Round 3 of the SDA series from Aberfeldy 14/15 June Words and Pictures George “Wrecking ball’s bro” Jones
Round 3 of the Scottish downhill series brought a brand new venue for 2008; the Aberfeldy track can only be described as short, sharp and rocky. Split into two sections the top half of the track felt like a series of unforgiving rock drops linked by fast, soft, loose turns through the widely spaced trees. The lower half of the track dropped steeply through dense trees with a number of tight switch backs and rock gardens breaking up the near straight plummet to the finish.
After a rather undignified first practice run, I realised why the organisers were recommending that riders walk the coarse first. The track proved a challenge for pretty much all the riders, most taking at least a couple of falls over the weekend. The freshly cut track threw up new lines throughout practice and dry and dusty conditions meant that riders were split between dry tyres or cut down spikes.
Saturday evening was what UK races are all about; sunshine, BBQ and a few beers with most people camping in the field at the bottom of the hill. The highlight of the evening was probably the impromptu slalom event.
With the quick uplift service most riders were able to get three good practice runs in before the start of racing. Racing itself was spot on; the short track meant that the action was thick and fast. The speaker up on the hill allowed the spectators to follow the commentary and get more involved in the racing, why doesn’t this happen at more races?
First runs saw the fast boys going well under the two-minuet mark, with a blistering time set by Joe Barnes of 1:45.52. Those running spike tyres thought they may have the upper hand for the second runs as a couple of short showers rolled through, but the rain never really impacted on the dusty track. It was going to be difficult for riders to better their first run times on a track that was become more and more blown out, it became clear that the majority of riders were going a couple of second slower. Perhaps the thought of that little bit of rain sitting on those roots at the bottom of the track played on people’s minds.
So there we have it, a really inspiring track, technically challenging and most of all popular with the riders. No need to bore you with the full results you can find them out your selves. Thanks to the organisers for putting on such a well-run event and for all the work that went into securing the venue
George “The Soil Man” Jones.
Full results here.
Round 3 of the SDA series from Aberfeldy 14/15 June