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BDS Round 1 - Ae Forest, 4/5 April 2015

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Finally the 2015 race season had arrived. After spending the off-season setting up One Vision Global Racing, it was great to finally get the whole team together and get racing! Everyone was really excited for the season and the atmosphere in the team pits was electric.
We all arrived in Scotland on Friday to get everything set up, walk the track and go for a short xc ride on our Trek Remedys and Slashs to loosen off ready for practice in the morning. We’ve all raced Ae Forest before so we knew what to expect when we walked the track. The course is fairly straight forward, with a couple of big lines in the middle sector. The first is a gap over a stump which is quite a challenging line, as the consequences for getting it wrong could be fairly severe. The second is jumping into the rock garden after the fire road crossing, narrowly missing a big boulder on your right.
Friday night was bitterly cold for camping, so those of us in tents didn’t get the best night’s sleep – me and Sarah could feel the cold rising through our air beds! Nevertheless we were up and at it for the start of practice. Me and Jamie were lucky enough to be the last riders on the first uplift, so we ended up being the first guys down the track! It was a little greasy in the morning from the rain earlier in the week, so we took it steady on the first run. By the end of the second run we’d hit all of the big lines, so we spent the rest of the day getting up to speed. As the uplift was very poor, we only managed 5 runs on the Saturday.
Sunday and racing. We were all feeling great on our Trek Session 9.9s which were running really sweet. We were all using a Works Components headset to get the head angle we each felt was best for us on this track. After two more good practice runs in the morning, it was time to go racing!
Jamie was first up in junior, and we were all excited to see where he would be in the category in his seeding run. Everyone was confident he’d be somewhere in the top 5, but it was clear he was very nervous. Unfortunately he made a mistake coming into the first corner, so lost his front wheel over the back of it and came to a stop. Despite this he was 6th at the top split. His luck didn’t get better, and he crashed in the bottom woods and decided to let the next rider through and compose himself.
Pete was next up in the elite category. Still nursing a collar bone injury, he’d been taking it fairly steady all weekend to ensure he was fighting fit for the world cup next weekend. He was therefore really pleased to seed in 16th place with a time of 3.28, only 7 seconds off the pace.
Jack’s turn, and feeling good all weekend in practice, he had his sights firmly set on a podium finish. He had a scrappy run with 3 mistakes and wasn’t happy when he reached the bottom. However, the pace was obviously there, seeding 9th with a 3.24 only 3 seconds off the pace.
Jamie headed up for his race run and everyone was hoping he’d keep his head and put a run together. Unfortunately his bad luck continued. He got something trapped in his front wheel somewhere up the top of the track, and could hear it rattling about the whole way down. As he entered the bottom wooded section and jumped over some roots, whatever it was jammed his front wheel and threw him over the bars. As he’d passed some slower riders who were rolling down after him, this resulted in the marshal putting out the red flag, so he couldn’t even finish his run.
Pete was keen to replicate his first run and be smooth and fast. However making a couple of mistakes on the way down, he actually ended up going 2 seconds slower than his seeding time which really disappointed him. The main thing though was that he’d got through the weekend and was heading to the Lourdes world cup fit and healthy.
Jack had a much better run in the race, only making one small mistake, to go 3 seconds faster and do a 3.21. The times were insanely tight from 4th place back to 10th. He finished 8th only 0.2 of a second off 4th, which was very frustrating. That being said he was very happy with how he rode in his run, and to be only 2.5 seconds back from the win was great.
So the team’s first weekend racing was all in all a success, with some bits of bad luck thrown in there. The team dynamic worked perfectly and the atmosphere in the pits was great. Everyone was keen to get out to France and get their world cup campaign underway.
We have to say a massive thank you to all of the sponsors of One Vision Global Racing for their fantastic support: Trek, Oneal, Pacenti, MRP, Works Components, Fusion MX Design, Bontrager, Schwalbe, Rock Guardz, Ticky Bikes, Mojo/Fox Suspension, Dirt Factory and DNA Sports Performance.

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