Follow Privateer Will Weston through the highs and lows, roots and ruts, senders and bombholes (you get the idea) of the 2013 DH race season. BDS rd1 at Combe Sydenham was a shocker, a low/rut/bombhole but Will is a positive chap and arrived at Bringewood last weekend in an optimistic, cheery mood and ready to race Pearce Cycles rd1.
Will Weston – Privateer Pig vol 2: baby steps
Last weekend the ever popular Pearce Cycles race series kicked off at the classic venue of Bringewood! Eager to put an awful result at BDS round one due to going down in my race and a horrible throat infection behind me, I headed to Ludlow with high hopes and a big smile.
Now I am going to be totally honest here, Pearce cycles put on great events; the organisation is top notch and everyone always has a blast! But I can’t help but feel the venues they use are getting a bit tired. Awkward turns and over manicured sections, combined with whooped out flat sections and century old braking bumps normally make the tracks a bit naff compared to others available in the UK. But some serious work went into getting this track ready, and I was very impressed, It had been freshly prepped and was great fun to ride. A little on the un-technical side but you have to cater for all levels of riders and I think they did a sterling job.
Will’s Go-Pro from early on in practice.
The course basically consists of endless switchback berms in the top half which are all about braking points, finding flow, and exit speed and then a fast whoopy bottom half that is more of a point and shoot affair, both really good fun!
It’s hard not to over-ride a track that requires so little time to get up to speed on, so I focussed on putting out consistent full runs, figuring out sections I could push in and where I should be more conservative. Before I knew it practice was over and I was back home! Which is a welcome change to a soggy tent.
Race day always comes round so quickly, and after using the morning to put in some runs with a certain short Welshman I found myself on the start line. So many people suffer with nerves at downhill races; they spend a whole weekend riding fast and then throw it all out the window and put in a rubbish time. I don’t really get nervous, you are there to have fun and to ride your bike, you have put so much effort into it that you may as well enjoy yourself! It is only riding bikes at the end of the day.
I think the right mentality is really important when you are in the start line, I witness some people breathing super heavy, banging there helmet and grunting to themselves . . . what the hell are you doing!? There are no lives on the line, you won’t be thrown in jail if you don’t do well, chill the fudge out! And on the other hand you are there to race, so there is no point in rolling down the track and doing whips, you have to stay focused and try as hard as you can.
You have two runs at a Pearce race, and I have a habit of crashing in the first. (This is me aged 12).
So, I didn’t go too crazy, focused on flowing down the track and holding speed I found myself sitting in second place. With one run left.
Far more fired up and looking forward to pushing down my time I had a fairly flawless second race run, I can tell because I can’t really remember anything about it, so it must have been good!
However despite improving my time I came through the line over a second back on Taylor Vernon’s first run time (which he then improved leaving me nearly 4 seconds back) in a reasonable second place.
Click for full Pearce rd1 results.
“You must be happy with that?”
Yes, in all honesty I am. I don’t want to be in any position other than first, but second will do, I beat podium goers from BDS rd1 Combe Sydenham, and got a top 20 overall time. I still have work to do to catch Taylor Vernons pace, but I have no doubt I will get there! A solid foundation to build on.
Now for round 2 this weekend at Bala and I hope for another podium! The weather looks nice and I can’t wait. See you there!
Action shots from the weekend courtesy of photo-bike.com
Until next time,
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