Innerleithen National Downhill Series Rd2 Photo Gallery

by 0

Hannah went up to Innerleithen as chauffeur to her partner Fahzure. Being from the dry and dusty lands of Slickrock, where riding on muddy trails is considered bad for the trails, he’s barely ever ridden a bike in the rain before. So what better event to choose for his UK racing debut than the Scottish Downhill Association’s Innerleithen round of the BDS and Scottish National Series? Hannah took the camera.

On Saturday’s practice day there was still dry earth underneath, and it was possible to get down without looking like a laundry advert.

This section towards the end caused lots of trouble. A left hand turn off the usual track had you having to force yourself off the natural trail line and to one of three options on the left – a tight left into log drop then right turn, a wider right hand side line which left you with a tighter right turn, and a middle line that you had to get just right between to bar clipping trees. Lots of feet down, lots of pushing back up for another go, and plenty of ‘ooohs’ from onlookers.

Women’s Elite Aston Tutt goes for the left but takes the middle:

Making it to the log drop
26 ain’t dead, avoiding the log drop
Hitting the berm at the bottom caused the corner some serious wear and tear by seeding.
There was a lot of this.
The middle line looked the safest in practice on Saturday

Rain overnight and light rain in the morning on Sunday meant morning practice runs had very variable conditions – dry here, wet there, dry with a wet root everywhere.

A few runs into seeding, the turn after that log drop was causing problems. Something seemed to be catching riders, and the logs holding the berm up had been smashed away by crashes.

The seeding runs were put on hold and trail builders moved in to fix things up.

Trail fixed, it was time to get seeding underway again – the dusty roost wouldn’t be there by race time – and there was still plenty of foot out ‘ooh’ action for the watchers.

And then it rained some more, and seeding was another waterproofs wearing event.
Unless you’re men’s elite eventual winner, Roger Viera, and have plenty of clean pyjamas. This steep and slippery chute off the road into a tight right hand turn had a B line that was only fractionally less steep and made the right hand turn even harder. Plenty didn’t make either.
This ‘motorway’ section after the road gap was super fast, and super dark, and you had to resist the urge to jump high to keep the speed up – there were potential kickers, but just flat speed sucking landings.

The road gap in seeding – a chance to throw some shapes, or dead sailor it?

Conditions were slippery and sloppy by the time it got to race runs, with the heavens opening and dumping their contents on riders, spectators and the course for a solid hour, just as the first riders were sent down. It was a race run that really wasn’t over until you’d crossed the line, with plenty to trip you up even within the final 10 seconds of the course.

This steep turn had a lovely root in it, perfectly placed to draw you in to the tree, leading to plenty of clipped bars and pedals, a few hard rear triangle side whacks, and a couple of nasty flying crashes. Here’s a few ‘did they save it’ sequences

Even Making Up The Numbers’ George Thompson got in on the wild foot out action – he might have been disappointed with his riding this weekend, but we can give him points for effort:

Here’s Fahzure finishing his first UK race run. He was pleased to get a clean run, and came back up to watch from here, amazed that he’d managed to ride this trail.

All the results from the weekend are here. Does seeing this course make you want to have a go? Or maybe just go along and watch? There were plenty of spectators this weekend and it was great to see so many along to watch the action. Well done to all the riders – hope the clean up doesn’t take all week!


You must be logged in to reply to this topic.