Hello everyone! Well its been about a week since the last update and it's been a really good one! I was off work and with the weather being as good as it has been I got out and rode every day, it has been pretty windy, but a morning session on the road bike, then hanging out with Alec and Warren through the afternoon to relax and a BMX session in the evening I had a cool time, I felt pretty strong, and reasonably confident for the national in Wales.
I drove down on the Friday morning with Lauren and the journey which is just shy of 200 miles took a little under 3 hours. I helped Lauren put her tent up, then went to ride the track, there were a few people there already and the session was a great deal of fun, we stayed there for about 4 hours, most of which i spent on the pro section, which was awesome. The track is great, a superfast downhill 1st straight with a tall step up with a nice steep landing, into a long low set of doubles, into a massive step up triple. The key here is to pick up nice and early and jump the double on top, which in itself isn't that small! Round the tarmac of turn one into the 2nd straight, a double, into a step up, step down into a long step up double, round turn 2 into the 3rd straight, which splits off right for the pro section, a long triple into a super steep double with no middle, a nice steep landing and into the next pro jump witch was as lippy but didn't have as nice a landing. The AM line on the 3rd straight is just 3 tiny doubles which are real hard to squash at speed. The last straight is tight, deep and very tech, races were won, and lost on this straight.
Late on friday Tuffy arrived and after warming up said he was thinking about jumping the entire step up triple into the 1st turn, this thing is huge! He pretty much nailed it after a couple of run ins, and it was freakin' awesome! I was tired, but buzzing off what i just saw, i had a couple of runs and felt fast, so thought to hell with it, go big, or go home! I was flying down the 1st straight but on trying to squash the 2nd double i tapped it, losing some speed, i then didn't pedal, on the take off i decided i wasn't going fast enough, but i was going far too fast to get through it clean, i got bucked off and thrown to the tarmac, in my potty and a tee shirt. Oof! I was okay, but i twisted my hip a bit and tore my back up.. i messed about on the pro section for a bit longer to beat the demons and then retired for a shower and some food.
That night i hung out in the bar with Tony Da Butcher, Scott Dick, Coach Lewis, Callum (happy 17th buddy!) and a few of the mid lanc crew, a good laugh!
Saturday was good fun, more sunshine and a good hour open practise, not really in need of track time, i focussed on the big step up triple, my first attempt wasn't pretty a front wheeler, i have no idea how i held on, but i went back to start hill knowing i had to pull lots, its about a 5 foot step up, maybe more, and over that sort of length you need to pull.. Attempt 2 i was over it smooth as a buttun, i was stoked! I had another go at it and floated it, absolutely buzzing! i don't there has ever been a jump that scared me more than that thing!
It was about a 5 hour wait until our gate session, so i went checked my bike over trued my wheel (haha) and ate some food. Gates went well and i felt pretty good. We then had a fund raising pump race for Stephen Murray, that was a lot of fun, i went out early, just chilling, and took over the commentary, which i enjoyed! I think £146 was raised, every little bit helps. Stay Strong Stephen!
The one shit thing was no class other than pro being allowed to jump the pro section in racing, this was bullshit, but rules are rules.. the AM line of the 3rd straight is so small its dangerous! Pro sections should be optional!
Saturday night had some pro food and got my sleep on for the big race on Sunday. I got up nice and early to sort eerything out, warm up properly, do some stretching and eat a good breakfast. Moto 1 was a mess, i ended up tangling with everything and everyone and finished in 6th, i was bummed, but moto 2 came about and i got a 2nd to Cal, it was a stacked moto so it gave me a boost. Moto 3 was again pretty stacked and i managed to get 2nd again, so with 10 points i made the semi nicely. I got 5th pick which allowed me a choice on lane 3, Tuffy next to me in 2 and Issit in 4.. Sheesh.
Me on plate 6 in moto 2.. Having it!
I got a good gate but Tuffys was incredible, but then disaster he slipped and fell off his pedals, TUFFY OUT i thought, i was backing him from the beginning! Flem was leading it into turn one with me on his inside Issit had a mint 2nd straight and pulled by me for a slight lead putting me in 3rd, i knew Tuffy would be fookin' having it, and sure enough, down the last straight he came by me like i was stood still, Tuffy 3rd, and DC in 4th into the main. It was good enough for me, i just hoped with Tuffys 3rd he could get a decent enough lane pick.
Semi Final, Flem in 1, Me in 2, Goodman 3 Issit in 4th.. Where the hell is Tuffs?!
Come main time i was forced into the exile that is lane 7 with Richardson in 8 I think, I wheelied out of the gate all the wa to the 10 meter line - Nooo! I then managed to ram Flem in turn one, who by this point i think had given up the title chase, i passed Flem in the last turn for a pretty poor 7th (out of 23 on the day), but still double points mattered and being in the main meant i ended the year with the National Number 7 plate!
Tuffy kept Calum at bay and managed to take the race and the National Number 1 plate - I was totally stoked for the youth, he's had a tough couple of years recently, and he got a break, he totally deserved it. Nice one youth!
All in all an awesome weekend, a top 8 finish, nailed that massive jump, had good sessions on the pro section and had a pretty fun time with everyone!
One more race to go, the British Champs in Burnham in 2 weeks time.. Time to get my A-game on point!