We catch up with the Dirt Orange team of Jacob Dickson, Phil Atwill and Izak Leivsson after their recent trip to the Leogang World Cup.
Photos: Johan Hjord Photography (Keith Valentine: Dickson riding shot)
After a wet and wild Fort William, the boys headed down to Austria on what is annually a bloody massive drive… 1300 miles to be precise from Fort William, Scotland to Leogang, Austria. After sleeping most of the way whilst team manager Ben (Reid) and mechanic Derek took on driving duties (we only stopped for fuel), we arrived at Schladming on the Tuesday Morning. You’ll be able to check out what went down there later this week on Dirt. We then hit Leogang on Thursday night (a bit late) as we were far too magnetised to Schaldming’s (better) hill. Plagued with mech problems, mechanic Derek was flat out all weekend overcoming the issues he faced and kept the boys going smoothly.
The first impression from the team was surprisingly positive – with several new bits of natural and rooty track added in, the boys were excited to tackle the woods. Phil was looking wild on the bike, as usual. Ruthlessly ploughing the roots and taking some different lines to others, hope were high when he came through in 8th in timed training. Qualifying rolled around and whilst he was eager to perform, he came in too hot to the first turn, and ended up with his bike on his back, tangled up. Ben watched from the top as the crash unfolded, looking at his entry speed and thinking, “if he gets out of that corner, the boy is a monster”. After nailing the rest of his run, it still wasn’t enough.
Check the word from Phil:
“Raceday in Leogang, I’ve been quite productive really, I slept in a bit and hung around the pits and did some washing up in the truck, bit of cooking and cleaning bikes. Shame I didn’t qualify to be honest but it’s been good to chill out.”
Jacob’s Leogang story however became smiles all round with his first World Cup podium. After feeling solid on track all weekend, he proceeded to qualify 3rd, three-seconds off 1st place. Word began to spread about the potential for his first WC podium, and so he did it. Jacob looked as focused as ever on race day, but only came through split 1 in 6th position. He must have ridden a stormer of a middle section to come through split 2 in 2nd, and then proceeded to take the hotseat at the bottom with only two riders remaining. Laurie Greenland failed to take the hotseat, but only Aussie boy Crimmins denied Jacob the win.
Jacob was more than ecstatic to get a 2nd and a first World Cup podium. See what he has to say:
“I just tried to relax and stay calm, I had a plan in my head, what Wyn (Masters) said to me. He said, ‘you’ve got to get a win in downhill as Greg Callaghan has one up on you.’ I was down at split one and I thought it was because I’m light and didn’t carry as much speed. I was a second down and then I made that up in the bottom half of the track and came across the line three seconds up, so people were saying I had a really good bottom half. A real good day for me though.”
Isak gathered a fair bit of media coverage over the weekend too, due to mainly throwing scrubs left, right and centre. A track that he was enjoying much more than previous years, Isak had a tumble in practice, cutting his shin open and bloodying up his new shoes! Not to worry however, he then qualified in 77th position with another crash in the woods and secured a place in finals. A bit more bad luck came about in finals however. Isak was on what he felt was a fast run – only to be red flagged near the bottom of the track and forced to do a re-run (and yes, after the pedally section). His re-run was plagued with bad wind up top, but still managed to secure a top 40 with 40th, and was happy to pick up some points.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Two race runs today, so very tiring. I got red flagged just after the wallrides, so I wasn’t too happy about that. I’d pretty much done the whole physical section of the course, pretty bummed. I did two pretty consistent runs, but the first one would have been quicker, less wind than the second run and I felt fresher. I ended up 40th – I’d like to be higher, but I’m happy to pick up some points. I recovered from the injury pretty quickly, and just had blood on my shoes, so that looked gnarly, ha!”
The team is now heading home, crossing Germany and then a week off… much needed downtime, before hitting the next round of the BDS at Bala and then the next stop of the World Cup at Lenzerheide, Switzerland. See you at the races!”