British National Championships - Llangollen, 18/19 July 2015
National Championships is one that every racer dreams of winning at some point in their career! This year it was Llangollen playing host to the event with a new track for the race, which was steep, loose and technical, so surely would prove to be a hit with the riders. The team arrived on Friday and got the pits set up ready for the weekend. Over the second half of the season we have been including Will Jones in our pit set up, adding in an extra gazebo and giving everyone more space. Will is always the center of the banter and the mood is always high when he’s around! Saturday practice was an absolute blast for everyone! The track was bone dry and running fast, with a few blown out corners making it interesting and keeping everyone on their toes. Everyone was feeling fast and couldn’t wait for racing the following day. All of the riders were running spike tyres to dig into the loose dusty ground – Jack on his cut Schwalbe Dirty Dans and Jamie and Pete on the Bontrager GMud tyre. Everyone was hoping that this would be the event where Jamie’s season would take a turn for the better. Thankfully it was. With a steady seeding run staying on his bike he rolled down for 8th place in junior, and then stepping things up in finals he rode to an impressive 6th place. Unfortunately it wasn’t such a successful weekend for Pete, crashing at the bottom of his seeding run and damaging the AC joint in his shoulder and spending the rest of the day in Wrexham hospital. He’s crossing his fingers to be recovered in two weeks' time for the next world cup. Will went off the track in seeding and was down in 37th, but stepping things up in his race run and doing the time he aimed for, a 2.11, he finished in 25th place. Jack was feeling great all weekend and seeded in 3rd place behind Danny Hart and Sam Dale, knowing he had more in the tank for racing. He gave it everything in his race run, and minus a couple of mistakes due to pushing so hard, he had a great one and crossed the line with a 2.05 which was over 2 seconds faster than his seeding run. He was second through the split and amazingly in contention for the title of national champ with less than 30 seconds of track left to go! With a stall coming out of the last corner, he finished a still impressive 4th, only 0.8 of a second off the win! What a feeling for him and the whole team. We now can’t wait for Mont Saint Anne to see if he can keep stepping things up going into the last three world cups!
Moelfre - BDS 5 - 11/12 July 2015
With barely time to blink after getting home from world cup round 4, in Switzerland, it was time to head down to Moelfre for BDS round 5. Moelfre is a flat out track and in the right weather lots of fun! Everyone was hoping for no rain and no wind, but we’d be lucky! We all arrived Friday and after pit set up headed up the track to walk it and spot the lines. It looked really dry and dusty so we were all excited for practice in the morning. Everything ran like clockwork on Saturday. Jack got 10 runs done and it certainly seems like the BDS crew have put their uplift problems behind them! All the lads were riding well and looking forward to racing. Unfortunately the wind was quite strong and making riding the track flat out difficult, and the forecast for Sunday was the same. We had a load rain on Saturday night and first practice run was a bit slippery! However with the sun out and wind blowing an hour into practice the track was bone dry again. Team mechanic Alex Bennett of Ticky Bikes was in the pits all day on Sunday keeping the Trek Session 9.9s running perfectly and our Pacenti wheels running true! There is nothing like having a pro mechanic in your corner at a race weekend! Unfortunately Jamie had another disappointing weekend with crashes in qualifying and race runs. Pete put in a solid run and finished 21st getting more points on the board and now stands 19th in the series going into the final round. Jack had a good qualifying run with 4th place, only 2.6 seconds back. He was feeling great on the track and knew a win was possible with the perfect run. Going through the split in 4th place in his race run, only a second back, he was in contention going into the bottom section. Unfortunately he lost flow in the 4X jumps section, and with that valuable momentum and time. With that he finished 8th and disappointed, only 2 seconds off the win. Onwards to National Champs this weekend where we hope all our riders will stay on their bikes and have good race runs! Thanks to our sponsors: Trek, O’Neal, Pacenti Cycle Design, MRP, Works Components, Fusion Design Studio, Bontrager, Schwalbe, Mojo Suspension, Ticky Bikes, Dirt Factory, DNA Sports Performance, Rock Guardz, East Coast Air Brush, Rick Taylor, Adey Bennett, Mark Davies.
Lenzerheide, Switzerland - World Cup Round 4; 2-4 June 15
World cup round 4 at the new venue of Lenzerheide in Switzerland. Exciting stuff, as we all love a new track! Only Jack and Jamie headed out for this one because Pete has run out of UCI world cup points. When we arrived at the venue the pit set up was a complete joke. Our spot was almost a kilometrefrom the finish up a steep hill, which really wasn’t acceptable. Thankfully the organisers were very understanding and allowed the UCI teams like us that had been given the peripheral spots, to move into a field a little closer to the finish. The venue itself was perfect for a world cup. The track looked awesome, there was a beautiful lake resort, which was perfect for relaxing after practice, and the weather forecast for the whole week was sunny and hot. First day's practice went well for the lads, and Jack was 21st in timed practice and feeling fast. Qualifying day and usual stresses are hard on everyone. Practice went well for Jamie. He did a 3.28 timed helmet camera run which would be easily fast enough to qualify so he was feeling confident. Jack changed a few lines to shave off a few seconds and was up for a good qualifying and hoping to be in the top 20 and the points. Jamie once again couldn’t hold his nerve and crashed hard in the top section of the track, throwing away his final chance of the season to get into the finals. It was such a disappointment for him as he’s riding so well in practice. Jack had a good run, with a few wild moments, and came down into a solid 24th place. After a relaxing afternoon at the lake and an early night Jack was ready to rumble in the morning. After a couple of crashes in his first practice run due the nerves of race day, and then a couple of fast runs afterwards, he was ready to get going. He was aware conditions were fast and loose, with a high chance of a crash if you pushed too hard and got out of control, so decided to be smooth and fast to guarantee a good result. His run was almost perfect, with only one corner that he over-braked in, so he crossed the line with a 3.07 which was over 2 seconds faster than his qualifying and gave him his best ever world cup of 27th! He’s now 32nd in the series and looking forward to round 5 at Mont Saint Anne in 4 weeks' time.
Bala - BDS 4 - 27/28 June 2015
Bala is a firm favourite for UK racers because the track is so much fun. From jumps to tight wooded sections it has everything, and with the BDS guys doing a load of maintenance before the event, the track was looking great at the start of practice. Saturday was a really sunny, dry day and we had a blast riding the fast dusty track. With the uplift service running perfectly we all got loads of riding done and were feeling good on the track. Unfortunately right at the end of practice Pete had a big crash and bashed himself up pretty badly. Jack and Jamie were feeling good and looking forward to racing. The rain moved in on Saturday night and it was a real game changer! The track was incredibly difficult to ride in the morning. The hard ground had a layer of grease on it thanks to the rain and it was mega slippery!! Practice was a bit of a write off because people kept crashing and causing red flags, so we only got 1 run for which we had to queue at the top for 45 minutes. Seeding came around and the rain had stopped and the track was gradually drying out. Jamie, Pete and Jack all had bad seeding runs with multiple crashes so were hoping for better luck come racing. Jamie had another bad crash in his race run and once again his performance didn’t reflect the way he’s riding in practice. Pete was next up and again more crashes came his way in the tight woods leaving him battered and bruised. Jack had a better day, with a good run apart from mistakes in the tight woods, which were still wet and slippery after the morning rain and most riders were struggling in there. He finished 11th and now sits 9th in the series going into the last two rounds.
Photo by: ianleanphoto
Leogang, Austria - World Cup Round 3; 12-14 June 2015
Only two days after Fort William the team travelled to Leogang, and thanks to the bad weather over the weekend Jack had a really bad cold, which wasn’t ideal! Jamie and Pete were feeling good and ready to race. Track walk had some nice surprises for us, as the trail builders had put in some fresh new wooded technical sections which are exactly what that place needs! Later that day a huge storm rumbled through the valley and dropped a ridiculous amount of water on the place, which would certainly make practice interesting the following day. Jamie had a big crash on the first day and knocked himself on the head, so he barely got to practice the track. Jack and Pete had a good day smashing the runs out and getting to grips with the track. Qualifying day and Jamie did 3 runs in the morning to try and quickly learn the track. Going up for his run we all hoped he could stay on his bike this week and put a smooth run together! Watching from the bottom Jack and team manager Phil saw his second split come up and he was 13 seconds back, which would be good enough to qualify for sure. Unfortunately once again he didn’t turn up, again because of a big crash! This time airlifted to hospital with a concussion – he’s fine, just needs to start riding with a little bit more composure! We’ve got two weeks to work on it before the next race. Jack had another good qualifying despite having the man flu and came down for 27th place. Pete crashed and missed the cut and finals unfortunately. Jack had a good practice session on Sunday and with the track now really dry, everyone was going super fast! By the time racing came around the wind had gotten stronger and was pushing against riders on the pedaling section. With his cold Jack really struggled to push on and grind the pedals, and because of this and two small mistakes up top he didn’t have the best run. He came down slightly slower than his qualifying time and finished in 41st place. Not quite the result he was after but brings his world cup ranking overall down to 39th going into round 4!
Fort William, Scotland - World Cup Round 2; 5-7 June 2015
Fort William world cup is the round all British riders look forward to the most. The track is formidable and the crowd is like no other. We were all really excited for the race this year and couldn’t wait to get started despite the weather forecast being horrendous. When we walked the track we discovered a few new sections in the woods that looked like they would be great, but most of the track was same old fast, rough Fort William. Practice on Friday was in terrible rainy and windy conditions but we all managed 4 runs and were feeling good. However Saturday and qualifying ended up being cancelled because the weather was too dangerous to have bikes going up on the outside of the gondola in the wind! We didn’t want to be riding in that dangerous wind anyway! That meant Sunday was going to be hectic with practice starting at 6.45am, and qualifying and race runs being on the same day. Jamie did one run in the morning keeping himself fresh for his qualifying run, and Jack and Pete did two runs getting themselves properly back into the swing of things. In Jamie’s qualifying run he was having a good one until he was into the bottom section just after the big road gap, where he got thrown front end into a deep hole and flipped the handlebars. Unfortunately he was smashed up by the crash and wasn’t able to finish his run and qualify. Jack had a fast smooth run and brought it home for 18th place, which would see him on the live stream for Sunday’s race on RedBullTV. Pete was next and we couldn’t believe the bad luck – another team rider coming down in 82nd in qualifying and missing out on finals! Gutted. So it was just Jack racing later that day and he was buzzing for it. With mechanic Alex Bennett of Ticky Bikes on hand taking care of things, the Trek Session 9.9 was kept in perfect working order! Jack went up feeling confident and had a great run! Unfortunately the wind had gotten up a bit and with a small mistake in the woods he went a couple of seconds slower than his qualifying run, but finished a great 28th putting some points on the board after the disappointment in Lourdes! On to Leogang and more racing!
Llangollen - BDS 3 - 30/31 May 2015
The Llangollen race is probably the most highly anticipated round of the British Downhill Series with the track being so difficult. The team was fired up and excited for the weekend of racing when we all arrived at the venue on Friday. The weather forecast was uncertain and everyone was hoping that the rain would stay away, as the steep wooded section is incredibly wild in the dry, never mind the wet! Practice went well for all three of our riders on Saturday, with everyone feeling confident on track and riding their lines well. Saturday night saw a bucket load of rain fall, which made the track really greasy and treacherous for the whole of the Sunday morning practice session. In seeding James had two crashes and 14th place, knowing he could go a lot faster. Pete and Jack both had crashes in their seeding runs as well, finishing 22nd and 13th respectively. Racing came around and the track was back to being dry and dusty. Everyone was feeling confident,
knowing we were all capable of doing a good job in our race runs. James was first up in junior, and going through the first split with the second fastest time in the category, he was on for his first podium of the season, and maybe even the win. Unfortunately he had a couple of crashes, going over the bars in one of the final corners, and ended up 10th and disappointed. Pete was next up and put a great run together to finish in 16th place with a 2.18, his best BDS result so far this season. Jack was having a good run despite one mistake up top and went through the top split in 11th, knowing he was capable of a flying bottom section with the 5th fastest bottom split in seeding. Unfortunately bad luck struck again and as he dropped into the turns below the split, he caught a rock badly and yet again punctured! He pushed on to the bottom and finished in 21st place. The team heads to Fort William this weekend for the second round of the World Cup Series and fingers are crossed for some better luck for the team!
Fort William - BDS 2 - 16/17 May 2015
Despite the weather forecast looking bad for the weekend we headed up to Fort William for BDS round 2. All of the team riders decided to get there a day early to do some runs on the Friday. Fortunate, as the windy weather stopped the chair lift opening all weekend! We did 5 runs on the full track, testing settings and lines, in preparation for the world cup in 3 weeks. Saturday was a complete right off, with only the bottom of the track open with push up access. We were told it was highly likely the full track would be open to practice and race on Sunday, so we decided to have a day riding the local xc trails on our Trek Slash cross country bikes. However, Sunday proved to be a no go as well due to the weather, even though the chair lift was running for tourists. High winds and horizontal rain with low temperatures isn’t fun for riders or marshals! Instead we had a push up race that started on the fire road next to the world cup road gap. Jamie was first up in junior and he put in a great run, finishing 6th only 0.7 seconds off the podium, and right in with all of the top UK juniors. This was the first 2015 race run he’d managed to finish, so he and the team were buzzing with the successful result! Pete was next in elite, and making a mistake in such a short track isn’t going to leave you feeling good at the bottom. He finished 47th knowing he could have done better and was disappointed – chin up Pistol! Jack was the final team rider down, and feeling great in practice was hoping to be in and amongst the action at the top of the field. With a solid fast run and no mistakes he did a 1.23.5, which was only 2.6 back from 1st, times were that tight! We made the best of a bad weekend and are all looking forward to the next race which is BDS round 3 at Llangollen in 2 weeks.
Lourdes, France - World Cup Round 1 - 24-26 April 2015
The 2015 world cup season started this weekend with round 1 of the series at a new venue in France, Lourdes. The One Vision team pit was set up and all the riders arrived the day before track walk and couldn’t wait to get started. The weather forecast was mixed and everyone was hoping that the rain would hold off. When we walked the track it was clear it was going to be great to ride, with some really tough sections. The first practice day went well, with all three of our riders feeling good on the track. Jack had a nice smooth timed practice run and did a time of 3.15, which put him 23rd, showing he had good speed going into qualifying. Qualifying day is always a difficult one, and very stressful for all involved. James was first up in junior, and with what he described as a scruffy run with a few mistakes, he did us all proud and qualified 19th with a 3.27, going through to finals on Sunday – awesome considering this was his first world cup! Jack was next, and feeling confident for a fast run and high qualifying position. However disaster struck and he punctured just over half way down the course. The bad luck didn’t end there, as despite pushing on to the bottom as fast as he could, the tyre popped off the rim and the inner tube wrapped around the cassette jamming his rear wheel only 200 yards or so from the finish. He never gave up though and still only narrowly missed out on the top 80 and finals finishing 82nd, only 0.5 of a second off 80th. Gutted. Unfortunately Pete didn’t manage to put the run together that he is capable of, and therefore missed out on finals as well. So that left Jamie to fly the One Vision flag in junior. Unfortunately he had a big crash in his race run and wasn’t able to finish his run. Despite the bad luck the team had a great weekend and it has left everyone even more hungry for success at the next race!
Ae Forest - BDS 1 - 4/5 April 2015
The 2015 British Downhill Series kicked off at Ae forest in Scotland and it was to be the first race for One Vision Global Racing with the whole team together. The pits were set up and everyone was in high spirits and ready to race. Pete is still recovering from shoulder surgery so was prepared to take it fairly steady to save himself for the world cup the following weekend. Practice went well on Saturday with everyone finding their pace and enjoying riding, despite the slippery conditions in the morning and slow uplift service limiting the number of runs. Sunday morning practice was more of the same and by the time seeding came around everyone was keen to get going. James was first up in junior and unfortunately a big crash at the bottom meant he had to pull over and let the next rider through leaving him well down in seeding. Pete had a great run despite riding conservatively and seeded 16th in elite with a time of 3.28 which everyone was really pleased with. Jack had a scruffy run making 3 mistakes and wasn’t happy. However the pace was there seeding 9th with a 3.24 only 3 seconds back from 1st. Race runs and again Jamie was up first but unfortunately this run went a similar way to his seeding, this time with some bad luck involved. He got something trapped in his front wheel jamming it in the lower third of the course resulting in him not finishing his run. Pete didn’t have a good run going 2 seconds slower than his qualifying. Jack put a much better run together than in his seeding and did a time of 3.21 to finish in 8th place. However he was only 0.2 of a second off a podium and 4th place which was pretty disappointing. The team had a great first weekend together and was ready to head out to France for the first round of the world cup series.
Pampilhosa da Serra, Portugal Cup 2 - 23 March 2015
The 2015 race season started for me and my new team, One Vision Global Racing, last weekend. I was at the Portugal Cup race in Pampilhosa, a double points UCI race with a stacked field of world cup elite riders in attendance. A top 10 would have been a really good result! I really enjoyed practice and my Trek Session 9.9 was feeling amazing. Going into qualifying I was feeling pretty nervous having spent virtually all of 2014 with injuries, and as a result not able to race to my potential for a while. I was excited to see how I was going now I was fully fit, but also worried about whether I’d be where I wanted to be on the results sheet. I put down a good qualifying run, nothing special, and knowing I could go faster in the race run. To my surprise I was 2nd with a 2.26.9, behind Josh Bryceland in 1st with a 2.23, with a whole bunch of top 20 world cup riders behind me. It was a great feeling to know I’m back on track after last year was such a right-off with my shoulder injury. I was really relaxed going for my race run and as a result I had a storming run. I went through the finish and I knew I’d gone faster than my qualifying which was my main aim. The question was what had everyone else done. I’d gone over two seconds faster and at the end was in 3rd on a 2.24.7, only 0.01 off Marcus Pekoll in 2nd and 1.1 off Josh Bryceland in 1st. To say my season has started well is an understatement! Big thanks to all of One Vision Global Racing’s sponsors and roll on the next race.