Aston Hill- Lovelo MTB Racing Team at UK Downhill National Round 3 -Rhyd y Felin

This weekend it was the long trip to Rhyd y Felin or Bala as most people know it. Forecast was looking good after the recent deluge of rain we have had but this would all change come Sunday.

It was the same track as usual with a small change in the field and an extension to the finish line which was across the road into the main field.
Saturday practice was dry, and the track was so grippy from the recent rain. The Pearce uplift ran like clockwork so there were no delays and the chance for plenty of runs. Joe and Josh were loving the track both on their new Intense bikes.

As the forecast was for a thunder storm Sunday, timings were brought forward hopefully to avoid the storm.
This was Josh’s first big race of the season as he had been away coaching skiing in Leogang, but he was soon up to speed after the recent set up day the team had with Sprung Suspension.

Words by Josh Expert Category
Came into the weekend looking forward to riding after having my suspension set up in the week with Sprung Suspension. I felt pretty relaxed and excited to ride after track walk on Friday evening. The track was pretty much the same as last year, so I already had a good idea of lines, so I just needed to be up to speed again.
Saturday practice went well, the track was as loose and fast as ever. I didn’t get in as many clean runs as I would like as there were a lot of red flags, but I felt confident at the end of the day.

I got two runs in on Sunday morning to warm up for racing. Usually I would chill for my seeding run and not give it 100% but, there was a storm warning which meant race runs may get cancelled, so I treated it like a race run. My run was quite messy not exactly where I wanted to be, but it looked like race runs would go ahead so there was no stress.

As I was waiting at the top for my race run it slowly started to rain. By the time my category started, and it was my turn to race the track had got soaked which made it very slippery, especially through the open middle section. My run was going ok until I got to the stump gap section where my front wheel slipped up a stump and I came off pretty hard. I was pretty bashed up so gave it a minute then rolled down. Not how I wanted the weekend to finish but I’m looking forward for a few weeks riding in France the racing the Mega Avalanche.
Seeding Run: – 3:09:704 13th
Race Run: – 6:33:839 30th

Words by Joe Grand Vets Category
Coming into this round I felt much stronger than the previous although the shoulder isn’t 100%. The track was perfect but still very technical with many roots and stumps to catch you out.
2nd run in and one of the root’s caught me out slamming me into a tree hitting my injured shoulder. I made it down to the pits and chilled out for a bit.

I went back up later and started getting up to speed but still felt stiff on the bike.
Sunday, I did one practice run and changed two lines and felt I was ready for seeding. Seeding run went well, hit all my lines and felt good going into the race run.

Race run I was relaxed and as I set off my speed was the fastest it had been all weekend. I was actually enjoying the run but as I entered the stump gap section I clipped a pedal and went over the bars. I wasn’t hurt and managed to grab my bike and get going again. I was pretty annoyed especially when I crossed the line and found out I was only 1 second slower than my seeding run with that crash.

Its good to see my speed is returning and with more rehab I should be even fitter for National Champs.
Seeding Run: – 3:54:203 6th
Race Run: – 3:55:750 7th

Many thanks to all our sponsors
Ison Distribution
Troy Lee Design
Lovelo Cycle Works
Firecrest Mountain Biking
Friction Media
Decade- Europe Ltd
Spy Optic
Intense Cycles
Unior Tools
Michelin Tyres
Sprung Suspension

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