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Podium for LeisureLakesBikes Gravity Team1st JUN 2009

Ae, Scotland

A couple of weeks after Kielder the enduro fraternity moved north again, this time to Ae Forest in Dumfries. After the solid but conservative approach of Kielder the plan here was to open the taps up a little. Especially as this was a stand alone event and we weren't looking for series points.

Leisure Lakes DH Team - AE Forest Enduro

The format was the same as Kielder: 7 stages plus the seeding run, ride between each of them and have all the times added together to establish your overall position, much like the WRC. The difference here was that the race was run around a loop rather than the toing and froing approach of Kielder, no repeat stages here!! Stage 7 of the race was going to be the NPS DH track, however, due to bad weather in the week leading up to the event it was cancelled, which was a bit of a shame.

Qualifying was run on what would be an uphill in the Ae Forest loop if you went there riding with your friends, which meant lots of flat hair pins and plenty of opportunity for washing out. This would also be stage 1 in the race and had probably the best section whole event, a muddy chute with a big rutted turn at the bottom. Team manager Sandy would have loved it!!

A steady run in qualifying left me 15th which would be improved on in the re-run which was stage 1 with a 7th. Stage 2 was a good mix of fast and open with a good bunch of turns. Sadly the 'open the taps' idea led me to fly off the side of a jump and loose some time fighting my way through the rough. A healthy ninth kept me in mix moving into the flat but fun stage 3. Stage 4 was the killer, with a minute thirty plus steep climb in it!! Luckily the closing section was quite good fun. Stage 5 I could barely remember from practice due to the horizontal hail we had to ride through, so it turned out to be a bit longer than I thought.

The final stage 6 was comfortably the most DH orientated and a whole lotta fun. I had good run, a couple of small mistakes but nothing major. As it turned out I managed to bag the final stage win which I was pretty chuffed with, my team Santa Cruz Nomad was absolutely awesome and I could finally and successfully open the taps up!!

The final stage win pushed me up to 8th Overall and a 2nd in seniors. Another great event and soon we move onto Round 2 of the Avalanche Trophy Series in Andorra for some bar bashing fun on an unfeasibly big hill! Hopefully I'll make it down in one piece!

Report original posted on LeisureLakesBikes Gravity Team Blog

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