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BDS Round 6 - Antur Stiniog, 19/20 September 2015

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The final BDS of the year, and also the last race of the season. 2015 has flown by and what an introductory year it’s been for us at One Vision Global Racing! We’ve all thoroughly enjoyed the team’s first year, and feel it has been nothing but a great success. We’re already starting to build towards next season and bigger and better things.
Antur Stiniog, a bike park in North Wales, was hosting the final round of the series. It isn’t a rider’s favorite track, and as a venue isn’t too well equipped in parking for riders and spectators. Jack and Jamie headed down there earlier this year to check out the place and to have a go at the track. They found that if the wind and rain were in attendance, it was horrendous due the openness of the hillside, and the slippery nature of the slate that makes up the majority of the surface. Therefore everyone was hopeful for good weather. Hardly likely in Wales in September though.
We arrived on Friday night and got our pits organised in the small car park, which was allocated for teams, then headed for a track walk. The weather was beautiful, with the evening sun shining close to the horizon and no wind. The track was dry and not too slippery on the exposed slate. We then headed off to our accommodation for some dinner and a good night’s sleep before practice in the morning.
We woke on Saturday to more clear blue skies! The forecast was for a great day so we were lucky, however Sunday was looking like rain and wind. After some bike sorting when we arrived at the race, we eventually got up the track for some riding. The uplift was slow all day so it was hard to get into the track. The track was pretty short so you’d be at the bottom before you knew it, then you’d queue for 45 minutes for your next run. Not ideal and the lads really struggled to get into the day. The final race of the season was feeling like a real anticlimax. Thankfully Pete was really getting some speed up in the afternoon, so the lads started following him down and found some measure of enthusiasm before the day was out.
Sunday morning and true to the forecast the weather brought rain and wind to the open hillside. Not what anyone was hoping to see when they pulled their curtains back. The lads agreed that with the track now being wet it was important to get up there and get as many runs in as possible. They needed to learn the different feel of the wet track. Jack, Jamie and Will were on the first uplift and managed to get three runs done, but Pete wasn’t quite as organised and only managed two. All of the guys were in the queue at the end of practice hoping for another run, but after waiting for 20 minutes they were told no more uplifts and that was that.
In the morning session the guys had learned to stay well away from the exposed black slate rock. It was like glass, spread with butter, and it was so dangerous. The gravel, and the big rocks which were coated in grit, weren’t too bad and could be trusted a bit. It didn’t feel like racing, it just felt like a battle to avoid a stupid crash and messing up the off-season.
Seeding was interesting. Jamie came down into 8th in junior with a small crash. It had rained not long before his run and the track was mega slippy. Pete came down just as the rain started half way through the elite men and slotted into 11th place knowing he could go faster. Will was the next rider down after Pete and played it safe in the rain to qualify 16th. Jack was at the end of elite and came down in the real wet conditions and struggled it down for 9th. Half of the elite field had come down in the dry and had really good qualifiers as a result, so it was going to be an interesting race.
It rained again before junior, but with strict instructions from Jack to ‘stay on the bike’, Jamie had a good run and improved on his seeding to walk away with 6th place. He was annoyed to miss out on the podium by such a narrow margin, but another solid result. A great effort to manage a good end to the season after having such a tough start to the year, with crash after crash in his race runs, and he now sits 9th in the British Cycling overall only 10 points from 8th.
By the time the elite race runs came around it hadn’t rained for a while so the track had dried out, but the wind had really picked up and the guys had a crazy head wind to deal with. Will had a couple of problems in his run losing a lot of time and rolling home for a 24th. Not being a fan of the track and still buzzing after getting his UCI points in Poland last week, he wasn’t that bothered and pretty much forgot about this weekend instantly. Pete had a solid run and grabbed himself 15th spot, which he was happy with. Jack had a scrappy run and crossed the line irritated, so was surprised to go into third place with 8 riders left on the hill. A number of riders beat his time by the narrowest of margins leaving him in 9th place, less than a second off the podium and 5th place. This has also made a big difference in Jack’s overall placing, as he has finished 11th, only 27 points back from 6th. Just one second faster at the weekend and he would have jumped up 5 places in the BDS overall! Tight racing!
So the BDS season finished with a bit of a downer for us really. Needless to say we won’t be rushing back there. On the day the lads raced pretty well and walked away with a reasonable set of results, and most importantly taking no injuries into the close season. It’s now onwards to off-season training and eyes firmly fixed on that first world cup at Lourdes in April 2016.
A huge thank you has to go out to everyone who has been involved with One Vision Global Racing for 2015:
Phil Reading, Jack Reading, Pete Williams, James Hurst, Alex Bennett, Will Jones, Rick Taylor, Mark Davies, Adey Bennett, friends and family members, and of course our amazing sponsors: Trek Bikes, Oneal, Schwalbe Tyres, Mojo/Fox Suspension, Pacenti Cycle Design, MRP, Works Components, Bontrager, Ticky Bikes, Rock Guardz, Dirt Factory, DNA Sports Performance and East Coast Air Brush.
What a year, bring on 2016!

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