Wideopenmag’s Jay Williamson brings us the low down on the final Halo British Downhill Series of 2012 and his overall 2nd place result in the Expert field.
Llangollen, what a amazing venue? I’ve been there a few times now and rain or shine it’s one of the best tracks we get to race.
I started the weekend riding nice and safe but had to change up the plan during practice to really trying to push myself. I know how well Llangollen suits me the fact that I was only 8 points behind Expert category leader Matty Stuttard meant I wanted to up my game!
Saturday practice came around very slow, I just wanted to get on that hill as soon as possible. I was so keen that I even had a bit of a forgetful moment with signing-on which could have gone very wrong for the whole weekend! Luckily the BDS staff and Commissaires were feeling generous so less said about that the better!
After the track walk on Friday evening I decided that despite not riding them for about a year I was going to put the flat pedals on. I was excited to get on the track and take a few more risks and get looser than normal. Towards the end of Saturday practice I was stoked to be getting some rad comments from team Rich Thomas and other riders, they said I was cracking on and looking good on track which was great to hear as I felt that I had been riding well all day.
Race day came around and I was still unsure about the pedals. There were some good sections where you could get some pedals in and the whole track was generally getting pretty boggy. In the end I chucked the clips on and was getting up to pace again and trying to put that all import race run together.
Next up was seeding… what can I say? I had an amazing top section and chose to back off a little and stay smooth for the rest of the track knowing that I had pulled in some good time. A few corners later though I hooked the rear end up on a rut and ended up jumping into the next turn a little hot and with the boggy build up of mud on the exit of the turn I had a quick over the bars to finish that run… I was gutted to not get some points towards the overall to help me out on the final race run!
With the race run coming up next I had been hoping that we would see some rain as I have always liked the wet conditions and I could use some help for the race runs. That said, I got to the top of the hill with Mechanic Chaz and it started raining, so far so good and with crashing out in seeding I was one of the first off in Expert.
I got into my race run straight away and I knew what I had to do to stand a chance of taking the overall and that was to take the win. Track conditions where really slick and I found braking into the turns with that slate rock packed into the corners very sketchy and really could have done with the rain a few hours earlier to really change the track for the better. So yet again had a good top section before dropping into some of the tight turns in the middle section where I had the save of the year for me, that got the old heart rate going as I now needed to get some time back for that one, after that I had a blinder of a bottom section with the fastest 2nd split in the Expert category which had got me some much needed time back to see me finish in 4th place!
The final results were up and with finishing 4th I had some good points to help me with the overall however Matty had bagged himself a 5th place just behind me so the overall was his - nice one dude! I dropped in behind him and took the second place overall in the series.
It has been an amazing year this year, I have had so much support from everyone and there are too many of you to list but you know who you are! I would like to say a huge thanks to the Wideopenmag Team for working so hard for me all year long, and the people that have kept me racing this year!