2013 English DH Championships race report – from Rich Thomas

So, we heard a few weeks prior that this round of the borderline events series had inherited the English champs title. Pretty cool as it was at Combe Syd, a local track to the team and a favourite for all of us.

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We hadn’t planned to race it as it was the weekend after the BDS but as it turned out on the Friday of the race the weather was looking smart so we packed up the van and headed down, Laurie was on it too but Jay sitting this one out for some R&R.

We got down to the race in good time as it is only an hour away and walked the track. Mike Marsden had taped it differently to the BDS to make the track a bit faster and keep it fresh, the track looked pretty cool and super dry. After a cushty might in the hostel, me and the girlfriend headed up to the race to meet up with Laurie and start practice but the track was really fast and loose but the new changes made it really interesting and challenging. Me and Laurie smashed some runs out and got up to speed really quick and we were pretty much ready to race by the end of Saturday. Sunday came around and we were both eager to go after a chilled start. We got some good solid runs in, dialled in our lines and bikes and prepped for the race.

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First runs got underway and Laurie put in a great ride into first by a decent margin and with a time I would be happy to beat. So I went up for my first run and got into race mode. My first run went really well, I felt like I had a really good run and got to the bottom and went into the lead but the last rider down, Madison Saracen’s Harry Molloy, went into the lead beating me by a second and to be fair I was pissed! After a stern talking to from the missus, she talked me into laying it all on the line for my second run and reminded me that you can always go faster.

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Laurie smashed it, taking a big win in the youth category by an impressive margin.

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So, I say it was down to me to bring home a double, but at this point, sitting in second after a good first run I just wanted to win, I was going to put everything into, as far as I was concerned there was no way I was going home with a second place… haha

I did all my normal warm up, ate some good food and just had the thought of smashing it and leaving everything on the hill. To be fair I had a sick run, I only felt slow on one corner and came down 3 seconds faster than my first run, and 2 seconds faster than Harry’s, I’d laid it all out and Harry was last man down, he wasn’t far behind and it was going to be close, he came in faster than his first run but a second behind me. I’d won, bang on. To say I was happy was an understatement. I haven’t been so stoked in a long while, a well worth it weekend. I spoke to Harry and we both admitted that we pushed hard and both had awesome runs so I was happy to take it, he’s riding really well at the moment.
All in all a proper weekend, see you folks at the weekend in Innerliethen.

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