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European Championships - Wisla, Poland, 11-13 September2015

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Helmet cam run

This weekend the team travelled out to Wisla, Poland, to round off the 2015 race season with European Championships. With the race being a big UCI event there were lots of points at stake, so Pete was hoping to bag himself enough to get him back on track for the start of next year. We also had Will Jones travelling with us with the same aim, to get those all-important points so he can race world cups in 2016.
We arrived in Wisla on Thursday night so didn’t have any time to walk the track before practice started. The task was to build our Trek Sessions, get some sleep, then straight up the hill in the morning to start practicing. We took a few steady runs to get used to the track and where the jumps were before riding anything quickly. We all realised instantly that we were in for a great weekend. The track was very quiet as there were so few riders, and it was also absolutely awesome! It had steep sections, jumps, rock gardens, fast sections. It was awesome.
At the start of practice the track was wet from rain the night before, but by lunchtime it had dried out a bit and we started to pick up some speed. Riding in a big group is great because we could try out different lines and compare the difference in speed. We knocked out 10 practice runs on the first day it was that much fun! By the end of the session we were all starting to feel good on the track and ready to put some timed runs down!
Poland is a great place to travel to because it turns out it’s mega cheap! Friday was Will’s birthday, so after riding we headed out to a restaurant for some dinner and beers. After a dance off with some drunken Polish people, who were having a rave in the garden outside our accommodation after their earlier BBQ, we headed in for a good night’s rest before qualifying the next day.
We had better weather on Saturday, so as the day went on the track got drier and drier and the speed gradually crept up. Everyone was looking forward to qualifying in the afternoon. Jamie was first up and had a smooth run coming down in 8th place in junior. Jack was next and having the fastest top sector on the day things were looking good. However, with a big over the bars in the last woods he qualified back in 22nd bruising his hand and arm in the process. Pete made a few mistakes in his run and wasn’t happy, qualifying just in front of Jack in 21st. Will had some issues and lost a lot of time, so finished in 40th place.
We had even more good weather for race day and everyone was excited to get back on track and keen to get at it. Jack’s hand was sore in the morning so we taped that up and all headed up the track to learn from our mistakes in qualifying and do some more practice. After three runs everyone was feeling great and Jack’s injuries didn’t seem to be troubling him too much, so it was looking good for racing.
Jamie was first up in junior. Having a terrible first half of the season it’s really important he has some consistent race runs at the end of this year. Again he came through and had a great run! He went 7 seconds faster than his qualifying run and was only 2 seconds back from 2nd place in junior with a 2.28. Unfortunately times were so tight that he finished back in 9th place, which he was frustrated with, but we’re mega proud of how he’s finishing the season!
Will was next up and needing a position of 26th or better to get him his 20 UCI points for next season. He had a good run, and crossed the line with a time of 2.25 which landed him into 22nd on the day, mission accomplished! Unfortunately after he crossed the line he proceeded to have the biggest crash he’s had all season in front of everyone in the finish arena… Great work dude… haha
Jack next and only chasing one thing, getting first place on the day. He threw everything he had at it and said his top sector was great. He then got scrappy throughout the second half of the track, pushing too hard and getting off line a few times. On a fast dry track like this mistakes can’t be made if you want to win, so with a 2.21 he was back in 5th place on the day, 0.8 off 3rd but 3 seconds back from 1st. A good effort but not what he wanted to walk away with.
Pete had a better run than in his qualifying, going 5 seconds faster and doing a 2.26 good enough for 26th place and importantly another 20 UCI points for him. He wasn’t overly happy as he felt like he had more to give, but at least the points are on the board for him.
So a great trip all in all, with all the lads having successful results and lots of fun in the process! The event organisers Diverse Downhill Contest put on a fantastic weekend so well done to them! Big thanks to all of the team’s sponsors for their support throughout the year, and with one race left this weekend at Antur Stiniog in Wales for BDS Rd 6, we can’t believe the season is all but over!!

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