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.