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Race Report.... Tidworth Root 1 Race - Matt Collins

Race Report.... Tidworth Root 1 Race - Matt Collins


A race for anyone and everyone to have a go at gravity assisted cycling. I decided to enter the race as there was a previous racers category and I knew it would be tightly contested. Tidworth Freeride always put on a good show and with B1KE giving them all their backing the site goes from strength to strength.

The track selected offered a perfect start to new racers, young rippers and women wanting to try the sport. Due to this line choice was limited and to win against the quick guys would need nothing more than that "perfect run".

My weekend started off hit and miss. Saturday, being a local rider I thought best pop up and do a few runs practice. Lots of people were getting in practice so I decided after 2 full runs to call it and ride the more technical tracks.

I hadn't been riding my Kona Process for a while as it was in need of some much needed Mitchell Cycles and Davey the mechanic loving. So getting it back in time working like new was as ever all I needed to have the most fun ever. I was lucky enough to have a photographer keen to photograph me riding the park. (Thank you Nick at Mirrorboxstudios.com).

Unfortunately Saturday involved me having a nasty crash injuring my leg and cutting my arm up. It also took its toll on my trusty steed damaging the brake. ROLL ON SUNDAY! NOT .... I was pretty annoyed and somewhat threw my toys out of the pram that evening. Unsure if I could pedal comfortably for a race run was all I cared about! Thankfully for me Mitchell Cycles are a close knit family run affair and after a talk with Dave(aka Davy the Mechanic and Team Manager) I sorted my head out and the wife even took me out for dinner to calm me down.

SUNDAY...race day. Now being a local you would think he will be fine... He knows the track. you're right in part, but with that comes pressure. A LOT OF PRESSURE.

I started the day calm but in pain with my leg giving me hassle. We got the TMC home hub and mobile shop up and running and I decided to get a practice run in. Braaaaaaap. The speed was there. My leg actually felt better when warm and pedalling. (That would be needed to win here today).

Second practice run I coasted and finalised line choice or lack of. (Lines were limited but that's not a bad thing all of the time and offered me another dynamic to think about as times were going to be close).

Race time... 3 runs, very physical. I wanted to Win. I always want to Win and at my local I was going to see just what I could do. First run went very well, the slight damp/moisture offered the perfect balance for grip. Straight into 1st.

That's the start of a long agonising thought process of how perfect the day would be if it stayed this way. 2nd run... I went slower, the top sections had dried out and no longer offered the grip from earlier. The bottom however rolled far faster. Still in 1st with my first race run.

Could this be happening... 3rd run, I went slower again but made a mistake in the top. I corrected it and had a great bottom section.

Now the wait....

Was my first run going to hold.....

I waited for the final rider to come through and he had bettered all of his times on that last run. But not enough to beat my 1st run.

I cannot put into words how I felt. Overwhelmed. Uthophoric. This is not the biggest race in the world. But to me on that day being a local rider and having never achieved the fastest time of day overall.... its all I've wanted from cycling.

The whole day was truly great, inspirational, a testament to all involved. Team Mitchell Cycles, James Gould and James Windley both providing great banter setting me up. Cheers guys.

Climbing... With the aid of the Gouldy footstool to get to the top step of the podium at Tidworth will be one I remember for a long time.

Massive, monumental, epic thank you must go to all at Team Mitchell Cycles, Andy, Jan, Steve and of course Dave and all the team riders! Smith Optics, Schwalbe Rubber, Reborn clothing, Tidworth free ride and their trail crew... Phil, Neal, Oli to name a few. B1KE Ian and Co, Pothead and Panface, TF Tuned, Dame Cycling, DMR Bikes and anyone I may have not mentioned.

What an event..... 2016 1 race in and 1 win... let's push on for another shall we?


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