After a savage season opener at the British Enduro Series it would have been nice to get a break in the weather for round 1 of the downhill season. The dropper-post crew were treated to 40mph winds, sideways rain and foot deep ruts … and it looks like a week later there’s more in store for the rest of us.
Rolling in to the pits on Friday afternoon we were met with a bogged out field and Scotland’s finest display of thick mizzle (misty drizzle yeah?). But hey, if we were here for sunshine we’d have flown out to Portugal for the IXS – so with boots and waterproofs on we charged up the hill led by Team Wideopenmag’s coach Ben from MTB Strength Factory.
The track follows the line of the classic Ae Forest DH with a twist. The team at Ae have beefed up the berms and doubles above The Elevator and put in a big double and step up combo. There’s no Coffin Gap this year and riders get dark, rooty, slippy woods instead. The rock garden, stump gap, fire road mid-section is all standard Ae stuff.
Up top is where things get interesting. The enduro boys have done a great job of rutting up the entire top third of the track. There’s a brutal pedal into the wind off the start and then a wild, steep, straight bog into the trees. We’re calling it the tomahawk section …
Who’s going to do well this weekend? Anyone with strong legs who can power through slop and a head wind. Rich T’s money is on Marc “don’t call it a come back” Beaumont, Charlie says Mike Jones, Big Dave agrees with Mike Jones.
Check our Facebook through the day for live updates from the track … and then late tonight for our first Trackside video of the year.