Descent World – Scottish Mountain Biking | Film Production | Photos | Adventure Stories

SDA Rd 2 – Scottish Champs.

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Ae has been a downhill venue since way back – 1996 – yet over the last 3 weeks it has seen more traffic than ever considering it’s relative lack of elevation compared to other Scottish beasts. With the BDS only a few weeks before hand, the SDA were tasked with finding a route down this Dumfriesshire hill that could provide a fresh challenge for just under 300 racers of all abilities.

That task they achieved with ease.

With a track taped wider than we’ve seen in a little while offering multiple line choices and some fresh, loose and occasionally tricky sections added in this was a course that brought back the art of line choice.

The track also brought a old finish run in back to life – gone was the hucker hank elevator drop and it was replaced by a bonkers fast, bobbly run in across some surprisingly tricky rocks when tackled at race speed.

While it was indeed a sub 2 minute course it made up for it in the challenge of maintaining your speed into some long and fast sections combined with staying on the knife edge – any mistakes on a track like this and your run was over – too hesitant and you’d be gobbled up by the results sheet.

We’d been hoping for some glorious weather in the run up to this event but Friday evening showed us that probably wouldn’t be the case with some heavy showers stotting of the numerous tent roofs around the camping field. Not that it seemed to stop to the masses from having a good time with BBQ and beers the menu of choice.

The weather, as ever, was a big talking point of the weekend going from grey skies and mud on Saturday morning through to bright sunshine for early Sunday practise and even some hail – yes hail. All this said Grant Buchanan ( Lewis’s Dad ) still got some photographic evidence of Adders enjoying the periods of sun in the undergrowth. A nice surprise for those who inadvertently veered to far away from the tape.

Being the Scottish Champs there was a lot to play for amongst the various categories and of the course the senior men title saw Senior, Expert and Elite combined – but that didn’t mean the result was a forgone conclusion.

Here’s a photo story for you to enjoy…..

Note: We didn’t do any after race audio this time due to various reasons but it’ll be back for the next race.

Your 2015 Scottish Champion, Ruaridh Cunningham.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Hope Jensen makes a blur early doors on Saturday. The track used a modified top section which was fast, loose and exposed to the varying elements over the course of the weekend.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Friday night, no bikes.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Sunday, plenty of bikes.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Jon Stout is a mechanic on the Polygon UR team and not too shabby on bike. He also helped with the set up of race and stayed late to help take everything down. In other words, a bit of a #good****
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Any takers?.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Huggy bear is back. Granted we’re neighbours, mates and former rivals so I’m biased but the lads got some skills on a big bike. First practise run on a race track in about 3 seasons. #onthegas
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

New section crossing the coffin jump was prime. I was nearly tempted to rip of Vital and do a G-out gallery here after watching for 20 minutes. So many loose units and a collection of #huh noises on bottom outs to make any former Clan rider proud. Blair Hughes keeps it tight.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

GoodAe. Calm before the storm.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Apparently pans are all the rage amongst the #fromtheBzone crew. Not the easiest thing to do with one arm and a 70-200 but sometimes they come out ok. Unknown pinner through the top section.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Would you trust any of this three? Me neither.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

I didn’t get this guys number but he was certainly trying all weekend. Definitely wins the award for most crashes in front of the lens. Stump Gap pile up.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Greg Williamson on the gas and looking dangerous. He also had a few crashes throughout the weekend but a big WC result is coming soon…
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Sam Herd taking on the slightly altered rock garden, which benefitted from a straighter run in and some higher speeds into the next section.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

We also had moments of #lightbro throughout the weekend. Ross Johnson about to enter the #huh compression.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

So old, its new. The finish arena avoided any hucker hank moments and instead was a flat out, slightly sketchy run in to the finish.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Which line was fastest? Over the stump was definitely the one but any mistakes here and it was going to hurt!
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Where’s the 29’r Benji? Cathro back on a DH bike and making the most of the early Sunday morning Sun.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Neil Wilson looking almost like a Californian race. Full TLD gear, on the gas and a bright blue sky. He was one of the lucky ones.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Hail after bright sun. Unlike the juveniles the vets are wise enough to seek shelter.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Connor Ogg getting his drift on. This turn was surely the most fun one on track?
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Team Outbox are everywhere! Big Mac himself, the housewives choice, wasn’t riding but you need to check out his trailer. Feature coming soon!
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Gannicot, G. This line was so, so crucial to carrying your speed all the way to the finish. Get this wrong and you’d be playing catch up all the way to the line.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Lew was leading after the first run and was good value for it too. We don’t know where he ended up but he’s starting to look like the rider we know he is.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Who’s who? It’s so hard to tell Roy and Reece apart in full race kit. Same style, same lines, pretty much same speed. Reece holds it tight after the big left hander, getting up here at speed was no mean feat.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

This lad was having fun all weekend. He wasn’t the fastest rider on track ( but definitely not slow ) but was hitting all the lines with a bit of style and also causing his mates to run him over. Good form on the backwards role too. #racingbanter
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Peter Wally is Nathan Rennie reborn on a bike. He crashed just before this and got back to speed so fast it was unbelievable. Ruts and steeps are his thing and this track certainly had a few ruts.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Frazer McCubbing isn’t exactly slow and knows Ae better than most. Rapping it out for the SPS.
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

Cheers SDA. Good times all the time!
Credit: @tommyawilkinson

7 comments on “SDA Rd 2 – Scottish Champs.

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