This weekend saw the British Downhill Championships come to Scotland!
I headed down on Friday evening in my new van (thanks mum and dad!) and met up with Coach James and Gareth the team manager of 2:1 Racing. Track walk ended up a bit later than we had planned so it was pretty dark in the woods but we still managed to figure out some lines and were looking forward to hitting the roots in the morning. It was great to see a longer track at Innerleithen, one that requires some power as well as technical skill.
I had a pretty rough sleep for some reason that night and woke very early to the sound of heavy rain...none the less I was excited to ride my Status and see how the track was looking. Steep off camber, roots, rocks, big rocks, bigger rocks and tight trees were in plenty, the track was great fun but challenging in the wet - perhaps more mentally than physically! Gaz and I stuck together while we got to know the track and High Rise Coaching's James Scott was supporting all day. Flare Clothing Company had their tent set up in the car park and Ben (Flare side kick and supported rider) was loving the track.
Big shout out to my pal Emma Whittaker who has done some nasty work of her insides while gunning it on the rocks. Emma is now being glued up in hospital so get well soon girl and make the most of the whippy ice cream! Hearing about Emma's misfortune made me more grateful than ever to have the support of POC who have hooked me up with the Cortex Flow helmet and the VPD Spine vest which keep me as safe as you can be rattling down steep rocks on a bike!
So practice continued once Emma had been scraped up by the marshals and rescue medics (good job guys!) and slowly but surely the runs got faster. By the end of the day I was loving the track and feeling much more confident. My status was feeling nippy through the tight trees and the specialized butcher's were keeping me rubber side down.
Race day arrived and the track was still super fun but even more sloppy! Seeding run was on the steady side but a good clean run into 5th place, catching up the rider in front mid course. My Status was so keen during my race run and I managed to take 18 seconds off my seeding run, unfortunately I still caught the rider up in front which slowed my time and I was pipped by 2 seconds into 6th place behind the pros. Buzzing but a little disappointed! Can't wait to get back down to Innerleithen and ride that track again, it was definitely one of my favourites this season, even if my timed runs didn't quite come together. Congratulations to everyone who took a podium place and well done to all for an epic weekend of mud and bikes.
As always I had some amazing support behind me and I can't thank 2:1 Racing, Ride 100%, POC, Lizard Skins, Flare Clothing Company, Muc-Off and High Rise Coaching enough for their help and encouragement.
Monday morning I awoke to a parcel all the way from the States - Specialized had sent a set of their new 2FO shoes!! They look sick and feel really supportive, they are nice and rigid and for once I've found a pair of shoes that fit my little feet perfect! Can't wait to try them out this week - stay tuned on facebook for a wee review!
So uni is done and the van is kitted out - huge thanks to my parents who have been really supportive with getting me started out - my dream chasing journey continues!