race run was slim so a good first race run was vital.

As I set off from the start ramp I was instantly buffeted by the strong gusts and it was hard staying on line all the way down the exposed top half of the course. On approaching the double step down I was blown sideways on a tight loose corner and nearly went off track which would have ended my race at that point. From there on I felt good and hit all the right lines hard and fast until I got into the tree line where the terrain changed dramatically from flat out rocky and fast to gloopy mud covered roots. I caught Wilson here who had punctured. My tactic here was to just survive this section and get through without taking too much risk as it was easy to slide out on the last corner before dropping into more gloop and dropping of the ramp onto the fire road crossing.

The step downs and table top passed at speed and then it was onto the motorway section with its big hip jump and table tops which all have to be cleared to keep the momentum going for the rest of this section. I pedaled to the death all the way down here before dropping down the Off Beat wall and barely clearing the triple into the finish.

Ian Mcintyre was sitting in the hot seat when I dropped in and I took 22 seconds off him to take the win with Stevie Boyd finishing a further 4 seconds down on Ian.

Because of track closures due to injured riders being attended to on course and increasing winds the event organisers made the decision to cancel second runs so first run results stood with a win for me with Ian Mcintyre 2nd and Stevie Boyd 3rd. 

Another great weekends racing spoiled just a bit by the weather. There was fresh snow falling not far above the start line. Thanks to all the marshals and medics who stood out on the hill all weekend in horrendous conditions, we do all really appreciate it, we just dont tell you that often,

Next Race is the Halo BDS at the Mighty Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Pics courtesy of


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