Thanks again to John Lawlor for the video
Archive for June, 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…
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.
Big thanks to John ‘eyeball’ Lawlor for the video.
This is Adams take on the 2nd round of the British NPS series….
Late Friday Night Big Marv picked me and budgie up in his new people carrier pimp bus and we headed down to Llangollen in north Wales. We had booked a travel lodge which turned out to be a bit of a nightmare to find as we got there at 1am it was straight to bed for me ready for practice in the morning.
There was a lot of hype about the track so I was eager to check it out, a lot of people compared it to the Champery world cup, it was as steep in places but it just didn’t have the same flow or speed.
Anyway the track looked sick and was right up my street so I was feeling pretty confident, Big Marv on the other hand wasn’t but he was ready to give it his best shot on that new beast.
We headed for the uplift which seemed to be having some issues I managed 4 runs and I didn’t feel like I had stopped all day luckily I had settled in on the track pretty quick and I was feeling on the pipe by my 2nd run.
We headed back to the Travelodge and stopped by asda for some bargains and got fueled back up.
Things got wild at the Travelodge, Budgie would say things went too far but it was all fun with some play fighting and wrestling, Marv showing us his latest killer moves nearly dislocating Budgies arm after that he tried to suffocate me which I didn’t enjoy that much so I got a bite even jaws would be proud of.
Once we calmed down we watched scream and hit the sack ready for tomorrow, we woke up to another gorgeous day I decided to stick with my trusty swamp things 2.35s which have never let me down and they were hooking on that track, I got one practice run before qualifying and I decided to test my giro helmet by hitting a tree head on it wasn’t the best of starts and I’m surprised the tree was still standing.
Qualifying came around pretty quick and I got a bit to excited having 4 decent crashes and dislocating my knee in the process I was feeling pretty sick, I was going into finals with a broken wrist and now a hanging knee thank God there was no pedaling! After doing some crash math’s I realized if I stay on the bike at a good pace I could win this thing.
I was last in elite so 1st man down, feeling the pain calmed me down a bit but the 1st problem came 20secs into my run a nice right hander I decided to go straight on through the tapes right into some deep skinny loam this stuff must have been pushing 2ft deep, ten seconds lost there I reckon, so any way I got myself together and bashed on it was all going sweet I had a good flow but I was pushing that little bit to hard and one tight right off camber section I had pinned in practice I hit way to fast and went straight on when I should of turned left, I got the bike out quick probably only loosing 5 secs.
The lower section of the track was mega real open shale and it was blown to bits! I had checked it out before my race run and got a line spotted all I had to do was get it, it hit it perfect getting a beasty drift on the last right the crowd went mental it was pretty sick all I had to do was make it across the field and I was home and dry! I came across the line with a 2.01 which I was pretty shocked with It wasn’t a bad time but it could have been so much better but that’s how it goes. I ended up in 4th place it was my 1st podium in a while so I was pretty happy. Now I meet back up with the boys Ben and Ali, were looking forward to Fort William a lot of my friends are heading up from team Cumbria so I’ve got to do them proud! I’m resting my knee right up to the event but it’s off to the lake now to watch the boys do some lake jumping! Cheers
In 2008, fort William was a special race for us as it was as close as we get to home throughout the season. This year was no different.
The vibe was great from the very start of practise and the crowd were loud all weekend!
Madison had hooked us up again with more bright green tee shirts which flew off the shelf like hot cakes, along with posters that saw the two lads signatures unleashed throughout the event.
Practise went well for the team as they stuck to their lines from the start and egan to up the pace as time went on.
Qualifying came about very quickly with Adam unfortunately suffering a small mechanical near the top of his run which took away his ability to pedal the rest of the track. He had to push even harder on the steep bits to try and make up time but unortunately it wasn’t going to be possible on such a pedaly track. He came across the line just outside the cut off point for top 80 and was understandably gutted that he wouldn’t get to race.
Ben managed a clean run with no mechanicals ad qualified in 30th spot with a good idea of what he needed to do on race day.
Whilst Adam headed up the track to support his team mate and fellow riders, ben headed up to the start hut.
There were a few spots where he knew he could let the bag hang out and that’s what he needed to do to make up why he would lose on the fast pedaly sections.
He put a super smooth run together but infortunyely didn’t hang it out quite enough and ended up finishing ip with a big 38 beside his name.
Were headed for Slovenia now and will ave to try and push things that little bit further to get ready for the next world cup in Maribor.
After a good result in Switzerland, we hit the road to head towards the next round of the UCI world cup series. Fort William, Scotland.
We were almost there but decided rather than sitting in the car park for a few days scratching… (Lots of midgeys), we would stop of at Loch Lomond and unleash our secret weapons.
Our friend Christophe had recently had a leaflet posted through his door indicating a special offer on the infamous ‘Explorer 200’ and couldn’t wait to hit the shops and take ownership of his new vessel. Christophe was trucking over to Scotland at around the same time as us and our paths crossed around the Glasgow area. We had ourselves a convoy and it wasn’t long before we had spotted the perfect place to launch the ships!
A little lake side park with a jetty on the side of Loch Lomond was too irresistible to decline so we parked up and got stuck into inflating the 200s! There was a diverse group involved and many various inflation methods were unleashed in an unofficial race to be the fisrt man on the pond. Christophe had a multiway pump included with his purchase so he was off to a good start. Ben and myself decided to stay true to our roots and run the “blow ‘n’ plug method” which had taken us to success on a few previous occasions.
Before long we were kitted up and ready to row! Christophe a.k.a, “all the kit, far from lit” of obviously had the paddles included in his boat box, however we had failed to pack our, so our finest china plates were removed from the thunder trucks cupboard and were destined to become a pair of oars.
We cracked the champagne and launched at 1500 hours, with captain Reid leading out the platoon. Before long we had got to grips with the plates and were headed for the little island in the middle of the loch. We beached the ships and got the camera out to shoot some Facebook shots in the abandoned castle before moving on to the mine field of submerged rocks.
After negotiating the mine field we parted ways as Christophe circumnavigated the island and I towed the Baltic Sea dog back to shore after a plate dropping incident. Explorers in years to come may come across the sunken plate at the bottom of the loch and tell stories to their grandchildren of the adventures that have gone before them!
We finished our journey back at the jetty before a few quick splashes to rinse off the days action. We packed up and headed for the race taking with us some unforgettable memories and mega profile photos for face space!