Innerleithen is a staple of the DH scene – from the early days when Tom Ferguson and Eliot Campbell et all were digging trails right through till today, this hill of sitka spruce has provided many a memorable race for a few thousand folk.
Over the last few years the tracks had been in danger of becoming a bit stale, a little “business as usual” if you will, but this weekend was truly a blinder – fast and physical up top through to tight and fast in the mid section before a final flurry of steep loose turns sought to deliver a knockout punch for those who were tiring.
The track was taped wide in places so line choice became a factor and the weather stayed sunny all weekend turning the ground into a loose state where there was an ever ongoing search for traction. This was a conundrum of sorts – great weather but a slippy track!
There were a few talking points around the pits all weekend – with wether an Enduro bike (let alone rider….)would be able to challenge a DH bike, and a few old boys out of retirement to see if they could challenge young guns of modern day DH – read on to see more from the one of the best weekends racing seen in Britain for many a year.
Old school Clan Racing from Robert Cobain, he rode most of the weekend on his Giant ATX and then brought out the Giant DH for his second race run. One bike was 19 years old, the other 15 years old. He set a 3.16
Hazards of shooting dh racing is that sometimes trying to get a shot the rider gets out of control, lucky escape for both of us.
Tom Coles – Senior rider last year, this year the only expert rider to break 3 minutes. Heck of a ride fella.
Ben Cathro had a bit of a mare this weekend, crashes in practice and both race runs.
Blue skies bikes, sun, dust, smiles; Must the start of summer yeah….!
Snibs aka Graeme Forrest is another old school racer who made an appearance this weekend – albeit on a 130mm travel Ibis. He still bagged a third place in Masters!
Cairn Bell took a strong second place against a stacked womens field. Rad to see so many ladies out there pinning it!
Winner of the the Juvenile cat this weekend was this young ripper Zander Todd who was looking looser than a loose thing all weekend and obviously loving it!
The answer is yes – Wait for the first uplift of the day! Katy and a few guys cycled up to the top before practice.
Sun flares and dust all weekend, also quite a few of these wee trails bikes using up all of there suspension travel. Hurley getting Burley.
Chris Whitfield carving through the greasy turns on the top section
John McNeil flying down the tunnel on the big wheeler, 6 place in the vets was a good effort after a big head on crash with a tree late practice on Saturday
To round up a trio of Trek Slash wins this weekend Christo Gallagher took the senior win aboard his stealthy black steed
The Kerr boys are off to Lourdes today. World cup racing is a different game to national level but we’ve got a feeling these two will do ok. 1st and 2nd in Junior.
Callum Mcgee looked wild all weekend – he was great to watch and our footage of him through the last turns is belter!
Straight of a plane on Saturday morning from Germany to get 2 practice runs in and 2 on Sunday morning for Reece Wilson. He still managed second place, even with a stomach full of Schnitzel, not bad going lad!
Your two big winners – Lewis Buchanan and Katy Winton. Lew came close to beating Cathro last year but this year he did the full deal – even with a wiggle mid run on a 29″r Enduro race bike. It’s more testament to Lew’ skill than his steed, but it goes a long way to show how capable modern day trails bikes are. Lew, Katy and Christo Gallagher were all riding Trek Slash’s and all won their respective categories – not a bad day at the office!
You can find the full results from the race by visiting Roots and Rain.
Make sure you check back tomorrow for the official race recap video!