BDS Round 5 – Bike Park Wales

The 5th and final round of this years British Downhill Series was held at the still relativity new Bike Park Wales in South Wales. The track was a mix of big jumps, flat out bike park berms and some quick wooded sections. We were so luckily to have a dry sunny weekend and it made for a really fun end of year race, lots of trains with mates in practice and good times. The track didn’t really have a lot to learn as it was all one line but the key was to try and get comfortable at speed on those lines ready for the race. It also wasn’t the steepest track on the circuit, so you didn’t really want tire  yourself out because it was going to be physical in the race runs!

These big tables were really fun in practice, had to be a bit of careful of the wind though! Photo credit Rob Bryant.

Seeding run didn’t quite go to plan, was hoping to put in a fairly solid one to put myself up there to begin with and give me the extra push for the final. I had a good top woods section but just backed it off to much towards the bottom, finishing 25th/47 which wasn’t really ideal as to where I wanted to be. Knowing this I knew I would really have to push in the finals.

Fun road gap about half way down the track. Photo credit Rob Bryant.

So feeling pretty nervous but excited for finals, I cracked on with my run. Trying to push that little bit faster than ever and taking a few more risks. I had a big moment in the final which nearly ended badly, I rode to high up one of the big berms in the middle and actually riding off the end of the berm to early. Resulting in riding off the race line (still in the tape) and loosing all my speed in the turns. Luckily I managed to ride it out and carry on towards the finish. Coming in a bit too hot into the last corner I had a stall in the run and lost a little more time there but thats racing and thats how it goes! I finished only a position above seeding in 24th but I was happy to improve my time by 4 seconds and still had a lot of fun which is the main thing!

More fun jumps towards the finish! Photo credit Rob Bryant.

So all in all its been a great year travelling around the country doing these races for the first time and really feel I have gained more experience with the bigger more gnarlyer tracks. I finished the season in 18th/78 seniors which I am really stoked with as I wanted to finish in the top 20. Bring on next year!