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Sarah Crellin - Race Report Round 6, BDS

Sarah Crellin - Race Report Round 6, BDS

British Downhill Series - Round 6, Llangollen

Friday I left work early to ensure I packed the van and left early enough to miss the most of the traffic.? I was really nervous to race a national event, although unusually excited at the same time to ride a track which looked good fun.? On arrival I set up my pit space, collected my race number and transponder and headed on up the track for a track walk.? The track looked awesome, the jumps were a good addition to the start of the track before it dropped away into steep corners.?

Saturday morning consisted of getting up at a really unnatural time on a Saturday morning to prepare for Saturday practice.? It was really nice to be able to meet up with team riders James?Gould and James Windley, who lightened up the stress of the overwhelming atmosphere and showed me some great lines.?

Practice mainly consisted of trying to keep up with Windley down?the steep corners, which 9 times out of 10 resulted in crashing!? I managed to squeeze in?7 runs on the Saturday, however I?would have felt happier to get a couple more in as I struggled to remember the track after I hit the first two corners from the?top BMX jumps.?
On to race day and I woke up early keen to check out the track and see how blown out the track was to see if any lines?needed?to be changed?on any of the corners.??Luckily I had managed to get two runs in on the morning before I got to my seeding run as my first run was messy.?

Going in to seeding I felt a little anxious to complete a run which didn?t involve a crash. In the start box from the moment the timer struck 10 my heart was in my mouth! On the 5 it was a deep breath and full sprint out of the gate. For the first time in the two days of practise I managed to clear all of the jumps at the top! I was overly excited with that and got a little bit wild out of the exit of the first right hander! The steep section I focused on scouting the track and checking what lines I could hit for my race run. Down to the finish I felt comfortable and enjoyed the little jumps into the left/right down to the drops. I was shocked to hear a time of 2.31 as during practise I was 20s slower.

On to race run?.
I always find it much worse being the last person down. There is nothing worse than feeling like all eyes are on you! At the gate I felt calm, I knew I could put a fairly good run together, it was actually putting it together which is always the difficult thing! My main concern was the jumps at the top and getting all of them right.

The run was good, I managed to clear all of the jumps and get a smoother right hand corner into the left! The steep section I got up right into some of the corners which caused me to stall. Down to the finish and I didn?t manage to improve my time which was disappointing, but I was happy with that as it is showing that I am riding consistently. I was even more shocked to discover that I would have come second in elite by 14 seconds, which is unbelievable. 7 months ago when I just got back onto my mountain bike I would have never believed that I would be capable of competing to this level so soon. It has been a physical and psychological roller coaster coming back to downhill and overcoming the fear of snapping my Achilles again. None of this would have been possible without the continued support of my friends and family. A huge thank you to Mitchell cycles for the support and massive thank you to my team mates for the vote of confidence and training.