‘The Macavalanche’ Glencoe, was the place to be that weekend; a mass start downhill race and Scotland’s version of the Megavalanche.
Lloyd Jackson’s headcam of the race, check his mechanical @ 8 minutes and hear how he felt about the event at the finish!
Luckily for everyone I’d brought that 2nd degree burns giving sunshine back from Spain. Lloydy lad and Scouse met me at my Nana’s for a brew and Team England were on tour again. Glencoe Independent hostel put us up in a lovely caravan and so after a wee nap, 3 coffees and a full English breakfast we took a chairlift up the rockiest boggiest mountain around and tried to cycle down it. The top of the mountain was closed until the race itself so as to preserve the piste at the top. The track was taped out really wide and it was hard trying to find a good line to keep momentum through relentless Scottish bog, after which hardcored track went down well with everyone and linked on to another natural but steeper section featuring big off cambers and blind crests before a hardcored finish. Overall the track was very widely taped with an abundance of natural features, it was hard to navigate and even harder to ride well. We managed to get 2 practice laps in between 2 punctures and multiple over the bars, qualifying was in the afternoon. With a few more crashes Me and Scouse qualified for the main event whilst Lloydy lad had some girl trouble (actually mounting one mid race) and qualified for the B final. By this point we were pretty hungry and headed off to the Claghaig Inn to sample local delights such as Salmon and Wildcat and were even lucky enough to catch some live music.
Next day the Sun was loving life and with a few setup tweaks we were ready for battle. The view from the top was incredible and Team England buzz levels were high, especially after witnessing Lloydy lad hole shotting his race and still leading after the snow before suffering a mechanical. Me and Scuzz were up next for the prestigious A final and with the snow conditions looking worse than the Weston beach race when the flag dropped we set off running… As soon as I did manage to get on my bike the front wheel dug in and I did my best superman impression – twisting my handlebars in the process which made the rest of the race a real treat eventually finishing 8th. It went straight on the list of ‘worst race ever’ but was quickly overshadowed when I watched Lloyd Jackson’s head camera video! Though he still managed 20th out of 33 with no chain!!! Ben Clark aka Scuzz (radlads on tour sponsored rider) was 19th out of 32 and apart from the catastrophes it was a great weekend but Team England needed Fish and Chips fast, what could have been… Next weekend… Next year… etc etc.
Big Congratulations go out to the winning family; Joe and Hannah Barnes, Joe taking the win by nearly 30 seconds with 9:22.04!
Full results here; http://www.nofussevents.co.uk/event/Macavalanche/2871/
Italia. Superenduro round 2, Punta ala, Tuscany.
Scouse did a great job trucking us all home back from sunny Scotland (?!) to Rainy Manchester and I was in bed by midnight ready for a 6am pitstop including bike wash and tyre change before flying to Pisa at 12. Tight schedules are the only way these days, I hadn’t actually managed to confirm any onward travel arrangements from the airport to the race so half a book and 3 Cappuccino’s later it was a relief to see that good lad Paul Aston.http://www.campingpuntala.it/ put us up for the week in a 4 star campsite on the seaside and preparations started early with a run on the beach Baywatch style – but without the girls (that’s mountain biking folks). Prep continued at the Café before we eased ourselves into practice making sure not to peak too soon. There were 4 stages, pretty flat but with good flow and 2 stages featured massive hill climbs which Paul Aston was particularly looking forward to; provoking a quick switch from flats to clips…
After 3 whole days of clean living and quality practice with Paul we were both sure of a 1 – 2 finish and hoping that fellow Englishman James Mcknight would eventually turn up for practice and round out the podium.
Paul got a bloody puncture just before the prologue stage through the old town of Castiglione della pescaia – 10km down the road On Saturday night and we missed practice but had just enough time to walk it. I had a smooth run but it was hard to judge braking points blind and I was lying 1 second back to Dan Atherton.
We bought a massive fish complete with sweet cooking tips from the local monger to celebrate both of us fluking a solid prologue finish despite no practice and after a smooth rain dance and a prayer we were ready to race. We skipped the beach run next morning to save the energy for the massive hill climbs, I was feeling good and after stage 1 I was 4 seconds up but Paul had suffered a mechanical and could no longer compete. Going into stage 3 I still had the 4 second lead and just needed to bring it home for my 1st Superenduro win. But Britishness came over me and I went too fast into the 1st turn, clipping a tree and losing a second or 2 in the process, eager to make the time back I sprinted into the next available tree and exited my bike straight over the control stick, I lost 15 seconds in this stage. I rode out of my skin trying to make the time back and having never been so gutted to finish 2nd. 2 seconds back. Thanks http://www.massavecchia.it/ for the hospitality and tour of Pisa.