George brings us his ‘race’ report from the HSBC National Downhill Series Round 5 / SDA Round 5 – Ae Forest
“It’s your worst nightmare this isn’t it?” Binnsy isn’t wrong. After two days of glorious sunshine and dusty trails we’re on the first uplift on Sunday morning and it’s bucketing it down. The dust is already turning to slop, I can picture the roots all polished up and ‘The Elevator’; Christ, I don’t even want to think about that.
Welcome to Ae for what is both the final National of the season and the final round of the SDA Series so, there’s a lot to play for! Not for Binnsy or myself of course but for others. We’ve raced Ae seven times over the last five years and the uplift’s never been great; from 60-seater coaches going off the road to a huge chunk of riders booking last minute at the SDA race earlier this season. Thus, with the Adrenalin Uplift running on Friday we head up a day early to grab an extra day of sneaky practice. We get eight runs in whilst the SDA team mark out the track and what a track it is! It’s short, taking pretty much the most direct route down the hill at every opportunity; finishing with the ‘Step Down’, the double with the landing that’s higher than the take off and then the aforementioned ‘Elevator’; a 50ft+ ‘as close to vertical as you would ever want to ride’ drop into the finish.