Race Report || SDA Round 5 || Fort William 2013

Race Report || SDA Round 5 || Fort William 2013


Low and fast – Ian Linton Photography

On the run up to the SDA at Fort William Sick Skills was busy! 5 of the 7 days prior I was coaching up Fort William and the other 2 where spent coaching elsewhere. I got to work with some great people and it was so cool to see people learning and improving from Sick Skills coaching sessions. Very promising for the future. Hit Read More to check out a couple of future champions.

So coaching done ┬áit was time to tackle the final race of the year. Luckily I’d already wrapped up the Scottish Series at the previous round so the plan was to have fun and try and finish the year on a high. Due to riding the track almost the entire week before the race I took things easy on Saturday morning, a nice coffee in the cafe at 11am was a good way to start the day.


Coffee and a biscuit, the definition of race food.

I managed to drag myself away from the comfort of the cafe and smashed out a few runs. The track was running good with a fresh section in the woods which was super muddy and wild. After a year of abuse the track was rough as well so it was going to be tough to string together a solid full run. I got my lines figured out pretty quickly and ended the day feeling happy about Sunday.


Fort William shreds tires – True Story

Race day rocked round and it was time to end my season on a high. Practice went well and soon enough it was race time. First run was going real good, flowed the top section then got into the gnarly woods. I kept it clean through the first part then came into the latter part where I was taking a cheeky line through a ditch. Seems like some others had the same idea as a couple of big holes had opened up. I braced for the first, hit the hole and my weight got thrown forward. I was beginning to push myself back to centre then BAM, hit the second hole… see you later… out the front door. I climbed back up the hill with filthy gloves, mounted my bike then proceeded to throttle grip my way to the finish (hands kept slipping like twisting a throttle). Ah well, I’ll smash it next run.

Lean it in - Ian Linton Photography

Lean it in – Ian Linton Photography

Run 2 and I was about to get a serious case of deja vu. Good solid run again, smooth and flowing, off the brakes in the turns, carrying good speed, dancing over the rough parts….. and then I got to the woods. I got to those holes but I was ready for them this time, shifted my weight back and skipped through, champion. Then I saw it…. a big ol’ dirty bolder right in the middle of the rut. I lifted the front wheel over but the chainring didn’t make it. My bashguard hit it full on and started dragging the boulder down the rut with me. I kept it going for a few feet until the boulder jammed between to stumps then what do you know… out the front door again. I was rather angry at the time but these things happen, as long as you learn from your mistake it’s still a positive.

So even with these big incidents I was only 7 seconds off the win which is a good confidence booster. I took the series win as well which is rather cool as I had never won it before, wayhay! Massive thanks to the SDA and everyone involved in the series for making it happen. It was a great season and I can’t wait for next year.

Huge thanks to my sponsors for all your help, your support is greatly appreciated. See you in 2014

Ben Cathro

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

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