Dirt Orange World Team Diary #1
The season has kicked off and the team are banging around Europe in the Vampire Deluxe, their new media man Tom Caldwell has fired over this diary entry from the team about their first few weeks on the road. Alex Gann has been on hand with the stills camera and all these shots are his. Over to Tom…
So after we kicked things off at the first round of the BDS, the team trucked on down to the south of France. By trucked, I mean foot hard down through the night, France was calling!
Before getting to the race, we stopped off about half an hour from Lourdes, at a place belonging to a friend of Ben’s called Andy Norwood. He had an array of motorbikes, crossers, the odd v8 and a Lancia Delta Integrale sitting in the corner for good measure. He grabbed all of the bikes from his barn, gave them some TLC, and let us be big kids and play for a day up in the 80 acre wood behind his house. I’m not sure we could’ve had a better start to the Lourdes trip, and this gave us a great morale boost after the 30 hour Scotland to Pyrenees haul.
After the day of play, we hit Lourdes with full force. Pits straight up, track walk and settling in to this very ‘holy’ part of the world. The team were beyond stoked with the new track, as was every other racer there. With this good news, came the bad. Bondy was about to fly out until the French Air Traffic Control strikes knocked him back by cancelling his flight and not offering him another one. Swings and roundabouts, eh.
With practice day over, the boys were fired up to race it, both Phil and Jacob knowing anything could happen on such an unpredictable, 2 inch deep of dust covered track. They both finished off a cracking day in the sun by visiting the supposedly sacred holy water, where it seems you’re not allowed to do anything. Are you allowed breathe there?
Race day rolled around with the sun out once again, baking the hillside further with 25 degree heat. With Jacob up first, check out the word from him;
‘The weekend of the first World Cup for me was okay, not brilliant though, could have been a lot better, but you can’t have it your way all the time, that’s the way I look at it. I qualified 4th with a really solid run. I could’ve gone faster but I just wanted to get down in one piece. I hurt my upper back in practice before qualifying, and this healed a tad before racerun, but it wasn’t 100%. I still thought I could do well though, but my run just didn’t go to plan and I pulled my brakes in places I shouldn’t have. I’m off back to the mainland now to put in a hard months training ready to take on Fort Bill in a few months.’
As you’ll see in the first episode of Life Off The Mainland, Phil has turned into somewhat of a rap god over the course of this trip. He had a solid yet steady weekend which ended up being stark naked, here’s what he had to say;
‘Well, I’m sitting in the van now at the start of a short and sweet 17 hour drive home from the holy waters of Lourdes to just north of London! It’s been a week full of ups and downs. I bloody loved the track from the word go, and felt really good aboard the Orange all week. It was time for race run and I was fired up, but she wasn’t to be. A few bits of the run were really good, but struggled to carry speed and generally went to steady. I just blew corners up instead of railing them. Aside that, on Monday we dusted the bikes off once more, pushed aside the tired eyes and headed back up the hill for some filming on the other tracks Lourdes has to offer, and that certainly put a smile on my face!’
Mr Derick Davoren is new to the team this year, but has already got a solid name within the team for doing things one way, and that’s the right way. From Ireland (South of the border in Mexico and Ben and Jacob like to say), he’s had the bikes in tip top condition all week on this rocky, unforgiving track. Check out a few words from him;
‘The first thing that comes to mind is what an epic two weeks. A lot of prep had to be done with the boys coming out of hiding from the winter. The bikes needed a good seeing too and I’ve been fitting all the new trick parts courtesy of the sponsors (bling bling). Mechanical wise, AE forest was a breeze, with only a puncture. We acquired the Schwalbe Pro-Core system after this race so that certainly wouldn’t happen again. We then headed south to the bike-batteringly rough track that Lourdes offers. I knew I was in for a busy week, however the Pro-Core system ensured no flats and not one wheel had to be straightened all weekend. Being my first season on the world cup circuit, the other team’s mechanics were really welcoming and helpful. That’s it for now, Fort Bill BDS next.
So that’s Lourdes ticked off. The favourite of many for a long time, and certainly for the Orange Dirt boys. Home is near, and now preparation begins for the fans favourite, Fort William. See you there!