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Martin Daniells Race Report

Martin Daniells Race Report

First round of the Forest of Dean winter series 2015/16 had arrived and with this being the last race of 2015 I wanted to end on a good result.

Also being able to attend Saturday practice and being some what of a local spot for me I wanted to put on a good showing for the team. This year hasn't been the best for me as regards to racing due to crashing when it matters and not having great confidence and raw pace really played on my mind. I have managed to spend a good bit of time on my downhill bike in the 2 weeks leading up to the race which helped and I felt a lot more at one with my bike and used to the ever changing winter conditions.

Saturday practice - time had arrived, upon arrival I was anxious to see what track had been picked by 661 mini Downhill for the event but unfortunately there was no track taped out at this point. I had spoken to the organizers in the morning and was very pleased to hear it was the infamous 'original Ski Run' track, I like that a lot and have good experience on it. Weather conditions were good and a lot dryer than expected which made riding a bit easier, even tho it was slick in places. This was a good days practice for me although with 661 not taping out a race line until late in the afternoon threw a spanner in the works and gave me a bit to think about over night.

Sunday Race Day - Sunday morning started off with the all important coffee and race prep on my bike & kit. As soon as practice time had started I wasted no time heading straight to the first section of track in which I spent most of my time on as it had been taped slightly different to what I had practice the day before. It was very tricky as it seemed slippery in the areas I need to push my bike to get grip but it paid off as I finally sussed it and finished up the mornings practice with 2 full runs.

Racing got under way early as the winter months draw in shorter days! I was a little more nervous than usual as I was on the start gate waiting for my 1st timed run maybe because I put a bit more pressure on myself to do well. This run went OK just not as smooth as I liked but got a decent time of 1.17 and with track conditions improving and this run not being perfect I new I could shave a few seconds off!

After an hours break and rest I pushed up to the top for the start of my categories 2nd and final timed run, I stayed focused and ran my line on repeat a few times in my head and with the field being stacked full of talented racers. I really want to challenge for a top 25 finish! And I wasn't far off either! My 2nd timed run went well, much better then the 1st but a stall in the middle section cost me some time, I was determined to improved so I pedaled my heart out and styled it out for the crowd and managed to improve my time by 1.2 secs and took home 30/83 and 0.6 off 24 place so I was happy with that for this week's racing and end the year feeling that a can ride well!

I've really enjoyed riding and racing with my team mates this year and look forward to an epic year riding and racing with them again next year. A massive thank you to Mitchell Cycles and the TMC set up for your support this year. Also team sponsors: Schwalbe Tyres, Smith Optics, Reborn Clothing and Torq Fitness