Nicklaus takes over again.....
Here's the scoop.
This was round 2 of the SDA up at Glencoe, close to Fort William where the weather had messed up the racing only a week earlier. I am thankful to report that the weather outlook was much better for this weekend!
I really like this track as it's steep, technical and scary, quite often people dont make it to race day! The track starts off fairly tame with a small amount of pedalling, then, like a rollercoaster, starts to get steeper with some fast switchback corners. The steepness of the track continues to increase and it becomes rougher and rockier, it's important to keep your momentum whilst also controlling your speed. Too fast and you'll crash, too slow and you'll crash, it's a fine line, lock your wheels up and you'll be having problems, you don't want to slam your body into these rocks that's for sure! The new Hayes 'Prime' brakes were handling flawlessly, where some other systems would start to fade under the constant pressure the Prime's maintained their performance brilliantly.
The track continues down a couple of steep shoots then a very short straight that gives you about two seconds to sort yourself out until you drop into a really steep hairpin corner with a nasty compression at the bottom. From here the speed really picks up, it's a case of holding on and staying off the brakes as you're merely the passenger. There's no room for any mistakes, no matter how small, you'll be spat straight over the bars! If you made it that far unscathed there was a tight hairpin into a massive booter-jump down the hill. The jump was a bit daunting as it's completly blind and it wasnt until you took off that you could see where you needed to land....onto more rocks! After this it was the last rocky straight towards the finish line.
Although the new fork upgrades got a brief the weekend before this course would be the real test, along with running the new X-Fusion shock. I was really happy with the performance of both particularly so as the track was rough as hell.
Nick's GoPro Footage from practise can be seen here:
The weather improved across the weekend, when it came to the first race run I was really up for it. Although having a clean run I knew I had to up the speed through some of the sections, this was confirmed when I saw the times. My second run was much better and I finished in 9th place. I was however a bit disappointed as there were a few people above me that I know I can beat. Being back to full fitness I feel really good, the higher results should start coming in again and I'm moving forwards.