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WC RD8 Schladming, Austria

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Schladming is a track that Ben can do and has done well on in the past, and with this years track being just a fun as previous years, he was super excited to get up there as soon as practice started. The bike was working perfectly for this track and he was feeling comfortable with his line choices very early on which allowed him to keep an eye on how they changed with the huge number of riders throughout the weeks practice.

Ben managed to put in the fasted time of the day in top 80  timed practice and when qualifying came around he knew he had the ability to seed well as long as he stayed safe and didnt crash which would have ruined his chances of making the top 80 cut. Seeding started in the afternoon so we checked his start time and began the warm up process with loads of time to spare…Or so we thought.

I told ben his run was at 2:59:30 but muct have misread the sheet as his proper start time was 2:49:30 unknown to us. So after getting ready and double checking every bolt on the bike, we sent him off to the gondola with what we thought was an easy 20 minutes before his run. On the way up above the track he felt that something was wrong, given the numbers that were passing beneath him were getting closer and closer to the 41 that he had for this race. As the gondola reached the top of the hill and was swinging into the gondola station, he saw number 39 leave the start hut! S**T!

He kicked the doors open, raced down to the start line and had to barge in front of rider 42, Nathan Rankin, who was in there ready to set off for his run. Ben had 20 seconds to get his goggles on and then away he went! After all the panic and raised heart rates sitting in the gonodla, Ben managed a clean fast run and qualified in 8th spot. for the race on sunday. Things were looking good at last.

Race day came about in what seemed like a blink of an eye and we made sure he left the pits with plenty of time to spare this time. Ben started off, knowing that the rider that would be following him down the hill was current world champion, Steve Peat. He got off to a good start and nailed the first top section, but just after the first road crossing, he attacked a loose right hand rut and as he popped out of it, the front wheel just pushed away from him sending him down a grassy bank and a few metres away from the track. He tried to pick himself up as quickly as possible and get going again but he knew it was over from there on.

He came across the line in 38th spot in the end and was bitterly disappointed knowing that he could have been easily inside the top 10 and quite possibly on a podium spot had things been different. at least this shows what is possible for next year here and luckily all of the tracks should be a similar style to Schladming so that is something to look forward to over the off season.


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2009 Crankworx Garbanzo Downhill

Monday, August 10th, 2009

We got into Whistler village on sunday night after a hectic rush from Bromont. Then spent the next few days riding, partying and keeping up to date with Bens “face Book arranged meets” before the first race came about. The weather had been dry as a bone for the past few weeks here in Whistler but there was all of a sudden rumors of the rain coming just in time for the elite mens start. The rain pretty much held off for the whole day with only a few damp patches on the track which didnt cause too may hairy moments.

Baltic pushed a run out with the big number 50 plate strapped to his bars, and came across the line with a time of 14:34:73 placing him in 17th place overall. The fastest time of the day was recorded by Kiwi Justin Leov at 13:44:55.

The next race for Ben is the canadian open next sunday so there is plenty of time to practice if the weather holds up.

Ben Reid regains Irish Championship title

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Sunday 19th july saw the Irish National Championships come to the wicklow mountains just south of Dublin and a massive turn out made for an awesome weekend. After being unable to attend the Championships last year, Ben was feeling bad about not holding the title and adding to his unbeaten record. This year he was on a mission!

The track was fast and fairly straight forward so it and after practising along side fellow irish legend, Glyn OBrien, Baltic was on for a good result and was planning on putting a few seconds into the competition.

There was a 2 run layout with the fastest time of the two, counting towards the final results. After 1st runs, Ben was sitting in 1st place with a 4 second lead ahead of last years winner Colin Ross. Ben – 2:09:614, Colin – 2:13:641

He knew he had a few more seconds in the tank and when second runs came round he knew what had to happen. Around the halfway point he pushed the front wheel out on a flat turn and laid the bike down on the dirt. After bouncing straight up again he pinned it for the rest of the run and came across with a slower time of 2:12:290

The rest of the pack were unable to better either of his times so he took the win and missed most of the awards ceremony as the anti-doping  truck was further away than he thought.

Were flat out today now getting packed up and ready to hit the road tonight in order to catch out flight to Canada for next weeks world cup round in Mt St Anne.

Just Reid at Maribor, Slovenia Video

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Thanks again to John Lawlor for the video

UCI World Cup RD5 – Maribor, Slovenia

Friday, June 26th, 2009

After leaving the European Championships a few hours away, we arrived in Maribor and drove to the top of the hill during a heavy thunder storm. This wasn’t the sort of weather that we were used to in Slovenia and definitely wasn’t the sort of weather that we wanted to enjoy for the rest of the week.

 

Luckily the weather cleared up and turned into 34 degrees of blistering heat for the first day of practise which kept the track super dry and dusty, leaving the lake as a last resort for riders to cool off in.

 

Baltic Ben Reid got on well in practise at the start of the week and was getting very comfortable with his lines early on. Then on Saturday morning what was meant to be a day of practise and qualifying, was turned on its head as a severe storm rolled in and flooded the track. After a few riders had come down and scraped the sticky mud off the top of the track, it then became quite good fun with plenty of grip under the water. Qualifying was unfortunately cancelled on Saturday due to lightening putting the gondola at risk so we all got to clock off early and try to dry out enough clothes for an early start on Sunday morning.

 

The schedule had been altered and qualifying was now to be held on Sunday morning, and luckily the track had dried up a lot by the time it started. Ben put in a steady run but wasn’t happy with it as there were a few mistakes that he knew he could improve on. He qualified in 18th place and headed back to get ready for his race run in a few hours time.

 

Race runs came about very quickly but everyone was starting to get a bit tired by that stage due to the early start. Bens race run started off with a silly mistake at the first corner where he came to a stand still in the berm. Ben then decided it was all or nothing and felt he was riding like he did when he had his top ten finish in 2007. He had made up a lot of time in the technical sections and as he appeared on the big screen at the finish line coming into the rock section, it all started to go wrong.

 

He slipped his front wheel on the skinny rock take off near the bottom and this sent his weight onto the front wheel and he steered off towards the barriers.

After struggling with the bike for a few seconds, he got back on track and finished the rest of it at mach 10 to try and salvage what he could.

 

He finished up 58th place overall and was bitterly disappointed knowing that he was likely to finish top 10 with the run that he was on.

After taking what we could from the race, were ready for the 2 rounds in Canada and are eager to get practising and hopefully return to form to make all of the hard work worthwhile!

See you in Canada eh…

Scruff Gang Initiation – Mitch Delfs

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

European Championships 2009, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Its Sunday evening here and the sun hasn’t stopped shining all week! The same cant be said unfortunately for Baltic who is feeling a bit deflated this evening after getting his only puncture of the week only 60 seconds into his race run.

Here’s how the week went down…..

 

We left Fortwilliam and drove non stop for 1500 miles with fellow Ironhorse pilot Nathan Rankin on board. We arrived late on Tuesday night in the little village and didn’t take long to get straight to bed to catch up on some long awaited sleep. Wednesday arrived in no time and we met the rest of the Irish Team as they arrived in the evening, bringing with them a little care package of Tetley Tea bags to replenish the thunder truck stock levels which had dwindled to a scary level.

 

We were then able to carry out some testing on our new prototype scruff gang ‘initiator gun’. The old faithful ‘initiator block’ had been left at home so the latest weapon was picked up just before we left Scotland. A full test run write up will follow soon, but for now, we are pleased to report that the prototype seems to be working a treat and should be ready for action at the next possible initiation opportunity.

 

Baltic and Nathan headed up for practise on Thursday and began to get used to the track. They were finding some fast lines in no time which allowed them to spend a lot of time just getting run after run in, ready for seeding on Saturday.

After seeding in 12th place, Baltic knew he had a good few seconds left to unleash on race day, so it was back to the hotel room to get some washing on in the shower before getting that Chinese laundry look going on in the bedrooms. It turns out there just aren’t enough door handles and light fittings to hang 5 sets of race kit and some socks on!

 

Race day came and after a rather hasty start, most riders only managed 2 practise runs if even that before the track was closed for racing. Rankin being a non European, got to race first and after a “big old downsky”, he cart wheeled across with a time of 4:08. Baltic set off out of the start gate with plenty of confidence, but was soon to feel the back end getting a bit soft. He ragged on for a bit longer, but by the time he hit the steep rooty section, there was no air left in the rear tube.

He rolled down sideways and came across the line in what was pretty much, dead last place.

 

Gutted…..!

European Champs, Seeding Results

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Its saturday here in Kransjka Gora, Slovenia and seeding has just finished in preparation for tommorrows European Championships. Baltic managed what he thought was a pretty scrappy run and a time of 3:58:80 placing him in 12th spot for the final.

Just Reid Race Team, Fort William Video

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Big thanks to John ‘eyeball’ Lawlor for the video.

Fort William Helmet Cam

Thursday, June 11th, 2009


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