2015 British Downhill Series | Round One Ae Forest - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine


Back Between the Tapes

Dirt Orange World Team | BDS #1 Ae Forest

Dirt Orange World Team | BDS #1 Ae Forest

The first race of the season is culmination of months of hard work, training, bike prep, sponsor contracts, bus building the list goes on. That means pressure for everyone involved not just the riders, even after testing and trialling new part combinations things are always going to be a little bit tense. The good ship Vampire Deluxe rolled into Ae Forest via a photo shoot and video session in North Wales, the time for racing was here and even with the tension of the situation Ben Reid is an old master and knows how to keep it all together.

Tom Caldwell takes up the story from the weekend.

Heading North

After the boys ripped North Wales apart shooting the launch video feature spirits were high heading into the first race of the season. Jacob came into the Ae Forest race off the back of a 3rd at World Champs in Hafjell 2014 so he was hungry for a good result. New signing for the team Phil Atwill was keen as he could be to make a good impression and continue to ride like a wild man with Al Bond hot on his back tyre aiming for a return to winning ways after not riding the national series for a few years.
Another new addition to the team is Derrick Davoren, team mechanic, wheel truer extraordinaire and yet another Irish fella to outweigh the British and Welsh boys!

The race is on

After having a few flowing practice runs, Al was getting back into the swing of things. Race run came round and it just wasn’t meant to be. Here’s the word from Bondy:

“I was feeling great on Saturday, but then I just rode with my feet off for most of the race run. I trust didn’t happen. I fancied giving my pedals a rest! Onward and upwards for this weekend though. Real excited to get back on a brand new World Cup track.”

Phil’s frantic riding style was looking good on camera and he was growing very fond of his brand new X-Fusion pro to suspension, Phil was ready to race. After a cock up on the infamous stump gap he clipped a tree in the woods and went straight out the front door won a race run. Not really they way he wanted it to go but it certainly hasn’t knocked his spirit by any means.

“First race of the and I was eager to ride! Track was good, uplift wasn’t. Didn’t get all the runs I wanted in practice, but saying that I still felt good on my bike come race run. Just a shame I crashed up top! Chin up and off to Lourdes, should be a belter!”

This year you can tell Jacob is keen to be winning after he set the bar high for himself at Worlds. The young lad is hard on himself if he doesn’t do well, a good trait to have maybe? This weekend he was as happy as ever to be back racing and flying the Northern Irish flag over Scotland . He still hit the podium this weekend with a 5th place finish, certainly not what he was looking for but on the right track. Here’s what Jacob had to say.

“Well my weekend was ok overall, I felt on it in practice and the bike felt amazing with all the new parts Ben has been able to put together for the team this year. Sunday came and I was really looking forward to the race, my seeding run was steady but I knew I could let go that little bit more and came down with a 5th which I was really annoyed at. A podium is a podium I suppose but right now we’re on the ferry to France and I focussing hard on the first World Cup.


With the first race of the season done and dusted the team head to Lourdes for the first World Cup. Morale is high and the guys are ready to race on the biggest stage there is for downhill. All this, the team, the truck, sponsors the whole shebang doesn’t come easily though and we caught up with team manager Ben Reid to find out exactly what he has to do before and during a race weekend. That will be live on the site soon so keep them peeled!

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