A bit of a flashback to last weekend – this report got lost in the post but we had to share it as Orange/Dirt team rider Jacob absolutely smoked ’em!
Orange Dirt World Team Report: Bala BDS
Words: Caldwell Visuals
Photos: Ian Lean Photography
After a short break from racing once the team got home from Leogang. Bala, (Rhyd-y-Felin) was upon us.
In all honesty, I think people expected typical Welsh weather (so rain is what I’m saying), especially on a very exposed northern hillside. Wales however provided some of the biggest dust clouds ever seen in the UK, big enough to shield vision at points of the track, with riders having to stop to regain any form of self awareness. Typically however it did end up raining on Saturday night, which resulted in one very large skid pan at the bottom of the track on the flat grass corners Sunday morning. Riders were sliding like penguins left, right and centre whilst Phil and Jacob managed to keep her upright and bring home some great results after everything dried up on Sunday afternoon.
Each time the boys went for a run, the ground conditions were different. Mechanic Derek was flat out changing tyres based on last minute decisions to suit the conditions. This was probably crucial in helping both boys gather good results.
Open Gallery5 Images
“When we arrived on Friday it was so powdery. Saturday practice was amazing, I was hitting everything and you could feel the dust and roost all over the place, blowing corners up and I was in a really good mood. That was until Saturday night when the track turned into a swamp. The dust turned to clay and first run down I was full lock sideways opposite lock trying to hold her up chattering along the bottom turns, laughing so much. Seeding went well, I remember catching Fraser (Mcglone) up just out of the woods and he was sideways, then I could see Brad (Swinbank) sliding along the field like a penguin further on. For race run I went a wee bit harder but not that much, kept her steady and ended up taking the win by 6 seconds, which I’m really happy with. I feel like I have some momentum now and hopefully we can transfer winning ways to the world cup next weekend!” – Jacob Dickson
“We’re sat here on the top of the Peugeot Partner and just packing up after Bala. The track was amazing, like moondust on Saturday. Not challenging but so much fun to ride. There was only one line really so not too much to worry about, so I was pretty confident. It got really eventful on Sunday morning though, you’d be lucky to get down the hill without your front wheel clogging up. I qualied 11th I think and that was with hitting a tree and going through the tape – pretty average. Race run I had a great top section, I hit a stump on the woods with the chainring and both feet came off, so that wasn’t the best but it could have been a lot worse. Pinned the rest and came across the line 9th which I’m happy with!” – Phil Atwill
By the time you read this we’ll probably be in France, Switzerland or Europe somewhere (Edit: Yep! Lenzerheide!). But that’s BDS round 4 over and she was a success for the team indeed. Here’s to hoping there’s dust clouds here next year, makes a good change to the usual Welsh conditions.