Halo BDS Round 2

 

Round two of the Halo BDS took place on a beautiful, sunny and warm weekend in Moelfre, Wales.  Moelfre is a fast and - on this weekend - dusty, track.  Not particularly technical, but proper fast and a hell of a lot of fun to ride. 

 

Halo British Downhill series Jenny Beesley 1

Photograph courtesy of Callum T Photography  www.callumt.co.uk

 

My main aim for this race was to actually finish my first National - a pretty lowly aim, but one I'd failed to achieve a few weeks earlier at Nant Gwrtheyrn.  The weekend got off to a mint start with a track walk with Peaty on Friday evening.  Although the course was taped slightly differently to previous years, Steve was super-quick to spot some sneaky lines and share them with all the SPS riders.  It was good to catch up with everyone and see how their training and racing has been going during the early season.  Friday night was a quiet one for most, we had a barbie and team manager Tristan even sorted me out with a beef burger loaded with beetroot - that and the warm, dusty conditions made me feel right at home, almost like I was actually back in New Zealand.  If you haven't tried beetroot in a burger, then get on it - you've been missing out your whole life!

 

Everyone was amped to get riding and most of us were on the first couple of uplifts come Saturday morning.  The first few runs for me were super-steady, just checking out lines and getting a feel for the course.  There were definitely challenging sections and it took me a while to get my head around some of the bigger jumps and drops.  Tom Kelly found a fast-as line around the outside of the doubles at the bottom of the course, but come Sunday morning, this had been taped off.  The doubles were pretty difficult - only a handful of the very best riders managed to consistently clear all three.  I pumped through the first two and jumped the third, but it was hard to be consistent on this section.

 

Halo British Downhill series Jenny Beesley 2

Photograph courtesy of Callum T Photography  www.callumt.co.uk

 

On Sunday the stunning weather continued and it was easy to get distracted hanging out in the pits soaking up the sunshine without sweaty body armour on!  I did a couple of practice runs in the morning and felt pretty happy for the race.  Seeding was a steady run and I enjoyed cruising down with no-one else on the track to bother me.  I was fairly apprehensive before my race run because I knew I hadn't been riding that well all weekend.  My confidence was pretty low from some stupid crashes and some distinctly average riding in the last couple of weeks and I just wanted to go back to basics and get down the hill without coming last.  A mate sent me some inspirational texts which helped me chill out a bit, but I was still bricking it when I lined up in the start gate.  My run was straightforward.  Plenty of mistakes and a fair bit of cruising, which sounds lame, but it's all part of a plan to start progressing a bit better and start to get some consistency into my riding.  The theory being, finish this race in whatever position, in one piece, and get some confidence from the fact I've finished my first BDS round.  So 5th place was good enough for me on this occasion.  Something to build on.  The whole weekend was absolutely mint - the weather really helped with this, but as usual, it was the SPS guys that really made it into a special weekend.  Congrats to all our lads that raced, especially Nathan and Chris for their podiums.  The big bossman got on the podium also - 2nd overall in Elite and fastest rider through the speed trap on the day - way to go, Peaty! 

 

Halo British Downhill series Jenny Beesley 3

Photograph courtesy of Callum T Photography  www.callumt.co.uk

 

Before I knew it, the weekend was over and I was heading south back to Shropshire and the crew at Blazing Bikes for a cold pint of cider and a decent night's sleep with memories of an amazing three days with some very un-British weather, on a fun track with good mates.  Happy days.

 

Thanks to Callum from CallumT Photography for the photos. A big get well soon to Jamie Maller, who took a big crash on race day and earned himself a ride in the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Cheers heaps (as ever) to Steve and all my Steve Peat Syndicate team mates for another awesome weekend.  Thanks to Rich and the team at Blazing Bikes for providing me with such an awesome place to stay when I'm not racing.

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