Archive | June 2014

Gillian takes a break from MTB to undertake her first Road Crit Race

I had a very big change of scenery on Thursday night when I ventured to my first Road Crit race in Dunfermline, Fife.
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The race organiser had been working very hard via social media to encourage all ladies, racers and novices to enter this event and  if she could get 10+ ladies to enter, the race would go ahead. The race was scheduled before the men’s race. I had never raced ever on my road bike but decided it was a good event to test it out, plus extremely local so would be great for the team to have as many riders as possible.
 
Entering this event also encouraged me to bite the bullet and buy myself a new road bike which I had been debating about probably for the best part of a year! Top work by Andy (Leslie Bike Shop) and my new red beauty, Haibike Challenge arrived on time.
 
On the day of the race I found myself a tad nervous, unsure about speeds, who else would be there, would I be last? All these thoughts going through my head.Oh and whether to wear my skinsuit for the first time! 🙂 
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Donning my skinsuit I signed on to discover I was number 13! That was as far as my ‘onesie’ went as I decided was way too hot for long sleeves! Few tips and bike checks from my team mate John and I was ready to go.
 
The start line was quite relaxed, my friend Louise was also in the race so we discussed the course and chatted with a couple other girls, whilst the Scottish Cycling car checked the course. Scottish cycling explained the rules to us all.
 
The race was off to great cheers from the crowd and the first lap we were lead out by the car. There was a great turn out from Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique so there was lots of encouraging shouts coming from the crowd.  After the pace car left us the pace picked up and I made my way to the front of the group and up the front with the leading girls. I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea as it was so new to me.
 
After my first lap I settled into the pace with the other girls and began to think positive and realise I could keep this up. The course was very hilly and part of it was over cobbles, but was a very good interesting course and nice fast downhill section to catch your breath back.
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I managed to hold on to the lead group most of the race, with only a few laps to go one of the girls chased away and that gap was never closed. I stuck onto the other 2 in the group but unfortunately I dropped back creating a gap I couldn’t close back up in time for the finish straight. Throughout the race I had massive support from Andy & Fiona my top sponsors and my team mates who always shouted my name as I passed and encouraging pointers with regards to my position in the pack. I was so grateful for all of it.  
 
I finished in 4th place and was mega happy with myself. I am sure my face was the colour of my bike at the end. The  bike was awesome, so smooth, quick and  a joy to ride. I would never of got 4th place on my old bike! 
 
Lucky number 13 struck though and it turned out I won the 1st sprint (I wasn’t even aware there was a sprint to be honest) I just remember Kirsteen saying “And the winner of the first sprint goes to our local rider, Gillian Pratt” I was gobsmacked and just stood there. I was then pushed in her direction to go up and receive my prize. I was completely shocked but pretty chuffed I had won something in my first road event.
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The whole evening was a massive success and I am extremely grateful for Kirsteen encouraging us to enter the race. This was the first race of its kind to be held in Dunfermline and I hope it happens again next year.
 
Was a great turn out for Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique and it was fantastic seeing a lot of my team mates racing in such a local event.
 
Next up ’10 Under the Ben’ back to my racing routes on my MTB.
 
Once again thank you all for your continued support.
 
Gillian

Haibike at Fort William World Cup

This weekend holds host to the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup. Renowned for being the best World Cup event on the circuit it would be rude if we didn’t attend!

You will find us in the World Cup village at the Edinburgh Cycle Company stand where you can take a close up look at our range of Xduro bikes including the all-out destroyer, the Nduro Pro!

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The Nduro is the bike to have right now, especially if you’re one for smashing downhills but don’t have access to uplifts. With Bosch’s state of the art pedal assistance, you’ll breeze the climb to the top and be ready to descend on a bike that can handle whatever you throw at it! Check out the full spec of the bike here

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Edinburgh Cycle Company will be present throughout the event and on hand to answer all of your questions about Haibike, but if you can’t make it be sure to follow them on Facebook or drop into their store – 133-135 Granton Road, Edinburgh .

If you can’t make it to their store check out our other Haibike stockists around the country here

UCI JUNIOR SERIES IN NOVA MESTO AT WORLD CUP RD.3

Report by our Team rider Dylan Kerfoot-Robson aboard his Greed Team.

I am currently on a 3 week international race block over in the Czech Republic and Germany, racing 2 rounds of the UCI Junior series at the same venue as rounds 3 and 4 of the UCI XCO World Cup. My first race was last Saturday at Nova Mesto in the Czech Republic.

After arriving late on Tuesday evening, I did a few laps on course on Wednesday to get to know it, the course was super rooty and where it wasn’t rooty it was really loamy as the forest the course was in was a pine forest, there were also a few rock gardens and features thrown in for good measure too.

Another thing that hit me was the heat, I hadn’t ridden or raced in anything like as hot as it was here with temperatures hitting the high 20′s and on a few occasions the 30′s. Although with this heat came a few thunder storms, one of which came on the night before I raced. From about 7pm at night on the Friday to the early hours of Saturday it was just constant, heavy rain. So on race morning the ground was soaked but with the temperature still up in the 20′s it would take long for the majority of the ground to dry up.

My race started at 1pm and after a cool and relatively drama free start straight we headed through the first feed and onto a short tarmac section where the leaders eased off and were only 15 metres in front of me, so I dug in and tried to get myself right up there in the mix. This is something I was going to regret in a few minutes as while I was riding hard to move up the leaders were recovering before hitting the next climb. This meant after I had moved up a few places on the flat I had to work even harder just to maintain my position up the first climb. Around half way through the start loop I was counted through in 22nd position, a big improvement on my 47th grid position, but over the course of the rest of the start loop and the first lap or two of the track I slipped back to the mid 30′s. This was because I had gone so deep early on that I was just trying to recover from the effort over the first couple of laps.
Around half way through the second lap I start to come around and started to move up through the field once again getting myself into a group fighting for 30th place. We kept swapping places and then coming into the last lap we all sat up and as I could see at least another couple of riders just up the road I thought let’s give it everything I had left to try and catch them. So over the first half of the lap I was catching them along with a French guy that had the same idea as me but he was just happy sitting on my wheel. Then about half way through the lap this French guy finally came round be but only to ride off, away from me as I was so knackered from the first half of the lap, I was really starting to pay for my effort now and slowly slipped further and further back eventually being passed by 2 or 3 riders on the final technical climb. I came across the line in 34th position, the same result as I had at the last round of the World Cup last year in Norway, at least I haven’t become worse over the winter. I think with a better execution of the race, and not just letting the ‘red mist’ come down I think I could have been further up the field. Hopefully that will be the case this weekend at the next round of the UCI Junior series in Albstadt. A course I raced to an 88th placing last year, so I have a good idea what to expect this weekend.

My Haibike greed team 29 was the ideal bike for the race in Nova Mesto last weekend as the minimal weight obviously helped me up the hills but also the geometry just let me ride the descent still fast but because I felt comfortable and in control it allowed me to have a small bit of recovery before heading back up another hill. I raced a combination of Schwalbe Racing Ralph’s and the new Schwalbe Thunder Burt on the back, the Thunder Burt surprised me with the amount of grip it had over all sorts of different surfaces and I would have run one in the front too if it hadn’t have chucked it down all night long.

All in all it was a good reality check after 6 months away from the international MTB scene and I think I am in a good place with more to come throughout the year, and with the ongoing support from Haibike UK I hope to move myself well up the field in time for the World Championships in Norway at the start of September.