The season has certainly kicked off with a bang for me, last weekend was Sea Otter and this weekend i raced our first UK National of the year.The NPS is under new managment this season and i must say it was refreshing to see a good buzz around the pits and a professional set up for the racing.The whole event was made better by having a international field of riders here too, Greg Minnaar, Julien Camelini, Marc Beaumont, Brendan Fairclough and Gee atherton just to name a few.

Innerlithen was the venue, i have raced and practiced here for many years now and the place has never let me down.The track this weekend was one of the hardest we have had there as there were quite a few new sections which took lots of bedding in, each lap there would be boulder size rocks rolled into lines which made it hard to flow good.

Sat was practice and seeding runs, i got 4 runs in and didn't feel like i had learnt too much, i knew i had to go steady in the top woods as it was easy to make mistakes.My seeding went well, i just had a solid run with no mistakes and cruised over the line in top spot.It was the juniors who set the pace for the day though and Josh Bryceland set the fastest seed of the day, 1 second up on me.

After a good bonfire and a few Beers i settled down for some kip.

I got a few practice runs in on Sunday morning and started feeling better and better on the track, Rick Clarkson and i worked hard to get the bike set up spot on and things just got better.I could see the likes of Marc and Gee were well up for this race, in fact it was funny to see the nerves showing through so early on in these guys.

When finals time came around i felt pretty relaxed and just went out and had fun, i tried not to attack too hard on top of the track as it was easy to make mistakes and hit the tight trees.My run was pretty good allthough i felt too cautious in a few spots, being the last guy down is always good as you know if you have done it as soon as you cross the line.The huge crowds went crazy and i had it in the bag, Gee was second by almost 3 seconds and Marc was third.Greg had a crash up in the woods and i am not sure of any other results yet.One of the rides of the day has to go to another junior "Ruaridh Cunningham" he set the second fastest time of the day just beating Gee.If only Josh had not have crashed twice he might have gone fastest in the junior catorgory!! Look out for these boys.

The podium was good and the pits soon got packed away, i had a good feeling driving home, not just cos i had won ,but the UK race scene is at its healthiest and this has been a good weekend for racing, Bring on the next one.

Thanks to Rick and all my sponsors for the support.

Cheers to the organisers and Marshalls. - Steve

Results can be found here sometime today.

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia