May 9th 2004 - NPS UK Prem1er series Round 2 - Drumlanrig Castle Scotland.
6-4-2 results available on BC site in XL format
A Photo Gallery from the weekend is available on the BC site too Drumlanrig Photos
Jools from Singletrack waited patiently all race for me to crash, too hot for that today. Thanks to Jools for the Picture.
Nightshift NorthI poured my clothes and bike into the van after the swamp like FNSS race 1, and headed straight up the M6 for the Scottish borders. Already resolve was low, good job I'd pre-entered or the weakness would have been hard to fight.
Stopping only for a caffeine injection and a very welcome after race shower in the superb Tebay services in the lakes I trundled on. The Plumz wagon rolled over the magic 100,000 mark on the speedo, as I tried out the M6 toll to relieve the boredom. 3 am saw me bend swinging the swooping local roads, the Manic's blasting out as I fought manic headlight dodging bunnies and arrived at the superb Castle grounds. 5½ hours and £48 of fuel later, it better be worth it, happy birthday van.
By the time I surfaced at ahemm.. midday, it had been raining for hours, a quick brekkie and I caught the Elites after there first lap.
It was obvious the course was a mudfest, oh great. Ian Wilkinson was awesome that boys on a roll at the moment and his skills kept a hard charging Nick Craig at bay for a race win.
The finish area, with the awesome castle as a backdrop, had a great spectator point in a slippery off camber drop. This really showed the class of riders, some flew over it with out any trouble, while the majority crashed, tumbled and slipped down it. Ryan and Adi, well yellow jerseys seem to be affecting your riding skills boys, come on Nikki Harris rode that every lap. The boys struggled with the lead weight bikes but never packed (well not totally Ryan did you get lonely) and came home after 2 hrs 30 for about 33/34 th place. Should have done the 2 hour on Sunday lads, more fun.
Whilst trudging round I saw Smudger Smith, cut and bleeding badly he was not happy. With the prospect of casualty scrubbing out a deep cut of all the mud before stitching him up, who would be
Matt Barret Webster Cycles/WVW was ripping again, and came home 2nd in the Expert race, Are you sure we signed the right Matt Twinkletoes (only kidding mate).
Best laugh of the day was his teammate poor Lisa Hollingshead, she approached the drop and crashed into it, on it, got up threw the bike down, got on and then fell again.
Round the last corner and over the finish line and two more crashes had her blood boiling, the scream would have done any horror movie proud. Bet she's glad I could not hold the Video for laughing so much. Still she had the last laugh by sticking at it where others failed and came 2nd Expert lady.
Rob Lee too struggled, complaining of low power and feeling drained after the Enduro6 I'm relieved its not only me that though that event was such a killer.
A warm dry afternoon and the Short track approached, didn't last though right on que at 7pm it pissed down again.
Short track time:Quite low in entries this one, and suspiciously most of them were elites. I hope all the other riders aren't being scared off by the big boys, they can be beat.
This time its Cruz on big tyres, and super low pressures for grip.
Me and Adi lined up in a group of 4 for a quarter final, great we though a roll through qualifier to save energy. No chance said organiser Martyn Salt, its only 3 to go through for you boys. I got a great start and led for a lap.... well that's the one and only time I'll ever lead a national race. The cheers behind showed that Adi had crashed, so I eased up and cruelly just waited for him to tease him into thinking he had a chance. As it was they lied to keep us in the lactic burn rather than chill out and we all went through.
Semi final time and Me Adi and Ryan were all in the mix together, Ryan having disposed of an ex-BMX world champion no less in Shockwaves ringer Xavier Redo.
Again I hit an inside line in turn one, and blasted out a comfy second behind Jody Speedmachine. Feeling really good I started to kick into the second lap, yahoo 6 Elites eat my shorts, and suddenly Twang, and I'm going sideways.
A Halfords pro geeza had stuck his pedal into my rear wheel, 2 spokes and a rim trashed, and a locked up wheel, whassup...track not wide enough for you. Gutted! Adi and Ryan you were dead meat boys.
Ryan got through and let Jody Crawforth win again, ummm..wonder if thats why he pulled out of the Elite race early.
So as the Racers boogied the night away I was left with some rapid repair work for tomorrow, and yes its still bloody raining. Can't get any worse though.
Well if you don't count the gashed shin whilst tripping over a guy rope naked in the dark, or slamming the van door on my fingers it couldn't.
I've got a funny feeling about tomorrow.
|Sunday dawned after a whole
nights rain, a birthday breakfast of gigantic proportions was needed. Tyres for
today, well Panracer fire XC 2.1's of course, the only choice......no the ONLY
choice, I stupidly had brought no others, better take a un-clogging stick with
me. Happy Birthday to me.
Trek 6 hour starts are cool, a nice relaxed roll off, none of this stupid running lark, who's in a rush. Untill the first descent that is when I decide I've had enough and need some fun. Overtaking in the ferns a big whole swallows my front wheel and 500 metres into the race I'm over the bars, DOH
The course had been changed and lengthened from Saturdays races, treacle like mud on most of it kept the speeds low, some of the descents felt like riding on snow at speed.
I passed Dave Clarke towards the end of lap 1 and made my days targets, a finish whatever the pace, and to beat him.
One lap in 1 hr 4 mins, and already the brains working overtime, allowing for slowing down in time I might just make 6 laps. That would mean a ride time of 7 hours plus, forget it, I'm not doing any more than 5.
With that in mind I left the gears in Granny only and the brain in roots conquering mode. Every lap was a challenge to clean as much as the very technical and sticky track as possible, the time just flew by. Of course just when you need it, there was no more rain, as the course dried it got thicker and thicker and cloggier.
5 laps done and arriving at the arena with 5 mins to spare, I chilled with 4 hour winner Dave Collins, and 6 hour winner Ian Wilkinson joined us for a short track blast to the line for the 6 hour bell, I made sure I was first over the line though, result.
6th place and some Trek goodies was the reward for the days fun, yes it had been after all.
Seeing the 5th place man come in after 7 hrs 15 mins, I had a clean bike, packed van and a large Jacket and beans in front of me, Oh yes top plan.
Sherwood Pines here we come.
How do they still work in all this ?
6 hours of finest Scottish Gloop and the Superlight passes yet another extreme test.
So many suffered with gears and problems, the pink one never missed a beat. I love this bike.
Pic. thanks to Phil Ingham from BC Photo Galleries
|Trek 6-4 -2 Enduro Course for Drumlanrig, how steep was that last section. wicked.|
|Singletrack Article now available and lookie here I seem to
have sneaked in a couple of photos.
Here's me and DC before I try to take him out as I flew over the bars.