Round 2 of the Woodland Rider’s Winter Series wasn’t one I wanted to miss… Especially with a track called ‘Gnarkill’ to throw ourselves down! The track provided some great tight and technical sections and was a challenge to every one of the 109 riders on the start sheet.
The track was awesome. The combo of sniper roots and heavy rain the night before meant the track was pretty technical and there were wobbly moments all weekend! My favourite section of the track had to be the fire road crossing, consisting of a high speed straight into a jump landing that had you burping the tyre off the rim! That shot you straight into a super narrow set of trees that I’m sure got closer together on every run!
My first run of the day got a little messy in places and I had to take a few risks on the way down unlike a long track where you would focus on carrying speed and add a little more tactical thinking behind the run. It was a minute-long track and you had to give it everything out of the gate – diving into turns, cutting sketchy lines, pre-hopping all over the place. Anywhere you could squeeze a micro-second on your rivals had to be wrung dry! I crossed the line thinking I had wasted my first run and thrown it away with a bit of struggling on the tight section, shouldering some trees. To my surprise, I had just taken the hot seat in front of Charlie Ross, another fast local who always throws it down and always nipping at my heals with and Brazilian Elite Rider Rodger Vieira following us down. With both of these guys very close behind I knew that first runs meant nothing and the race was on for 2nd race runs.
My 2nd race run (luckily!) was much better. I left nothing on the track and it felt like I got that balance just right of not riding too hard and making mistakes … but still keeping it pinned. With the results all on the big plasma screen at the bottom of the hill (yes Chaz Lamley spoils us!) my time had improved by just under a second showing me yet again just how tight the times can get at these races. Rounding out the podium was Charlie Ross good enough to hold on to his 2nd place for Gawton Gravity Hub, and Toby Down riding for Ti-springs sneaking into 3rd place in Expert/Elite category.
No Tavi Woodlands race would be complete with out everyone heading over to a much improved step up jump. This is great for all riders to forget about the day’s racing and throw down some big ass whips and some pretty awesome tricks. We even saw a first attempt at a few back flips from a couple of riders! The highlight for me was Jim Davage throwing in a tabled backflip that maybe the reason for a few lost voices the following morning from cheering so loud! And – of course – the crazy cat Jasper Flashman throwing down his casual backflips and nacs for good measure.
As always, Tavi Wooland races wouldn’t happen without the big man Chaz Lamley and all the volunteers preparing the tracks to race and the marshals doing a great job keeping these races running so smooth.
Thanks and look forward to seeing everyone for some more racing soon!