As the idea of the Orange Dirt World Team grew in the mind of Ben Reid he knew that within that nucleus he needed a ginger seed he could help grow and develop.
Ben's aim with the team is always big: tireless hard work through the winter months sorting everything from headline sponsors to how many tea bags to take (a lot!) he does it all. A big aim of Ben's was to bring on a young rider in which he saw potential, Jacob Dickson had been landing some good results in Ireland and Reid brought him on board for the 2014 season.
After some decent results through out the season (have a look at his Roots and Rain log here) he was chosen to be registered by the Irish Cycling Federation for the 2014 Worlds in Norway.
Jacob seemed excited about the track but went into his first Worlds with no big expectations just an aim to thread a solid line down the hill and land a good result. Jacob landed 3rd behind two of the fastest racers all season and in doing so he proved he could stick a good result on the board under the highest pressure situation. That's one hell of a start to your World Champs career. Jacob takes up the story.
Ben and I (along with and other Irish guy called Kipper) headed off to Norway on Tuesday for Worlds, this is my first ever World Champs and I couldn't wait for the day to come. We had to get up bright and early because our flight out of Dublin was at 6 am. We landed in Norway around 9am and the sun was shinning, we had a long drive ahead of us from the air port to Hafjell it was going to take about 3 and a half hours. We arrived at Hafjell about 1pm and the place was buzzing, there were so many people and this just made me want to ride my bike even more, so as soon as we got into the hotel we got my bike built.
The next day Kipper and I headed up before track walk and rode the other trails, which were amazing - especially one called roller coaster with massive jumps. We did 4 runs and then headed up for track walk around 1pm. The track looked class there wasn't much line choice on all of the flat out open stuff but when you got into the woods and there were so many lines and this was where you could win or lose the race. After track walk we headed back and had a relaxing rest of the day. The first day of practice came and I couldn't wait to get up the hill. My first run was really good - I felt so good on the bike and I knew I could do pretty well here because I felt so comfortable on the track, I got 5 runs in on the first day and it was probably the most fun I have had at a race.
On the 3rd which was seeding day on my second run I had the biggest crash of my life. I landed on my head so hard my go pro broke off, this was 45 mins before my seeding run so I was pretty shaken up after it and I managed to pull of a 9th in my seeding which I was happy with but I knew I could have done far better.
The final practice day I got a lie-in because our practice was after all the other categories which was good because we didn't have to ride in the damp of the morning dew for a change, which made it more like the conditions it would be in finals. On that day I got two runs in, the practice was only an hour but it was better than no practice, my bike and I felt really good on the track and I was looking forward to finals.
Finals day came and I couldn't sleep the night before because I was so excited and just wanted to have fun and show everyone what I could do, my race run was good but I made a few big mistakes and just told myself to relax, saying to myself "you want to get down in one piece", when I came down in the lead I was so happy - I couldn't believe I got 3rd at World Champs! I can't thank everyone enough and especially Ben for being there and for all his help this year and believing in me that I have the speed. With another year left as a junior I just can't wait until next year starts.
Here's a gallery of Jacob's shots from the weekend: