Dirt Orange World Team: BDS Round 2 Team Diary

It’s a long old track down Aonach Mor

The boys trucked north last weekend for the second round of the British Downhill Series in Fort William. With the World Cup in the same location just weeks from now it’s a good time to get your eye in on this classic track and prepare for the battering that threads down Anoch Mor.

Ben Reid takes up the story…

Great weekend had by us all here at Orange Dirt World Team up in Fort William for BDS round 2. As most teams did we used this race to test bike settings and as a good warm up for the World Cup there later this month. Up lifts were running smooth with no big queues to wait around in and with practice open till 6pm on Saturday there was a ton of time to dial in the set up.

Ben dropping into the greased rocks in the top section

The track was riding well and started out relatively smooth but with close to 400 riders on it things cut up pretty quick into the rough Fort William race track we are used too. The weather couldn’t make up its mind and it was T-Shirt and rain jacket weather all weekend. I don’t recall having any run-ins with the miggie crew so that was a bonus.

Harry does the commentary as me and Jacob send it down the track in practice.

I hadn’t ridden my DH bike since BDS Rd1 6 weeks before so I was excited to be at another race were I could drop the managers hat and enjoy riding my bike again, I was surprised how good I felt on the bike having not ridden all winter and as expected fitness was the hard part to deal with in a full run on such a long track, none the less I am really enjoying my position as manager/rider and being able to help Harry and Jacob, although I was also racing my main focus was to ride the track along side Harry and Jacob to have another set of eyes on what can be done to improve our approach at the World Cup when we are back there again next month. Myself and Jacob rode together and had the track pretty well figured out after a few runs, mean while we all compared lines and setup in the pits and it was great having the team working together.

Jacob pushing through the top turns in front of the gondola station

As a first year junior and with a stacked field we set Jacob’s target as a top 5 for this race which we felt would be tough for him on that track yet well achievable. Jacob wanted to put in a steady seeding run to gauge were he was at and didn’t want to lay it all on the line so that he could go into finals knowing he had more in the tank, he did just that and seeded in 6th which was a great seeding result for the wee man knowing he had held some back, the sky decided to empty as the juniors were racing so they had the worst visual conditions out of all the categories, it was torrential rain as Jacob came down and he wasn’t kidding about holding some back as he knocked a massive 7 seconds off his time from seeding and taking the top 5 he set out to achieve with a solid 5th place. The top 5 times were tight and with another 2 seconds shaved off he would have came home in 2nd, knowing we still have lots we can improve on between now and the World Cup things are looking good for the young Ulster man from Dromore.

Target achieved, Jacob lands 5th just weeks ahead of the World Cup

Jacob gives us his reaction

I am really happy with how my weekend went I am over the moon with 5th place in the Juniors with such a big field of riders. All weekend I was riding with Ben which I think brought me on a lot, for someone who has not done any training this year he still is a flying machine and I couldn’t thank him enough for having me on the team this year. For my seeding and race run it rained so heavy so it was roll off’s all the way. I really enjoyed my weekend with the team and couldn’t thank them enough for having me there and I couldn’t of done it if it wasn’t for all my sponsors.

And Bazza was pretty happy too…

Eyes on the prize, Heath firing down Aonach Mor

The whole weekend has been really good progress and work put in for the World Cup here in a few weeks and the bike was feeling awesome. Had a mechanical near the bottom in seeding but had a really good split time from that run and then a few issues in my race run going 2 seconds slower at the split than my seeding. Not being far from the top ten with what is pretty much a full World Cup top ten and with room for improvement keeps me fired-up. The team has been brilliant and really happy with the direction everything is going so thank you to everyone at the Orange/Dirt World Team.

Check out this gallery from Laurence Crossman-Emms of the team in action


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