Race Report – SDA Killin Round 3

Race Report – SDA Killin Round 3

So it’s been a while since the last blog and I promise there will be a roundup of the last month or so appearing soon with some sweet pic’s and all that jazz.

Until then lets get back to the race report. The Scottish Downhill Association took the 3rd round to the bare grassy hillside of Killin, a decision that was not liked by all as there is no uplift and the track suffered in the past due to rain. Well I can tell you all now that the track and the race was awesome! The track was really challenging in spots but nice and flowing everywhere else. A great combination that kept everyone smiling and on their toes at the same time (most ended up on their heads at some point as well.)

View of the track from the Sick Skills pits

View of the track from the Sick Skills pits

I turned up early Sat morning to set up and found a prime spot. The only issue was all the tall rushes everywhere, hacksaw to the rescue!

Gardening time, Sick Skills style.

Gardening time, Sick Skills style.

Lawn trimmed and pits set up all I had to do was stick on my open source components number board holder and head up the hill.

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Open Source Components number board holder. Want to make your own? Click the picture.

I had never ridden the track before so was looking forward to giving it a go. I had a browse on the push up to see the main features and it was looking good. First gentle run down and it was rad, slippy in places but manageable. Or so I thought. 2nd run and I decided to step up the pace to see how things fared closer to race pace. After approximately 74 180 degree spins I was starting to regret running cut spikes. Cut spikes were all I had though so a delicate touch would be needed.

3rd run of the day and I stuck on the GoPro and with my mind firmly set on that delicate touch I proceeded to make a right mess of it. Slipping and sliding all over the place I had to have a few retakes. Check out the film:

Sunday, race day. God must have had a dodgy curry the night before because it was windy as hell! The easy up was getting battered so i dropped it into stealth mode and luckily it only suffered a bit of damage.

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Poor race pits took a battering but they survived!

One practice run in the morning to test out some new lines and I was happy. Pushing up for the first race run i was feeling confident, the rain was holding off and the track was starting to dry out. I sprinted out the start gate skipping my cheeky huck at the start due to the wild crosswinds. Flowing down the hill I was keeping things tidy, I came into the steep rock slab and aimed for the big dirty bog rut at the bottom. It had been sweet in practice but at turbo race pace the bike sunk in, stopped and ejected me out the front door. Run over!

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Dirty sleeve from the crash on 1st race run as spectators watch in awe… Photo – Marked Media House

2nd run and the pressure was on, last chance. Much like a 2nd serve in tennis I toned things back to 95% and kept it under control, smooth and flowing up top then a little tentative down the bottom grassy turns. It paid off though and I crossed the line with the fastest time of the day. Boosh! It had been about 2 years since I had won a downhill race so I was pumped. Here’s to many more.

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Hell yeh! Photo- Marked Media House

Break from racing now for a few weeks with lots of coaching with some rad riders, good times!

See you on the trails

Ben Cathro

Mountain bike racer extraordinaire. Owner and CEO of Sick Skills. West Scotland skid champion 1998.

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