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Reportage 2005
Dragon DH Abercarn
BC NPS Caersws
SDA Final Pitfichie
Midland Champs
Dragon Cwncarn
BC NPS Rd 5 Rheola
SDA Rd4 Dunkeld
BC NPS 4x Portreath
Zeal Irish NPS Rd 5
Moelfre BC NPS DH
... more
Reportage 2004
Horton Hill 4X Final
NPS Final Caersws
Dragon Wentwood
SDA Final Fort Bill
BC NPS #4 Coombe
Irish NPS Rd 4
Irish NPS Rd 3
Dragon 8&9 Gethin
Scottish Champs
English Champs
... more
PDF Results 2005
SDA 5 Pitfichie
SDA 4 Dunkeld
SDA Champs F Bill
SDA 3 Strathrye
NPS05 Fort William
SDA 2 Innerleithen
NPS05 Rd2 Cwmcarn
SDA Rd 1 Ae
NPS05 Rd1 Ae
WWW Round 3
WWW Round 2
WWW Round 1
PDF Results 2004
SDA Champs Inners
BC Nat Champs '04
SDA AeForest Rd3
SDA Dunkeld Rd2
SDA Moy Rd1
BC NPS Rd1 Ae
WWW Round 3
Adobe Acrobat Reader Required for Some Results

Dunkeld SDA Round 4 21st August 2005

Some things never cease to amaze me; I mean take Dunkeld, one of the ultimate natural courses in Scotland. Discovered almost 4 years ago by Peter Pollock, Dunkeld has now entered legendary status…

The course itself hasn’t changed much in the past few years, a few tweaks here and there keep the riders guessing as to which way the SDA is swinging come race time, this time was no different.

When you fell, you fell hard... [N.Elder]

With Craig Phillips’ Dunkeld Uplift Service having just started earlier this year, it’s made Dunkeld a hell of a lot more accessible to the down hilling masses and therefore a little more worn or bedded in, than in the past. Don’t forget that almost everyone has also an extra inch of two of travel as well…so factoring all this in did it make it any easier…in short word, NO!

Weather wise the outlook was good, Thursday/Friday BBC reports were showing a large gathering of clouds out mid Atlantic heading straight for us Sunday and much rain was expected. Come Saturday the rain was breaking up in the forecast and 4pm was mentioned, as and when it would rain in the Dunkeld area…which turned out to be way accurate.

The track itself starts high up above one of the main north/south arterial routes in Scotland, the A9, with one of the best views ever. In fact you can watch the cars brake hard for one the sneakiest speed cameras ever, right behind a big old road sign, thanks to snooper for the heads up!

Once away from the starting beams the course is relentless, the first drop into the single-track can be tricky so the concentration is right up there from the start, a few ess’s through the trees and your spat out on to the first of the three steeps on the top section, go left to right here over the jagged rock outcrop and then double up on the rock to roots mini gap. The speed picks up here as you approach the second chute, the big guns where jumping into this, mere mortals opted to roll in which was tricky enough as you dropped into several kinda rock steps, well worn in by now. Make it through these on then the loose corner before the old stream crossing (which is now nicely filled with more rocks). Now it was onto some loose dirt corners quick right then left before hitting the steepest section on the course.

Many a victim was claimed here, ride around the whole thing, slowly….or carefully straight line it…make it though this clean and then hit the tightest switchback this side of that goat track out in Tibet, Hans Rey always blows on about. Watch the front wheel here as the exits are a little washed out and off camber (‘ish).

The first steep chute - kinda scary - Daniel Millard [Ian Linton]

Once through the last of the turns get on the gas for the run up to the road crossing, hit the bumps then the compression before the road crossing and hang on as the bike unweight’s and you drift across the fire road fully leaned out and into the lower section…

Decision time, ride around or jump the gap, most opted for the drop off the rock some went for the big line off the left…interesting to watch but only for the superheros. A quick snake though the trees and on to the vertical double step down to another step down affair…let go of the brakes here and let the bike roll, round the loamy turn before the rock section.

This rock section is something steeped in folklore, over the years though it has started to mature and the line through it was always down the right side, but the SDA being the SDA taped the right line out of bounds…so we were left to ride the rough stuff, excellent.

Once though this section you were almost home, drop of the middle “green lane” and it was only a few more rocks to negotiate before the pedalling had to start. A few extra turns had been taped in here, one old fast corner became a tight hairpin left and the rest was pretty much the same flat out sprint to the finish by the last bus stop and the last fast straight…all in all an awesome track which takes about 2:30 of your average riders life…2:20 was excellent and sub 2:10 is just plain silly!

Crawford & Emily [N.Elder]

With the super technical nature of the track, injuries did play a factor…World’s contender Ben Cathro was off to A&E sharpish on Saturday after a stack took it’s toll on his hand, bruised but not broken was the verdict…he still did one run and won! Seb Ramsey breaks his wrist on Sunday morning, guess he weakened it drinking late into the night and upsetting his very understanding temporary landlord! Crawford Carrick-Anderson made an appearance at Dunkeld, along with the family for a little spectating...was he hinting about a return to mix it up again in the masters...Some bikes were also taking a beating, Tommy Tsoumalis’ rear hub exploded into pieces after a crash…bizarre. A few pairs of forks were popping and of course puncture’s everywhere…a few more psi guys!

The racing as usual started prompt at 1130 Sunday morning; after the threat of rain had lifted we were all treated to the same dry conditions as Saturday…the Juveniles start as always lower down at the fire road crossing. Danny Hart takes the win yet again, Ruari Lambert takes a great second place (was it his first ever race?) and James Scott rolls up in third.

Cunningham, Ruaridh was on one this weekend, 2:1 5 in his first run, then he stacks in second and still manages a 2:19! 2:15 was good enough for the win as Chris Hutchens couldn’t improve on his first run time and second place was his. Josh Bryceland is loving the riding up here in Scotland, he managed a quicker time in run two but couldn’t match the flying Scotsmen!

Tommy Tsoumalis [jon_e]

As mentioned before Ben Cathro rode only one run with a balloon of a hand and took the win with a 2:15, he said he was just coasting…Tommy Tsoumalis came back from the first run hub collapse to take the second place, guess that Ancillotti’s working! Jesse Wigman shows the rest of the field that he can ride Dunkeld hard, third place here…

With only one woman left after practice, Wendy Chambers had to just roll down to take the points but she still ripped down BOTH runs…and with almost no rear brake either! What a trooper! Lynne Aitchison stacked and stayed off the bike for the race runs.

Old boys now and with Steve Felstead’s hed cam on the roll most of Saturday, he must have known the track like the back of his hand, 2:38 for a forty something would make most of the seniors/masters cry! Derek Laughland hung in for second while Alan McEwan brings the big Schwinn down in third.

Lawrence Juliussen - Feel the noise! [jon_e]
Dave Young [N.Elder]

With the masters as hotly contested as the pros it was all up in the air as Alan Hay threw the cat amongst the pigeons with a stonking first run, 2:20 was enough to hold the rest of the masters at bay…however both Tally and Paul French responded with a faster second run to relegate a no doubt very pleased Alan, back to third. Tally just pipped the Euro Champion, French, to first place by 1 second.

Senior time, with a missing Fergus Lamb (??) it was up to the rest of the angry interns to take it and run with it…much in evidence was of course the whole last turn bunch of animals, the Vibe crew, somewhat the locals on this very hill. If not only by the amount of noise these guys generate! Lawrence Juliussen didn’t disappoint the home crowd as his second run, hampered by technical problems it still managed to be his quicker time, with a coasting 2:18 for his effort and the senior win…4 Play’s Jason Shill took the second with his first run time…and the ever charging Simon Cortis in third.

Onto the experts as the rain had started at 4pm prompt the rest of the field including some of the last seniors were a little damp on finishing, Phil Ashbridge made easy work of the seniors as he tore up the track in a time of 2:13, only Gary Forrest was within spitting distance back in 2:16 both on their first runs…Ian Cookson could only manage third here after a puncture first run left him with only a chance in the rain.

With most of the Scottish pro’s away riding the world cup in rainy Italy, it was left to only three elites to entertain us. Paul Angus coasted down for third place points while Barker and Young went for it. Dave Young may not have had the results so far this year but he was certainly showing some old form today as he demolished the clock with an insane time, 2:08!! He couldn’t better it during the second run as the rain was by then in full swing. Barker also couldn’t better his first run time of 2:13…

So that was the 2005 SDA round at Dunkeld, could we all now please take note that Dunkeld is natural…and we hope it stays that way! A few more tracks wouldn’t go a miss as the easy access and the new uplift service could make Dunkeld the new Innerleithen of old…but way more technical!

Big Shouts of course go to all the SDA as they continue to run the best series in the UK bar none.

The fifth and last SDA round is on the 18th September at Pitfichie, Nr. Aberdeen…I won’t be there but most of you will!

Full Results Here

Feeling the Vibe horn? [jon_e]
Ian McIntosh - Second run, just check his time after this stack! [jon_e]
World Champion - Alistair "Magoo" MacLennan [jon_e]
Steve Felstead [N.Elder]
Alistair Berry - Hard Tail, Hard Slide [N.Elder]
Choo Choo the original Train Driver - Duncan Holyhead 4th Senior [jon_e]
Ben Cathro - Balloon Hand [Ian Linton]
Carnage [Ian Linton]
Phil Ashbridge [Ian Linton]
Ruaridh Cunningham [Ian Linton]
Tally [Ian Linton]
 
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