21:04:13 Borderline events Rd3
1st Place Hardtail
2nd place Seniors
31:03:13 North west MTB DH Rd1
1st Place Hardtail
1st Place Seniors
17:03:13 Borderline Events Rd2
24:02:13 Borderline Events
13:10:12 English Downhill Champion
12:8:12 Welsh National DH Champs Moelfre
Overall Winner 2012
24:06:12 North West MTB DH
Rd 3 - 1st Place
Overall Series Winner
17:06 :12 WDMBA Mountian Ash
Rd 2 - 1st place
06: 05:12 North West MTB DH
Rnd 2 - 2nd place
29.03.12: WDMBA Rheola Rnd 1 - 2nd Place
01.04.12: Fetish Bikes DH Rd2
Moelfre Wales - 1st place
Previous Race results
RACE RESULTS 2011 - Richard Acott
Scottish Alpine Winter Series Rd1 - Hardtail 1st
Scottish Alpine Winter Series Rd2 - Hardtail 1st
Scottish Alpine Winter Series Rd3 - Hardtail 1st - SCOTTISH SERIES WINNER
MIJ Downhill Events - Nant Gwrtheryn Rd1 - Hardtail 4th
MIJ Downhill Events - Moelfre Rd2 - Hardtail 2nd
MIJ Downhill Events - Caersws Rd 3 - Hardtail Podium 1st WELSH CHAMPION
Caersws Cup Series Rd 1 - Hardtail 1st
Caersws Cup Series Rd 2 - Hardtail 1st
WDMBA - Moelfre - Hardtail 1st ENGLISH CHAMPION
Richard Acott : DownHill Mountain Bike Racer : Officially Energised By
Battery Energy Drink UK
Richard began racing in 2006 in youth category racing both hardtail and full suspension bikes. He then progressed to junior category racing in both regional and national competitions including British Downhill Series and regularly finished around top twenty. After training hard throughout winter months Richard was determined to make hardtail racing his priority. Richard is now progressing onto Full Suspension for 2013 developing short and long travel mountain bikes
Now a semi-pro mountain bike rider, Richard has been celebrating winning champion titles in England, Scotland and Wales, securing first place positions in the Scottish Winter Series and in the English and the Welsh Downhill Championships.
Most notable successes include:
ENGLISH NATIONAL DOWNHILL 2010 and 2011 – Hardtail Champion
WELSH NATIONAL DOWNHILL 2010 and 2011 – Hardtail Champion
SCOTTISH ALPINE WINTER SERIES - OVERALL 2011
‘I have committed myself to defending English and Welsh Downhill Champion hardtail titles in 2013. I also want to continue homing my skills, win more competitions, and promote enjoyment of riding. My current sponsors are also keen to help raise profile and DMR bikes have recently supplied a new sample Omen bike frame manufactured to own specifications.’
Richard will be energised by the new Battery Energy Drink Hydro, the first fully Isotonic Energy drink, combining energy, hydration and recovery in the same drink. Battery Hydro will keep him on the Podium for 2013
British Downhill Series Rd 5 -Bringewood by Richard Acott
Friday 23.08.13 - DMR Bolt bike prepared and van packed ready for final round of BDS. Weather forecast showed rain tonight and tomorrow morning then dry and cloudy for rest of weekend.
Saturday 24.08.13 - The track was almost same as last Pearce Cycles race earlier this year It started in woods, out into open section and then back into woods before final drop and table top jump across fire road, into field and finish area. Early morning track was damp from rain last night and very slippy but soon dried up and sun came out after lunch.
Had a lot of fun and eleven uplifts but took a hard tumble near end of day. I was jumping a log in middle open section and the back end slipped away - I ended up hitting ground quite hard and lying the wrong way on track looking up at the sky. Marshalls did a great job and glad it was not too long before I was back on bike feeling a little sore and wondering what just happened.
Sunday 25.08.13 - Bike check showed a wobbly back wheel but spokes tight and I decided it was serviceable so would keep it running for day. Managed three practise runs and tried out a couple of new lines following track walk last night which seemed to work out well. Seeding run was ok but felt I had been quicker in practise so pretty pleased with my seeding in sixth place. I was in the largest race category and with shortest travel bike.
Race run was much better and posted a time of 2mins 10seconds which took me to 3rd place and brilliant podium finish in BDS round 5.
Thanks to sponsors:
DMR Bikes/X Fusion/TRP Brakes/Kenda Tyres/YBN Chains/Battery Energy Drinks
'DMR rider Richard Acott in third smoking most of the field on his 125mm travel DMR bolt'
Kings and Queen of Mountain, Llangollen by Richard Acott
Race venue this weekend would be Llangollen DH tracks organised by new operators GaS Downhill in association with Martin Sands(farmer) and One Giant Leap team. At national event held at this venue a few weeks earlier I had found myself outrunning gears on sections of the track so decided to fit a new larger chain ring onto my short travel DMR Bolt.
Saturday 27.07.13 - Sign in showed a good number of experienced riders in senior/expert category and this would lead to some close racing. Practise went well with no major issues and lots of sunshine. Track had been well prepared and uplift flowed all day.
Sunday 28.07.13 - Practise was good but then heavy rain arrived challenging all riders to adapt to new track conditions. I chose to stay on Kenda Nevegals although many riders opted to swop over to wet weather tyres. There would be one seeding run and then two race runs. My seeding run went well and I posted time of 2.30 which put me second fastest. First race run I improved time to 2.29 but remained in second place. Final race run went according to plan and hit all lines except my gears began to play up and I got stuck in fourth/fifth which affected sprint sections (broken mech). I still managed a slightly faster time of 2.28 which was enough to put DMR Bolt onto the top spot.
1st Richard Acott 2nd Sean Smith 3rd Jake Hancock
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes/X Fusion/TRP Brakes/YBN Chains/Kenda/Battery Energy Drinks
BRITISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013 held at Bala, North Wales by Richard Acott
Friday 19.07.13 – X fusion vengeance forks had been sent for service and returned just in time for this weekends big race and felt great. I would be riding DMR Bolt and also using the TRP Quadiem SL brakes with four pot pistons and floating rotors to help them cool in hot weather conditions.
Campsite was in full swing on arrival and impressed with large number of riders, support vehicles, pit area and generally chilled atmosphere. From pits you could see large section of new track on hillside following recent forestry work. Rumours suggested a long and exciting track of between three/four minutes.
Track walk did not disappoint and first section revealed start into a straight sprint across loose rock, fast berms, bus stops and both small and large jumps. Second section the track narrowed and went into close woodland with loose soil and tree stumps. You then dropped out of woodland and into a fast open motorway section with berms and step downs before sweeping hard left into another drop and more woodland. Once across fireroad you entered more woodland before launching off drop into long field section with more berms and jumps, across road and into finish arena.
Saturday 20.07.13 – Weather forecast was hot and sunny with little breeze so tyre choice was Kenda Nevegals fitted tubeless courtesy of Effetto Mariposa sealant. First run started on time and uplift worked well throughout weekend. By lunchtime most riders had 4/5 runs but heat and track was sapping a lot of energy. Bike was feeling really good and I was having fun but unfortunately clipped tree at high speed and damaged crank and pedal so resorted to spares box – also good excuse for long lunchbreak and escape from heat and dust of course.
Finished practise late afternoon and felt I had learnt a lot about this new track, riding in clouds of dust and coping with heat.
Sunday 21.07.13 – Bike checked over and everything good. Woke early for practise and managed two runs before racing started at 11.00am For this championship event there would be one seeding run and one race run. . My seeding run went well and my target of top ten was blown away when I posted time of 3.46 and seeded fourth quickest in Seniors.
Race run began very sketchy and I had a few hairy moments in first and second sections as I missed lines and hit braking bumps that were not there in practise, slid sideways and almost over bars. Once I got focussed and determined only to think of one section at a time things improved and by end of run I felt I had done well to recover lost time. Brilliant I had posted a 3.43 which put be on national podium in third place.
A short travel bike racing full on downhill and DMR Bolt had made a big impression. I felt pleased with third place podium finish. Thanks to race organiser, marshals and spectators for all contributing to a great weekends racing.
Special thanks to my sponsors:-
DMR Bikes/X Fusion/TRP Brakes/YBN Chains/Kenda Tyres/Battery Energy Drinks.
photo courtesy of photo-bike.com
Pearce Cycles Rd 3- Bucknell 7th July 2013 by Richard Acott
Friday 05.07.13 It has been a long time since I raced at Bucknell but track walk showed familiar lines and big drops and berms with a few new sections through woods. The track went through woods, down a big drop, through berms into more woodland with new loose soil sections and then into fast twisty bottom field. I estimated track would be just over two minutes long minutes long. Camping was good with great view of track and finish area.
Saturday 06.07.13 Pearce Uplift was excellent and many riders including myself had over ten runs throughout a blisteringly hot day. For this weekend I had some new shiny bike parts including the new TRP Quadiem SL brakes and floating rotors. They performed brilliantly and really excited about there sales after extensive product testing in all weather conditions. Other parts included DMR Wingbars (red) and Defy Stem (green) plus a new 39 tooth chain ring to help me running out of drive.
Practise went well and new parts looked and felt great although not sure I needed the bigger chain ring for this track.
Sunday 07.07.13 Practise was good and first race run I posted time of 2.06 which put me in 9th position so pleased with result. Second race run was faster at 2.05 but dropped to disappointing eleventh position. No real excuses but hugely competitive field with some top riders and only three seconds behind a podium finish.
Thanks to DMR Bikes /TRP Brakes /YBN Chains / XFusion /Kenda /Battery
British Downhill Series- Rd 4 Llangollen, Wales by Richard Acott
Sell out entry of 330 riders, national and international riders, freecaster tv transmsitting to 140 countries and huge crowds meant this was one of the best downhill events of the year.
Saturday 29.06.13 Arrived for morning registration and impressed with parking for racers and campers, pit layout and organisation . Sun was shining, blue sky and a 'feel good' factor promising a great weekends racing. The open hillside also offered great viewing for spectators.
The 'Squirrel track' was fairly dry given the amount of rain previous day but perhaps being the steepest track in country had helped run off. Top section involved a short flat sprint from start along field boundary then into a series of really steep berms and twists. Next section involved more twists and turns and another sprint section with hip jump before entering a big triple jump into bottom field and another sprint to finish.
Practise - Martin Sands, landowner was on hand to oversee the uplift and changes meant the whole process worked well this weekend. My bike felt good and practise was a lot of fun on short travel DMR Omen - I also had interview with a prominent bike mag. There were no major issues although I did seem to outrun gears on sprint sections and need to think about how to overcome this problem and will start by looking at chain ring size.
Sunday 30.06.13 - Morning practise went well and having dialled track yesterday I felt I had a good chance of top ten finish and maybe a podium. Seeding run was good although I did notice something happen with gears during run and when checking bike over afterwards found a broken gear cable holding nut in rear mech. I was pleased with my time of 2.15 and a 9th spot in seeding.
Race run - by afternoon there were masses of spectators and trackside noise. My race run felt ok but disappointed as I felt may have been too cautious as earlier riders had been talking about missing track and blown out corners. I posted a time of 2.13 which gave a 13th place finish.
Looking back at weekend I learnt a lot about bike and myself. This was a great weekends racing where for the first time in a long time I had fun riding at British Downhill Series event.
Thanks to sponsors:
DMR Bike/YBN Chains/Kenda/TRP/Battery Energy Drinks/X Fusion
NORTH WEST DH CHAMPIONSHIPS - PODIUM SUCCESS 16th June 2013 by Richard Acott
Amazing weekend racing DMR Omen on short but challenging DH course at Farmer John's , Stockport. I had decided after my previous win to ride DMR Omen in both hardtail and senior race categories. More riders are choosing hardtails to race with on short courses but not necessarily in the hardtail category.
The new dh course was built specifically for the North West Championship race and had been taped out Saturday evening. The top section of track used familiar race lines that are fast and open with a few manmade technical features and berms. New bottom section was damp, wet, rooty and steep all at the same time.
Sunday Practise - bike was set up and felt good but unfortunately I had a crash that resulted in a broken gear shifter. I had a microshift gear shifter in spares box so managed to get in one more practise run.
Hardtail - 1st run went well and I posted a time of 1.31 which put me in first place thirteen seconds ahead of second rider so happy with result.
Senior - 1st run felt a lot quicker than before but took a wrong line in the
bottom section (vid) which slowed me down and I ended up posting a time of 1.31
Hardtail 2nd run. Pushed hard as I wanted to improve time but clock showed another 1.31. Enough for 1st place and nine seconds quicker than second place rider Sam Faux.
Senior - 2nd run. My race target was to improve time by at least three seconds. I had a good start and hit all my lines and felt this was a really good run. Time of 1.28 was much better although other riders had also improved and I finished in third place.
My results were - 1st Hardtail and 2nd Hardtail Overall in series and
3rd Senior and 2nd Senior overall in series. A total of four podiums in one day!
Thanks to my sponsors:-
DMR Bikes/X Fusion/TRP Brakes/YBN Chains/Kenda/Battery Energy Drinks
British Downhill Series Rd 3 Innerleithen, Scotland by Richard Acott 2nd June 2013
This racing event attracted many top international teams and riders who were using this weekend as shakedown for next weeks Fort William world cup race. The international flavour was clear on track walk Friday night with lots of different languages being spoken including French, German, Spanish, Italian and visitors from Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Large number of entries meant another sell out event for organisers but limited parking created a cosy camping and parking area.
Friday 31.05.13 - Trackwalk revealed a long fast track with many rocky sections, steep chutes to road gaps and jumps. Bottom section had big jumps, tight berms and lots of spectator/media viewing points that were well used throughout the weekend. Weather forecast was good with blue sky and sunshine although possibility of light showers.
Saturday 01.06.13 - DMR Bolt was set up with X Fusion forks, YBN Chain, TRP Quadiem Brakes, Kenda Nevegals and Micrsoshift running gear. Early practise went well with no major issues but slow uplift meant only five runs during day. My last run and front end washed out on loose gravel resulting in torn shirt, trousers.
Sunday 02.06.13 - Woke up to another great sunny day but when checking bike noticed front tyre had gone down due to hole in sidewall - probably that costly last run yesterday. Have been running Kenda Tyres tubeless for a while using Caffelatex but had run out so ended up running front tyre with inner tube and rear without which gave the bike an unusual riding feel..
Lots of red flags during race meant that start times were delayed for long periods and it seemed the fast pace of racing was catching out many riders. My seeding run felt slow and I was surprised and pleased to be seeded twelve in category. I needed to speed up to improve position for the single race run format used at BDS events.
My run did not start well as I had spent a long time at start waiting for track to reopen after a rider had crashed - hope you get well soon. Perhaps this led to loss of focus as I was unusually slow out of start but soon picked up and at finish felt I had out in a solid performance in front of large crowds. When results were posted I saw my time of 2.56 which gave me 8th place finish so very pleased with race and within my top ten target finish.
For a short time I even managed the hotseat:-
(see video clip at 17mins)
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes,TRP Brakes, X Fusion Suspension, YBN Chains, Kenda Tyres, Battery Energy Drinks
PEARCE CYCLES Rd 2 BALA by Richard Acott
The weekend weather forecast was good but on Friday night there was a lot of heavy rain and blustery wind. The Rhyd y Felin course is one of the longest (3-4mins) steepest and toughest tracks in UK and will be hosting British National Downhill Championships later this year. The Pearce Cycles entry list showed a large field of 325 top riders from all over uk.
Saturday - Omen proto hardtail was to be used this weekend following a good set of recent results in both hardtail and senior categories. My first practise run was a slow sighting run as I had not been able to do a track walk last night. The top section had a lot of loose rock, tricky bus stops, fast berms and steep drops before entering a long fast ‘motorway’ section. Hairpin left dropped you into wooded section which caught out many riders with slippy roots and greasy mud. Over fire roads, more woods and roots and then jump into into long field section. Just as you felt you were nearing finish there was a long turn in the field which seemed like an ice rink. Spectators loved the motorcross style riding antics and lots of riders fell rolling around in the mud.
Sunday - morning practise showed top section had become incredibly bumpy and I began to think hardtail bike was only just rideable I these conditions. I found some full suspension riders also found this section really bumpy which made me feel slightly better. My first race run went well and I posted time of 3.29(19/92) which I felt was good and was just six seconds behind podium finish. Because of large numbers there was a little time before second runs and I began to think about conditions and bike. I decided to built up DMR Bolt (short travel full suspension) that I had brought with me although it required a lot of preparation work as it had been stripped ready to return to DMR next week. This would be an experimental run and give me timed data on the question of hardtail v suspension bikes for this course. It would also be a bit of a gamble as I had no practise on the bike and first run would be racing…
Second runs and top section felt a lot smoother but I had a couple of close over handlebar moments in wooded section as suspension bike and requires slightly different riding technique. I was pleased with run and glad to finish without crashing! I had posted a time of 3.23 which gave me a good 10th spot finish in a highly competitive field of riders.
Thanks to Pearce Cycles for another great event, many spectators and supporters who turned up to watch and my great sponsors:-
DMR Bikes/X Fusion Suspension/YBN Chains/ TRP Brakes/Kenda Tyres/ Battery Energy Drinks
Borderline Events Moelfre DH race Round 3 by Richard Acott
Friday 19.04.13 Prepared bike for weekend race and looking forward to some good weather for a change. Track walk showed a long open stretch across open hillside, over quarry drop into steep berms, across water splash and road gap, long rocky and pedally section around hillside, drop into jumps, fast berms and final jump into finish.
Saturday 21.04.13 Lovely warm day with blue sky and sunshine although a little wind at Moelfre former national championships course. Practise went well with not too many suprises, no mechanicals and feeling good. A lot of riders suffered punctures on this brutal track but Kenda Nevegals performed well all weekend.
Sunday 21.04.13 Weather still kind but occasional blustery wind and showers made for difficult conditions on track. The race would be a two category race format and I would be riding hardtail bike in both hardtail and senior category (only senior category qualifies for British Cycling points). First hardtail run and tape near top berm had been changed which meant racing line had changed since practise and this was very worrying but I managed to spot new line just in time and adjust speed to compensate - course was soon put back to original line after first few riders informed race organiser Mike Marsden and BC Comissaire.
Run 1 - Hardtail went well and I posted time of 2.43 which gave a healthy 28 second margin to second place rider Ste Tomlinson.
Run 2 - Seniors also felt good and top section of track had been put back to original lines used in practise. I finished run in second place three second behind Jake Hancock Back in pit area I refuelled and checked bike at same time thinking I could improve time and only needed three seconds more.
Run 3 - Hardtail second run and wind had picked up but still managed to post a quicker time of 2.39 which sealed a great 1st place win Ste Tomlinson 2nd and Aaron Chorlton 3rd
Run 4 - Seniors went well but again wind was stronger. I put everything into this run and hit all my lines until berm just before a set of jumps at bottom of track. Unfortunately this cost me a lot of time but managed to post an incredible 2.35.43 The time was just 0.0040 off 1st place rider Jake Hancock 2nd Richard Acott 3rd Danny Bradford. This was a brilliant 2nd place result in seniors on hardtail (front suspension only) on former national championship course. Great and exciting weekends racing for both riders and spectators
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes/X Fusion Suspension/YBN Chains/ TRP Brakes/Kenda Tyres/ Battery Energy Drinks
RICHARD ACOTT'S DOUBLE WIN - Race Report on North West MTB Rd1 - 31.03.13
Fabulous two race wins at North West MTB DH round 1 held at Farmer John's, Stockport near Manchester this weekend. Top podium spot in Hardtail category and then incredibly a top podium spot in Seniors riding DMR Omen proto in both races. Here is how it happened:-
Sunday 31.03.13 - The clocks had changed last night to British summer time but looking out of window still a lot of snow on ground. Woke up early at 5.30am to make an early start ands after breakfast loaded van and headed out on M56 motorway in blue sky and sunshine but still bitterly cold.
The track walk revealed two distinct sections with top half open and with manmade jumps, raised board walks, rock gardens and berms. The lower section went through natural woodland, slippery/icy mud and tricky roots. I had thought about possibility of racing two categories previously and entering senior category would help gain British Cycling points that I would need later in season. On spur of moment I asked mike Marsden, Borderline Events if it was possible and he kindly said yes but thought it would be a tough call at this push up only (no uplift) event.
Practise went reasonably well but I did not get any full runs because of riders stopped on track. Race times were posted and it would mean I would be racing and pushing up all afternoon to meet race start times.
Race 1 Hardtail - Good start but shortly after entering bottom section I hit log jump and it all went badly wrong as I landed on slippy icy roots, hit tree and went over handlebars. Got back on bike and then slipped on next corner but did eventually finish. Bruised and battered I went back to van with blood tripping from finger - after some quick treatment to cuts I was ready to race again. I checked bike over and everything was still good
Race 2 Seniors - Good run and posted a surprisingly quick time of 1.29 which placed me third which was much better than I had expected and only two seconds away from winning.
Race 3 Hardtail - body still feeling sore after this mornings crash but I knew after last run I was competitive. Hit all my chosen lines but held back a little on bottom section as I needed to finish to stand any chance of a podium. Great clean race run and posted a race winning time of 1.28 which was thirteen seconds ahead of second place rider Sam Faux with third place going to Ste Tomlinson on homemade SWT
Race 4 Senior - I knew from earlier runs I was competitive but could a hardtail (front suspension only) win against lots of senior riders racing full suspension (front and rear) bikes? Mentally I went through run working out lines, when to push, when to brake, when to pedal. DMR bike was checked over, Kenda Nevegal tyres cleared of mud, YBN chain was oiled, Xfusion forks checked and TRP brakes checked and goggles cleaned.
Red light went out and race run had started. I sprinted out of start gate onto course and ripped through first top section. Just after entering wooded section I rolled log jump and pushed hard through twisty rooted section. Over the line to finish and I was exhausted. Looked at times and incredibly had posted a race winning time of 1.24. Fantastic race day
1st Richard Acott (Senior) 2nd Matthew Hakes 3rd Mitch Ingley
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes/Xfusion/TRP/Kenda/YBN/Battery Energy
CAERSWS Borderline Events Rd2 16/17th March 2013 by Richard Acott
Muddy track, boggy camping field and changeable weather dominated this weekends racing that took place at Caersws , Mid Wales.
Saturday 16.03.13 Having walked track night before I knew this open mountainside track was littered with tree stumps. The open top section was exposed and subject to variable weather conditions which prevented use of top jump. Middle section had some tight and steep berms with slippy muddy chutes. Bottom section after a muddy drop went into field and long downhill pedal into finish.
Heavy rain in night meant that the wet track would be even more tricky and it was easy choice to fit Kenda King of Traction tyres. Great practise and although muddy enjoyed the challenge and managed ten runs despite a couple of stoppages due to red flags.
Sunday 17.03.13 After a very cold night woke to snow flurry but was not sticking. Blue sky and sunshine helped dry track and by time of first race run I was thinking of changing tyres. I stuck with spikes and posted a time of 2.15 and was ahead of second place rider.
After short break opted to change tyres to Kenda Nevegals. Whilst waiting for second run was happy to help out several riders with mechanicals and tyre choice. Second run was quicker and posted time of 2.03 which was enough to keep me in first place in the hardtail category. Brilliant
1st Richard Acott 2nd Adam Lyons 3rd Aron Chorlton
Borderline Events Rd 1 - Innerleithen , Scotland 24th February 2013 by Richard Acott
First race of 2013 season and this would be good shakedown for bike and components. Over winter I have been riding, training and testing in some very wet weather conditions but this weekends forecast was for blue sky and sunshine although cold.
I would be racing the new DMR Omen Proto frame in yellow designed and tweaked for downhill hardtail racing. Also new for this year were TRP Quadiem freeride/downhill brakes with four pot pistons 160-180mm rotors, large pads and a great lever design. I have been testing these brakes for a little while and very impressed by their simplicity, reliability and stopping power.
During winter testing I have increased the X Fusion vengeance fork travel from my usual 100mm to 130mm. The fork has internal adjustments from 100mm to 170mm and it will be interesting to see what difference it makes on track. Other goodies for 2013 built include DMR wing bar mk3 (red), cult crank (green), Vault pedals (green), Viral chain guide(blue) and D Vee rims.
Friday - Arrived at Innerleithen late afternoon and just managed to walk track in fading light of day. Several riders must have had same idea and excitement of first race was building.
The track was in three sections and began with a bumpy rocky straight through trees before entering a root section, followed by drop and berms before exiting on first fire road. Next section went through woods and included line choices to get around trees in centre of track, over wall drops, back into woods and onto next fire road. Section three went quickly along fire road before tight ninety degree right turn and drop back into woods.This section was popular with spectators and included even knarlier roots, bigger drops, chute and berms before going across fire road and into finish.
Saturday - Good breakfast. Early morning practise revealed a loose front end and after a little investigative work turned out to be loose star nut as end cap was not sitting flush on stem. Several other bolts worked loose thoughout morning as a result of course being rough in places and made worse by cold and hard icy ground but fortunately no mechanicals.
This was my first race using tubeless tyres and a bit of an experiment thanks to Caffelatex - the trials and errors of adapting rims and using standard mtb tyres is a long story to be told another time. Glad to say Kenda tyres worked faultlessly all weekend and completely changed feel of both tyre and bike. I will be using them again this season but ideally with proper tubeless tyres.
At end of practise I was pleased with bike and components. It is always interesting at first race of season to see new bikes, bits and pieces, see whose riding and greeting the many new young and not so young racers and spectators. Looking forward to tomorrow.
Sunday - Woke up to see it was snowing. When I reached track though it had stopped and been replaced by blue sky and sunshine although still very cold. There was a slight delay at start of morning practise but eventually it started and very nearly managed three runs. The last run was red flagged as someone had fallen. The ground was still icy on top and middle section and I had a big off in woods caught on camera by Brian Anderson, British Army DH Team who later won the Senor category. Fortunately I rolled laughing, had no injuries and bike was ok.
My first race run felt terrible and was probably my worst of weekend. I selected wrong gear on straight section just after start, missed a couple of lines and generally disappointed with performance. Surprisingly I posted a time of 3minutes 28 seconds which was enough to put me in first place with a margin of 14 seconds. Second race run after short burst of rain felt a lot better, hit all line choices but mysteriously ended up 2 seconds slower. Fortunately I held onto number one position to secure race win.
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes, TRP, X Fusion, Kenda, YBN Chains, Battery Energy Drinks
ENGLISH DOWNHILL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012 by Richard Acott
Friday 12.10.12 - Final race of season would take place on proven national downhill track at Moelfre, Oswestry. DMR Omen bike was in good order and really pleased with new sick green cult cranks and orange vault pedals. Mixture of sunshine and showers forecast so packed both Kenda Nevegal (dry) and King of Traction (wet) tyres.
Saturday 13.10.12 - Early morning sunshine was a good start and sign on showed a highly competitive field of hardtail riders. Borderline Events organiser and British Cycling were also quick to declare a new record for highest number of female competitors who received some special coaching over weekend along with some elite CRC rider training offered free for new racers.
Track began by crossing a grassy hilltop with steep off camber that would prove tricky later in day after heavy shower, round a ninety degree berm and into two step downs before plunging into steep section through gorse ending in water splash. Middle section involved jump over fire road and short pedal section over mountainside then a long and fast downhill run into another berm and series of four cross/bmx style jumps. Final section involved several smaller jumps and another fast ninety degree berm that proved eventful throughout weekend with several riders slipping down or riding over berm all within site of finish line.
My practise runs went well but in afternoon there were a couple of showers that seemed to lead to a number of crashes. Unfortunately that resulted in temporary track closures whilst medics did a great job in attending to injured riders trackside. Best wishes to everyone on a speedy recovery.
Sunday -14.10.12 - Awoke after chilly night to white fields covered in frost, sun came out and frost soon cleared. Bike checks before todays racing included tyre pressures (30/32psi) brakes, gears, fork adjustments, chain lubrication, spoke tightness. I managed two good practise runs before race start at 11.00am My first run started well but soon caught up another rider who seemed to pull over but then rode into side of bike meaning we both went down. Both got up and finished but I had lost time and was four seconds behind Ash Brown who took first run spot with time of 3minutes 04 seconds.
Second run was better and I flew past two riders without incident (riders are set off at thirty second intervals). I had smashed my previous time by nineteen seconds to take win with a time of 2minutes 49 seconds which was eleven seconds ahead of second place.
Richard Acott1st Ash Brown2nd Adam Lyons3rd
Fantastic - I had won Bikeworks English Downhill Championship 2012. Brilliant end to great race season and my third consecutive English Championships title win. Thanks to supporters and spectators whose interest and encouragement has been shown at every race event throughout the year. I also have to thank my great sponsors:
DMR BIKES/TEKTRO BRAKES/KENDA TYRES/YBN CHAINS/ X FUSION SUSPENSION/BATTERY ENERGY DRINKS
…..KILL THE BILL - FORT WILLIAM, SCOTLAND by Richard Acott
Trip to Scotland for short break and weekend race at legendary Fort William downhill track with DMR Omen and DMR Bolt coming out to play. Week before race the organiser was struggling for marshalls and weather forecast was not good but I decided I would be riding whatever the weather.
Arrived in Scotland and almost immediately it started raining constantly. Mid week I road the orange and black trail at Laggan Wolftracks on DMR Omen DMR Bolt and this was great fun in wet conditions. There is a very impressive fun section at end of all routes that involves fast berms, rollers, jumps and super quick sections. There was also really good cafe and bike shop if you run into any problems.
Thursday - only dry day and five hour walk up and down Ben Nevis - great views but missed riding bike.
Friday - decided to practise Fort William World Cup downhill track on the Omen Hardtail bike. A little bumpy but only one section proved really tricky. The bike felt really good and had performed well in tough and gritty track conditions. Looking forward to race day and catching up with a few friends over weekend.
Saturday - official practise day but wind and rain forced closure of gondola uplifit and track so no practise today. Many riders upset but only bad weather to blame.
Sunday - race day and I would be first hardtail rider down track. On my last practise run I hit a rock very hard and bent pedal, not sure how but I also broke brake hose meaning loss of pressure in the rear brake.
Looking at race times I realised I only had a few minutes before I needed to start uplift and may have to scrub race as did not have time to repair bike. Quick chat with Borderline Events race organiser and fortunately he agreed I could change race entry to Senior category meaning that I could try out DMR Bolt full suspension bike. I had wanted to do some more riding on this bike before racing.
I was soon reminded that there is very different riding technique and race lines options for full suspension bikes. My first race run was a little too cautious and I posted time of 5.57 . Second run was quicker at 5.49 and managed a top ten finish.
THANKS to sponsors DMR Bikes/Kenda/YBN Chains/X Fusion/Tektro/Battery
WELSH NATIONAL DOWNHILL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012 - TRIPLE WELSH GOLD WINNER - RICHARD ACOTT
There is something special about competing in a National Championship race that raises competitiveness, expectations and a strong desire to perform well in front of home crowds.. My ambition this year was to win and attain a record of three consecutive Welsh National Downhill Championship titles riding in hardtail category.
Friday 10.08.12 - a lot of bike preparation to ensure equipment in good order as we headed off to the tough long open track at Moelfre, North Wales.
Saturday 11.08.12- early morning sun meant a dry track which began with open top section running across open mountainside, over quarry drop and into fast rough line into three berms and then two step downs. Middle steep section involved lots of tricky berms and twists through gorse before water splash and road gap. Then followed a long pedal section across side of rocky mountain before going towards the rock slap although racing line took you over grass. Lower sections involved a couple jumps and berms before entering grassed finished area.
The fast pace action across tough track showed in the many punctures and damage to rear hanger/mechs and broken chains. Fortunately my only issue arose from brake fade towards end of course.
Sunday 12.08.12 - light rain overnight turned into a torrential downpour during morning practise. It changed the track from dry and dusty to wet and muddy resulting in a very different riding style. The wet grassy finish area saw some spectacular crashes into race control and timing gear but fortunately no one seriously injured. Some people changed tyres to get better traction but I stuck with Kenda Nevegal hoping it would be a drier track come afternoon race runs and luckily rain held off.
First race run started well but dropping into middle section down steep drop I carried too much speed and hit a berm that had washed out leaving hollow ground and I had a small fall. The lack of first run race times because of a timing issue meant that many riders including myself did not know race positions before second timed race run. My second race run was better but I did miss a few chosen lines that lost a few seconds.
Race times were soon posted and my second race run time of 2mins 45 seconds put me in front of second place rider by 28 seconds. Fantastic - I had won my third consecutive Gold Medal having won in 2010, 2011, 2012.
THANKS to sponsors DMR Bikes/Kenda/YBN Chains/X Fusion/Tektro/Battery Energy Drinks/Kik
North West MTB DH Series Rd 3 at Farmer Johns 24th June 2012 by Richard Acott
The race was a one day practise/race format and it would be final of series with a full entry list. I had won one round and lost one round to Will Swinden so the final race would be real head to head. Having checked weather forecast there was a mix of morning rain and afternoon sun and for a change it work out that way.
Once arrived I signed in and checked out track - top half was open and would be rolling quick on hardpack surface, there were berms and a couple of short north shore style sections. This was in contrast to bottom section which entered woods and dropped steeply into sharp corner. The lower sections was quite technical with roots, mud, drops, ruts and short corners.
I set bike up by adjusting tyre pressures and adjusted fork settings but opted to keep Kenda Nevegal tyre. Some people opted for mud tyres but I figured I could make time on top section and bottom was so bad mud tyres would make little difference. Other riders thought differently and there was a real mix out on track.
Practise and Race Run - practise went slowly due to constant stop starts due to red flags (stop riding) because of crashes and I was frustrated at lack of full practise runs. After short break for drink it was time for first race run and hardtails were first off start.
My first race run would be mid table start and I overtook two riders which cost a little time but still managed a good time of 1min49 secs. After a while I realised I was leading by eight seconds.
Second race run went really well although I had a small off on bottom section when tyre got caught in rut (video clip). I checked with timing officials and I had posted 0.58 seconds so queried it amazing feat but was told all equipment was good and showed green which meant they had recorded correctly. Sometime later I received notice that commissaires had issued a number of ’did not finish (dnf) or did not start(dns)’ notices and one was mine. Some riders were offered reruns because of timing issues. Fortunately my first run time had given a great race winning result and Podium 1st.
Well done to all riders, organisers and marshalls for a good friendly race series. Special mention also for Aaron Chorlton, overall series third place category rider who took a bad fall and broke his wrist - get well soon.
THANKS to great sponsors DMR Bikes/Kenda Tyres/YBN Chains/X Fusion/Tektro Brakes/Battery Energy Drinks/kik
WDMBA MOUNTAIN ASH Rd2 - 17th June 2012 by Richard Acott
Friday15.06.12 - late start out to South Wales for Welsh Downhill Mountain Bike Association Rd 2 at Mountain Ash. I had heard a lot of good reports about this flowing track so looking forward to trying out a new venue that I have not ridden before. Torrential rain and late arrival meant no opportunity for normal Friday track walk.
Saturday 16.06.12 - still raining hard so opted for King of Traction tyre. First practise run is normally slow as I try to learn track but even this was not even possible because of a serious brake problem. Some adjustments were made for second practise run but straight out of start I could tell all was not well and brakes had soon disappeared completely. At bottom of track I was amazed to find my new Kevlar pads (sent to me as upgrade instead of usual sintered pads) put in brakes on Friday had worn and rubbing metal to metal.
Talking around pit area it seemed many riders were experiencing brake issues. The combination of hard rain and gritty rock/mud did not help either. Unfortunately I could not get my usually very reliable brakes to work properly. I decided it was no longer safe to ride and unless problem sorted I would have to abandon race weekend.
Looking into my parts box I found an old front brake that with tweaking came back to life. Further work and trip to mechanic and loan of rear brake took time and meant practise had almost finished.
I decided a track walk would be good idea and may help lack of practise runs. Start was open top section with rock drop then several bus stops but not many line choices. Middle section was generally woody with interesting log drop immediately followed by tight berm. Final section was fairly open but with doubles, jumps and stream crossings.
Sunday 17.06.12 - heavy rain had finally stopped and sun was trying to come out and on went Nevegal tyre. Bike had been fixed, brakes working and ready to race. Managed two practise runs and both went really well.
The first race run was delayed by forty five minutes due to timing fault. Early into first run I crashed over bars but managed to catch a rider before crashing again. Suprisingly I managed a time of 4.45mins and went into lead by 19 seconds. After few questions to solve this mystery I found other riders had also crashed.
Second race run I hit all my chosen lines and caught two riders managing a fantastic race winning time of 4.08, second Paul Burford and third Aron Charlton.
THANKS to sponsors DMR Bikes/Tektro Brakes/Kenda Tyres/YBN Chains/X Fusion Battery Energy /kik clothing
NORTH WEST MTB DH Rd 2 - 6th May 2012 by Richard Acott
The weather was very good for round 2 which made a dramatic change from last weeks WDMBA race that had been tough with heavy rain, cold and wind all weekend. Tyre choice for this weekend would be Kenda Nevegal.
Race format consisted of practise Sunday morning and racing in afternoon. Farmer John’s, Stockport track was fairly short and was a push up only course. These are ideal races for beginners as low cost and lots of fun. The top section consisted of a fairly open course with man made rock gardens and berms, after this section there were a couple of jumps including the ‘hut jump’ then into a wooden berm. Below the jumps there was a wooded tree section with tight corners, roots and some loose ground into finish.
Practise went reasonably well but I could not get a complete practise run because of the many other riders. Racing would start at 12.30pm and hardtail was to be first category. I was surprised to see a large number of hardtail riders in practise and lots of different makes of bike. Looking at entrants list it became clear that not all hardtail riders had chosen to race hardtail category but would be competing in other race categories. I think the track must have appealed to both hardtail and full suspension bike riders.
First race run was full of little riding mistakes, missed lines and missed pedal strokes. I did make it down course and had a respectable time of 1.22 which put me into second place but I was not happy with my performance. I was four seconds off pace behind race leader.
Between race runs I went for short road ride to try and figure out what I needed to do to win. The bike and line choices I had chosen earlier were good in practise but I had messed up. I decided to focus and I needed to race and race well to win.
Second race run start was a lot better and I felt confident on course. All went well until last section and into last few of corners - I clipped a new post that had been put in track by marshals between race run 1 and 2 which meant I lost speed and this sent me off line for final corners.
Final race time of 1.20 was two seconds faster than my first run time but not enough to win. I was still on podium in second place - if only I hadn’t clipped that post.
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes/Tektro Brakes/Kenda/YBN/X Fusion/KIK/Battery Energy
WELSH DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE ASSOCIATION - RHEOLA 29.O3.12 by Richard Acott.
Friday - Heavy rain all week and still raining during our long drive to South Wales. The nearby campsite we had booked for weekend was closed and this was not a good start but fortunately managed to quickly make alternative arrangements.
Track walk revealed a rocky top section that was very slippy ending with a jump which had a poor rocky landing for hardtail riders. There was a way around jump but this would have been about five seconds slower but safer. The long middle section through trees was very muddy with deep ruts and then into rooty ‘star wars’ section. An exciting new bottom section with impressive berms had been built by WDMBA but heavy rain all week had caused a lot of fresh soil to be washed away downhill resulting in a very muddy entry into finish area.
Saturday - Cold and damp start to day and first run on Kenda Nevegal revealed that on top section tyres were good but not very good on middle and lower sections because of mud and water so I changed to King of Traction. A few more tweeks of front X Fusion suspension and adjustment to tyre pressures soon got the bike dialled into track. The afternoon practise proved great fun with lots of sliding and rolling in mud but riding was improving all the time so very happy.
Uplift was working well with several converted school buses with heaters taking both riders and bikes in same vehicle - another bus had been converted into café/lounge so comfort all round.
Sunday - Woke feeling tired after poor nights sleep due to high winds, rain and a wet sleeping bag! Practise started well but a change to earlier race start times meant I went straight from practise to race run without a break. Normally no problem but in such poor conditions a chance to dry out and warm up would have been good. Some riders just skipped practise altogether.
Run one was ok but I made a few small mistakes which proved costly and I was in second place down by eight seconds after first run. Thought about first run and knew I could and should have done better. After brief stop I was ready for second run. First rock section felt really fast and middle tree section went well but then I hit ‘Star Wars’ too fast, slid off line and then fell off again so cruised into finish area.
Good second place podium finish. Final results Paul Burford 1st (4.04) Richard Acott 2nd(4.12) and Aaron Chorlton 3rd (5. 13)
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes/Tektro Brakes/Kenda Tyres/YBN Chains/X Fusion Supension/ Kik Clothing/ Battery Energy Drinks
FETISH BIKES DH SERIES Rd 2 - MOELFRE, WALES 01.04.12 by Richard Acott
Friday 30.03.12 - Set off in good time even though track was not too far away as treating this weekend shakedown for season. Evening track walk in chilly weather showed some interesting changes to track including long sections over fresh grass at top of hill slalom style. Middle section was steep and rocky with jump across fire road and final section looked as if it would be down rock slab but cunningly the tape turned you almost ninety degrees shooting you down grassy slope into final section.
The course designer claimed the changes were to make riders think.
Saturday 31.03.12 - checking over bike before practise run I decided to use new setof Kenda Nevegal tyres. The new DMR wheel 142x12mm showed that the new size and excellent DMR dropout design really did help ease fitting - something I had taken for granted until I thought about it. I also changed a Microshift long cage derailleur for short cage as I figured it would be better avoiding rocks.
It was not long into practise when calls came for organiser to change course lines as riders were missing the new lines. There were several minor mishaps with several riders tumbling down the rock slab on backsides which looked funny but I am sure must have hurt.
As day progressed I began to get more confident with bike and tyres over different sections including grass, dry and dusty soil, rocks. Lots of riders seemed to have mechanicals or punctures but my bike set up and components worked really well.
Sunday 01.04.12 - after a cold night I was not surprised to see cars and ground covered in frost. Blue sky and sunshine quickly warmed track and it remained sunny for rest of day. Racing started at 12.00 and I was first rider down after short delay at start. I managed to hit most of the lines I wanted and posted a time of 2.39 which was 16 seconds ahead of next rider.
Second runs were delayed following incident involving a rider near rock slab that resulted in air ambulance - not sure who it was but wish them well. After a twenty minute delay waiting on top of hill I finally started second run - poor gear change near top of course and a missed line half way down track meant that I was slower but managed to keep hold of podium first place.
Thanks to sponsors DMR Bikes/Tektro Brakes/Kenda Tyres/YBN Chains/X Fusion Supension/ Kik Clothing/ Battery Energy