British Downhill Round 2 – Fort William – 9th, 10th and 11th May 2014

With the advance forecast showing heavy rain for the Scottish Highlands I packed all the wet weather gear I could and prepared for what I thought could be a tough weekend trackside at Fort William. As British Downhill Rounds go this is always the toughest, the track is just legendary and has been long considered one of the toughest on the World Cup Circuit. The drive up is epic both in terms of the time spent in the car and the scenery for the last 3hrs of the journey and pressure on me as a coach as the athlete despite your best efforts flicks up a notch as it’s a long way to go not to come home with a result.

So with all that to consider over the 12hrs it takes to get to Fort William it was a good job I was travelling up with Blockhead Team Rider Josh Lowe and Ghost Factory Team Rider Harry Molloy. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Josh for the past 4 seasons and I worked with Harry for a number of years too so I know the guys well and the hours flew past on the long journey north.

Josh Lowe Road Tripping

My main focus over a race weekend is the Blockhead Downhill Team and in Fort William I was looking after Josh (Lowe) and Fergus (Ryan). Fergus is in his first year on the team and with our first skills coaching session behind us I was looking forward to working him with trackside. After waiting for the rain to stop Josh, Harry and I took a trip to the top of the mountain to check out what was install. We’d all been and raced at the Nevis Range a lot over the years and although we knew the track well it was interesting to see the changes in line that a hard winter of weather and training opened up. From carry more speed in terns to some interesting tape options it was going to be more than straight forward to get the most from the track.Fort William - Track Walk

It’s easy to break the Fort William Track down into sectors with the top being made up of the fast open and tight corners and the board walk, then it’s into some big hits in the rocks, before another fast open section takes you down onto the slab. From there it’s full speed ahead to the dear gate and then flat out to the first small section of woods. The starter if you like for the main wood section that had everyone scratching their heads when it came to line choice. In all my years of racing and trail building I’d never seen a section evolve like this one did it was incredible to watch the riders come in on their previous line only to find it had been eroded and gone. This was where the true genius in the riders shone through for sure. Whilst this section wasn’t going to win you the race you could certainly loose it here.

Back up to warp speed for the Silverline Tools hip jump and then down into the woods for the Hazzard Booter complete with evil case marks! The more woods before being fired out into the motor way section. With a super fast run into the first hip it’s then full gas to the finish with the table tops and step downs tempting those that can into throwing in some style as they fly down to the finish line.

Silverline Tools - Hip/Wall Ride

Anyone of the sectors would make a great track on it’s own putting them all together is the art and with 8 of the Cairns top 10 on track there were plenty of speed merchants on hand to show everyone how it should be done.

The rain overnight was biblical and I awoke early in the hope that for once it had rained so much it had run out of the wet stuff. I crazy thought I know but as we headed down to the venue the sun started to break through the clouds and the rain stopped. I had everything crossed that we were going to be in for a dry days practice.

Saturday practice is where I’m busiest checking out the various line options and making sure the riders I work with are on their optimum line. It’s great to have some of the fastest riders on track to compare and contrast and learn from. Full focus as you don’t want to miss anything that could give you an edge. Utilising the system to analyse everything from bike set up to body position there’s a lot to monitor and the I-pad and Coaches Eye gets a good work out when it comes to analysing the essentials of a good run.


From the guys first run thought to getting back to the pits I spent 6hrs hills side. Analysing each of the sectors and watching rider after rider. As they say time flies when your having fun but I must remember to pack some lunch as it’s hungry work! Then it’s time to feed that all back to the riders, giving them the essentials that I’ve picked up track side before they head up for another run to make sure they’ve maximised the opportunities to squeeze all the time they can from this monster of a track.

More overnight rain meant that we awoke to clouds clinging to the sides of the mountain. Again the forecast wasn’t good but ever the optimist I hoped that again it had run out of rain overnight and that the weather for finals day would stay fine as it had for practice.

It’s an early start on race day with final practice runs to ensure that the overnight debrief and line tweaks are dialled in and everyone’s up to speed. I headed up to the woods section which was changing rapidly to gather some intel on lines and the guys put in their final practice runs to ensure they were up to speed. The woods were still proving their worth as a pivotal point on the track with some of the big names getting into all sorts of trouble on lines that had literally vanished between runs.

With the racing starting it was time to ensure that Josh and Ferg were ready for their seeding run and get into the pits to ensure the other riders that I work with where ready to go too. Youth rider Thomas Davies (Crank Cycles) was up first and put down a solid run to slot into second place. Al Warrell (Team Aston Hill) was next in Junior’s. Al made a big mistake up top as the heavens opened and the heavy rain reduced the grip levels to near zero so he lost a ton of time on his way down meaning that he would be first off in the finals and I had some work to do. In the seniors Fergus put together a solid run but was unhappy seeding just outside the top 10 in 11th. Confident that he had a couple of sections where he could pick up the time he needed to crack the top 10.

Darren Evans (Team Aston Hill) put in a storming run to take 3rd in the Experts closely followed by Nick Geoghegan (Rockstar Energy Team) in 6th. In the Elites Harry set the pace with Josh coming home in a solid 36th place and Jack Geoghegan (Saracen Development Team) coming home with a flat leaving it all to do in the final.

Delays between the seeding and finals gave me plenty of time to get the set up on Josh’s bike dialled and it back to showroom finish with Ducksmart and BGi Cleaner (worth at least a couple of seconds on his run). With the racing on Thomas came home in a 9th place cracking the top 10 for the first time and putting in a solid performance throughout the weekend. I made sure Al got his head together for his final run putting in a stormer that saw him keeping the hot seat warm until the top 10 came down eventually finishing in a respectable 9th place.



In seniors Fergus punctured high above the deer gate and rolled down to finish the course in 38th place. Chris Cockrill put together one of the best national runs so far to take 12th. Into the Expert Men and Darren had his eye on the top step. He wasn’t far off with just 3seconds between him and the winner. Nick laid all of his Fort William demon’s to rest with a great ride into 6th palace just a second off the podium.


In the Elites whilst all eyes where on the battle for the podium I was focussed on ensuring that Jack, Josh and Harry could put together their best runs of the weekend.

Josh Lowe - Fort William - Start

Jack was one of the first Elites on course after his puncture and that saw him keep the hot seat warm for a while. He was eventually push down into 29th place a very respectable finish against a field of this caliber.

With confusion over start times I sent Josh off to keep warm thinking we had three minutes to go rather than 3 riders. It was all a bit of a panic to get him to the gate on time and as he sprinted out of the start he slipped both pedals. Riding the stem to the first corner I’m sure it wasn’t just my life flashing before my eyes. As his feet found the pedals and he took a second to compose himself and then gassed on into the top section. I had a feeling that what might have seemed like a nightmare start might have been just what Josh needed and it was! He flew down the course 6 seconds quicker than in seeding and finished in 35th place which in a field of this calibre is a result!

Harry was the last down and he lost a second on seeding but he’d done enough to secure 23rd again a fantastic result considering the calibre of the field and the perfect rehearsal for the World Cup here at the start of June.

The top five Elites were 1st Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing). 2nd Matt Simmonds (Madison Saracen Factory Team). 3rd Marc Beaumont (GT Factory Racing). 4th Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate). 5th Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH).

So all in all it was a great weekend of racing. Lot’s learned and plenty to take away to work on back at home in preparation for the next few weeks of racing. For Josh, Harry and Fergus it’s the IXS Cup in Marribor this weekend and then back to the next BDS in Ae Forest.

Hopefully Josh will make the GB Team for the next two World Cups (selection announced this week) and we’ll be back up to Fort William to support him on track at the start of June. Till then I’m off to analyse the results and plenty of video. These marginal gains don’t find themselves!

If you’d like to take your skills to the next level Ian works with riders of all ages and abilities from complete beginners to World Cup racers. For more information click over to the courses page on





Blockhead Energy Gum Downhill Racing Team 2013 – Josh Lowe, Season Review

Josh Fort Bill StartStraight out of the blocks and Josh started the season as he meant to go on, with a win at the opening round of the British Downhill Series (BDS) in Combe Sydenham. It was a fantastic start to the race season considering the team was just an idea at the start of the year. It’s no mean feat to go from an idea to the top of the podium in the Expert Category in three months, phew! We are lucky that we are sponsored by and energy product!

From the south coast of England we headed north to the Scottish Highlands for the second round of the BDS in Fort William. With plenty of World Cup Downhill regulars in attendance it was a fast and furious weekend on the mountain. Unfortunately a front puncture in Josh’s race run, just over a minute into the track put paid to any chances he had of a podium repeat. Fortunately it’s four from five rounds that count t the overall, but it’s still a really long drive home after a disappointing result like that!

Round 3 was always going to be a tough one, falling right in the middle of Josh’s A-level final exams. Had he done well in Fort William the plan was to miss this round so he could focus on his exams. To be fair he managed to forget the pressure and focus on getting his championship challenge back on track. Josh finished in seventh place with the top 10 split by a matter of seconds; it was good to get some more points in the bag and get Josh home in one piece to finish off his exams so he could focus on his racing for the rest of the year.

With his A-level’s complete it was time to hit mainland Europe with a trip out to Leogang in Austria for the first round of the IXS European Cup Downhill. The IXS is a stepping stone between the BDS and the Downhill World Cup. With the opening round of the World Cup in Fort William also in the middle of his A-level Exams it was the first time this season that Josh would test himself against the best in European downhill racing.  Coming home in 37th place against such a talented field underlined Josh’s potential.

Then it was back to the UK for the fourth round of the BDS series which took place at Llangollen in North Wales.  Llangollen is a fast and twisty track that suited Josh from his first practice run and he was flying down the track in practice. Going into the race it was his to lose and for and for the second time in the season Josh crossed the line with the fastest Expert time to take another win and really ignite the race for the BDS Expert series title.

With Josh moving to from the junior category to expert in 2013 the aim of the year was to move straight through the category and get a converted place in the Elite category for 2014. With Josh leading the British Cycling rankings at the mid-point of the season and with two wins at the BDS series already in the bag there was a real possibility that this would be a very achievable goal.

With that in mind the British National Championships were the first chance to see how Josh would fair against the best riders in the UK. Whilst at the BDS there are categories based on age and ability for the National Championship only the rider’s age matters. With one senior Championship category Josh was up against the best. Not only the best in the UK but with Gee Atherton leading the World Cup Downhill Series and racing legend Steve Peat looking for a ninth British title the best racers in the World were in attendance too.

Blockhead Energy Gum Downhill Team Rider Josh Lowe on his way to 18th place at the 2013 National Championships at Bala

Blockhead Energy Gum Downhill Team Rider Josh Lowe on his way to 18th place at the 2013 National Championships at Bala

Practice went well and Josh qualified inside the top 20 achieving the first target for the weekend. In the finals he put together a near perfect race run to stop the clock on 3.35.16 good enough for 18th place and a sign of things to come in 2014.

With the World Cup heading back to Europe, Josh had done enough to earn a converted place on the Great Britain Mountain Bike Downhill Team and was eligible to race at round 3 in Vallnord, Andorra.  If it’s a step up racing in the IXS Series it’s a leap to racing the World Cups. The first target is qualifying and with only 80 places on offer for the men this isn’t easy. Unfortunately a puncture in qualifying put paid to Josh’s chances. It wasn’t the end of the world though, just the end of a frustrating weekend.

Off the back of the World Cup it was straight back into IXS action. With a point to prove Josh headed to Pila in Italy for round 3 of the IXS European DH Series. Pila has a monstrous downhill track that’s a favourite with the World Cup racers. Coming home in 46th place in a stacked field of over 200 riders Josh chalked up another great result. From Italy the team travelled to Switzerland to race round 4 of the IXS series on the popular Wiriehorn track. Again Josh pushed his Trek Session to its limit for the whole weekend and finished in 44th place, closing in on his target of a top 30.

Back in the UK it was business as usual at finals of the British Downhill Series in Bringewood.  Josh came home in 6th and secured second place overall in the series. Whilst he was so close to wrapping up the overall title, second was an amazing achievement in his first season as an Expert and would be enough to guarantee him a converted place in the Elite category for 2014! “Job done” as they say.

The season wasn’t over though and it was time to head out to Chatel, France and round 6 of the IXS European Downhill Series. Chatel is like a home from home for Josh and he had high hopes of showing just what he was capable off. However the weather had other ideas and it threw everything it had and more at Josh and the track in the form of a monstrous alpine thunder storm just before Josh’s run. The fact that he slipped and slid his way to a 52nd place finish just shows what could have been.

With the World Cup Series starting late in 2013 there was still two rounds to go! The first stop was at Hafjell Bike Park in Norway. It’s another monster of a track with some massive jumps up top and it was an instant favourite with Josh. He was again chasing that covered top 80 qualifying position and he came home in 88th just 2 seconds off of qualification, a move in the right direction, but so frustrating to miss out by such a small margin.

There was no time to think of what could have been though, as Josh travelled from Norway to Austria for the following weekend and the World Cup Finals in Leogang. All eyes were on the 2013 overall title chase, with it coming down to straight fight for the overall series honours between Gee Atherton and Stevie Smith.

For Josh having raced here earlier in the season he had high hopes of securing that covered top 80 qualifying slot. However so did many other racers and with 160 plus riders chasing 80 qualifying slots it was always going to be a tough weekend. Josh came home in 127th not the result he was hoping for, especially considering how close he’d come the weekend before. Never the less, it was another valuable weekend of racing experience in preparation for 2014.

At the sharp end it was Canadian Stevie Smith that edged out Gee Atherton in a thrilling finale to the series to take the win that wrapped up the men’s overall title. It wasn’t all bad news for the Brits/Atherton’s though, as Gee’s sister Rachel Atherton won the women’s 2013 World Cup Downhill Title. Dominating the series and adding the Downhill World Cup Series title to the World Championship title she’d won earlier in the year.

At the end of September as the domestic race season was fast becoming a memory, there was still the final of the IXS European Downhill Cup to come. Maribor in Slovenia is another legendary European track and one that has a reputation for being fast and furious. Yet again the weather had other ideas and a wild weekend of racing awaited all the competitors.  For the second IXS in a row Josh slipped and slid his way down the track, this time to a 51st place finish. Leaving him to wonder as to what might have been had the conditions not been so epic! Josh rounded out the IXS European Downhill Cup in 58th place and 6th British finisher.

Heading back to the UK after a long hard but very rewarding season Josh rounded out his year of racing where he’d started it back on top of the box at Penshurst with a win at the final round of the PORC downhill series.

What a season! 5 wins a stack of top 10 finishes, second overall in British Downhill Series and British Cycling’s Expert National Rankings. Along with promotion to the Elite Category for 2014! Thousands of miles travelled and hundreds of miles ridden in training and races. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s a good job we are sponsored by an energy product!

Blockhead Energy Chewing Gum launched on the 1st May 2013 – made from a brand new gum technology, Blockhead energy gum increases concentration and performance and it’s digested 5 times quicker than an energy drink. One pack of 10 gums is comparative to 4 cans of energy drink! At £1.95 per pack they are great value for money. For more details see

Firecrest Mountain Biking provides skills and fitness consultancy providing a range of mountain bike skills courses on Aston Hill for riders of all ages and abilities along with fitness and performance coaching for keeping fit through to racing professionally.

To find out more about Blockhead Energy Downhill Team and Firecrest’s range of MTB Skills courses click over to the website

The Blockhead Downhill Team was sponsored and supported in 2013 by Blockhead Energy Chewing Gum, Firecrest Mountain Biking, IMB Magazine, Trek Bikes, Kali Protectives, Speedsport, Tesa Tape, Shoretrax Portable Mountain Bike Trails, Lezyne and Whackjob Clothing. We’d like to thank all of our sponsors for their support throughout the season.

For the Blockhead Energy Gum Downhill Racing Team the adventure continues! See you at the races in 2014!

We are currently seeking sponsors for our 2014 race program if you’d like to work with one of the most dynamic and exciting race teams on the circuit then please get in touch. E-mail

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

We like to wish all of our clients old and new and those yet to join us a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It’s been an exciting year for all of us here at Firecrest Mountain Biking. As a pioneer of the Mountain Bike Skills Instruction (can you believe that 2013 is our 15th year) it’s great to see the growth in the mountain bike skills training sector and so many people getting out there and  looking to improve their skills through training and instruction rather than trial and error. However this brings with it a new set of challenges for us as here at Firecrest MTB. Not least how we make sure that we a) stay ahead of the competition, and b) let our customers know that we have the passion, knowledge and experience to ensure that they’ll have a great time on our courses and come away with the skills only ever dreamed about having.

For 2013 we’ll continue to innovate and take our programmes to the next level. We’ve been piloting a range of training aids including live video feedback on all courses and live timing (for our Race courses). I won’t begin to go into what we’ve learnt through the hours of training with video with our clients some of which race with the fastest racers on the planet. It’s been yet another road on an incredible journey to take mountain bike skills training and instruction to the next level.

What we do know regardless of whether your going mountain biking for the first time or looking to challenge at the highest level of competition across the disciplines we’ll share our years of knowledge, experience and passion and work as hard as we can with you to make those goals a reality.

So as 2012 draws to a close and our thoughts turn to 2013 we look forward to seeing you out on the trail soon. Please feel free to contact us if you’d like discuss your requirements for mountain bike skills training and/or Fitness and Performance.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Ian and Mark – Firecrest Mountain Biking

Firecrest Fitness and Performance – 1-to-1 No Obligation Consultation Offer

Here at Firecrest Mountain Biking we have a depth of experience across the mountain bike disciplines of Downhill (DH), Cross-Country (XC), 4X and Enduro we know what it takes to take your performance to the next level combining the best in Skills Training and Instruction along with Fitness and Performance Coaching.

We’ve worked with riders of all ages and experience so we also know how important it is to have a training programme that’s aligned with your goals and ambitions. It’s also important to focus on making the most of the time you have to train. Balancing these factors is the key to getting the results you aspire too.

That’s where working with the right coach can make all the difference!

The good news is that having a coach might not be as expensive as you think and you’ll find that having someone to work with as you train towards your goals will make all the difference when it comes to achieving your ambitions.

We also know that spending hours browsing websites looking for the right training package can often leave you just as confused as when you started. That’s why Firecrest MTB are offing the opportunity to speak to our fitness guru Mark Baines for free with no obligation.

The best bit is that we’ll even call you at a time that’s convenient for you.

This enables us to do the following:

  1. Make sure that you’re going to benefit from our coaching and that we’ve identified your short, medium and long term goals and know they are achievable.
  2. Make sure that we are going to deliver the right programme for you to achieve those goals. We will talk you through the benefits of our core packages and tailored elements.
  3. Make sure that if you choose one our programmes you only pay for what you need, ensuring that you get maximum value from the training package we’ll create for you.
  4. There’s no cost to you. You only start paying when you sign up to one of our Fitness and Performance programmes!

If you’d like Mark to give you a call to discuss your Fitness and Performance requirements send an e-mail to Mark at with, your name, contact telephone number, and the best time to call and Mark will be in touch.

Remember the seasons not as far away as you think! Make that first step to achieving your goals and drop us and e-mail.

Let’s take your performance to the next level in 2014!

FMTB Trained Athletes – Racing Round Up – British XC and Downhill Series

Last weekend saw Firecrest Skills and Fitness Trained Athletes in action at both Downhill DH and Cross-Country XC rounds of the British Mountain Bike Series.

British Cross Country Series – Final Round – Langdon Hills – Essex

Maxine Filby rounded out a super successful season in the Women’s Pro-Elite category with another podium ride. Placing third for the second time in the 2012 season secured her a fantastic fourth overall in the series. The Langdon Hills course didn’t present any major problems from a technical perspective and Maxine was one of a number of riders who are calling on XC race organisers to find more technical courses so that the jump from domestic racing to international competition is so big. Of course we here at Firecrest we fully support that and have felt for years that domestic XC mountain biking has become more like road racing on dirt! Let’s hope the organisers are listening?!?

From a Firecrest Skills and Fitness perspective its mission accomplished as far as Maxine’s goals for the 2012 season (a podium at British XC and top five overall) are concerned. Mark (Baines, Firecrest Fitness Guru) and I are already working with Maxine on her 2013 campaign! Look out for her on a podium near you soon!

For the full results from Langdon Hills Click here>>>

Halo Brisith Downhill Series – Rnd5 – Bringewood Forest, Shropshire

The downhillers were racing at the penultimate round of the British Downhill Series at the popular venue of Brindgewood. The event supported by the team at Pearce Cycles was one of the slickest in years with their fleet of Landrover’s really doing the business on the uplift which has become one of the crucial elements to a good weekends racing.

The weekend was dominated by the weather with a fast dry track drenched by biblical downpours on Saturday afternoon the riders dug out the spiked tyres and started to master the ruts rather than the dust!

For Firecrest trained athletes it was another stellar days racing. In the Elite Category Olie Burton was a fraction of the podium in 8th and Harry Molloy came home in 13th. It was great to see mountain bike legend Steve Peat back on top of the box. Peaty showed that the skill in downhill is all about carrying speed and when on form he can carry more than most stopping the clock almost 3 seconds clear of second with the World Championships next weekend it was great to see Peaty on form.

In the Junior Category hopes were high in the Madison Saracen Camp with Firecrest trained rider Josh Lowe fresh from a months DH training in the Alps. To say it was tight is an understatement, Josh came home in 7th but just half a second would have put him in 4th. Testament to the improvements he’s made in August and with the final round to go everything’s focussed on making it onto the box for the series finals.

It was great to see former Aston Hill Junior DeVo rider Phil Atwill get his first Junior win too. Phil’s run time would have put him safely inside the top 15 times on the day and gave him a 4 second winning margin. With the World Champs next week it’s awesome to see Phil on form and we here at Firecrest wish him the best of luck for next weekend in Austria.

For the full results click on over to Roots and Rain here>>>





Aston Hill Junior Development Update – Junior DeVo Come of age! Go Phil!

Philt Atwill - Team Madison Saracen

Phil at full speed at the National Downhill Championship

Back in the year 2000 I started out on a mission to encourage more youngsters into mountain biking and set up a program know as Aston Hill Junior Development.  The program one of the first in the UK had a simple aim; Introducing young people to the sport of mountain biking in a fun and challenging environment.

Developed initially as a school holiday activity program DeVo as it became know for short gave hundreds of youngsters the chance to try mountain biking and introduced them to the trails on Aston Hill.

Over the years the program has produced some of the UK’s fastest riders and a number of National winners and National Champions but to date they have come close but none have represented the UK at the annual mountain bike World Championships.

That was until this year!  Back in 2005 Phil came along on one of the DeVo sessions and as with all champions was an immediate stand out as having the speed and skills essential to excel at downhill mountain biking. With a few of the DeVo sessions under his belt Phil was getting quicker and quicker and the lure of the race track saw him enter his first race. .

Phil has ridden for the Milton Keynes based Madison Saracen Downhill Race Team for the past two seasons and has added the Youth National Championship and a number of British Downhill Series wins to his CV to date.

This year he’s completed the full World Cup Series qualifying in Fort William, UK, Windham, USA, and at last weekends penultimate round in Val d’Isère, France Phil came home in a career best 34th place overall and second junior! A result that underlines his potential in the build up to the World Championships in Leogang Austria.

I’m immensely proud of Phil and it’s great to see that all the hard work and effort that he’s put into his career to date is paying off. I can’t wait to see how he goes at the World Championships and I’ll be following the championships closely. Look out for news on our Facebook page and up to the minute updates via our Twitter feed!


The British National Championships Weekend – Cross-Country and Downhill

Josh Lowe - National Champs

Josh Lowe flat out at the National Downhill Championships 2012

There’s one weekend on the UK’s domestic calendar that for most athletes everything pivots on. It’s the National Championships! It’s the big race of the year and the chance to put your name in the record books and a National Champions Jersey in your wardrobe.

From a skills development perspective the work never stops and although it’s hard to fit in sessions during the busy race season I’m always reviewing the races with riders and looking at new techniques for the riders to try. Mark’s also busy with the Fitness Training side of things, peaking at the right phase in the season is and art and at Firecrest we are fortunate that Mark seems to have the magic formula to ensure that riders are on form come the time of their targeted races.

From a coaches perspective you’re working on making sure that all the work is done and that the athlete is ready coming into the weekend. As Seb Coe used to say “the hay is in the barn” there’s nothing you can do in the week before your race what will be will be. It’s also a challenge to maintain a perspective and focus from an athletes. You can go into the Championship in the form of your life, you’ve worked hard but so has the competition all you can do is the best you can on the day.

Here at Firecrest we are committed to working hard to make sure athletes reach the championship in the best possible condition to the do the best they can do.

Cross-Country Nationals – Wasing Estate

Firecrest skills and fitness trained rider Maxine Filby went into the weekend after a strong showing to date. A third place finish at the last round of the National Series and World Cup in Canada and the States under her belt Maxine was in confident mood when I saw her last week for a skills session in the run up to the Champs weekend.

At one of the National XC Series races earlier in the year she’d struggled with her breathing and to her frustration the problem returned on lap one. To Maxine’s credit she doesn’t give up easy and after nearly a lap gasping for breath she found her rhythm and came home in a creditable 8th place. A little frustrated at the time having struggled with her breathing, but that soon passed when I reminded her of her goals at the beginning of the season. Ok she was a couple of places behind the top five placing she was targeting but it was still a great result and it give’s Mark Baines (Firecrest’s fitness expert) and I plenty to work on for the rest of the season and into 2013!

The season continues and Maxine heads out to France for the next round of the World Cup in Val d’Isère France to continue here international campaign.

Downhill Nationals – Moelfre

Firecrest works with a number of downhill riders on the UK and World Cup Downhill scene. From the skills on the bike to the mindset off there’s far more to getting things right on the downhill bike than people first think. Control of your bike and more importantly control of your emotions, particularly the fight, freeze or fight response are key to putting together the perfect run.

 Junior Men

Firecrest Skills Coaching

Ian from FirecrestMTB reviews Josh's practice runs in preparation for seeding.

Since the days of Junior Development Firecrest MTB has always worked with up and coming talent in the junior category. This FMTB Skills Trained Athlete’s Josh Lowe (Madison Saracen) and Mike O’Brien (Speedsport) racing have been working with Firecrest.

Unfortunately a combination of a shady transition and gust of wind too Mike over the bars, landing heavily in the 4X jump section of the track ending his day and his chances in practice.

So for Firecrest the focuss switched to Josh, coming in off the back of a strong performance at the last BDS race in Glencoe Josh was ready to give it his all. Seeding in 6th showed he was on the pace and in the finals he shaved 4 seconds off his seeding run to finish seventh on the day.

Phil Atwell (Madison Saracen)  just missed out on adding to his medal collection, second in seeding and fourth in the finals left Phil a little frustrated but as a first year junior he’ll be back for revenge in 2013. Phil got into mountain biking through Firecrest’s Junior Development program back in the day and it’s always good to see him putting in great performances and doing his selection for the 2012 Junior World Championship  Team no harm in the process.

National Championship Men

Harry Molloy - National Champs 2

Harry Molloy on his way to 9th place at the National Downhill Championships

Firecrest have been working with Harry Molloy (Madison Saracen) for the last three seasons. Harry comes to us for skills coaching and to work on his mental preparation. With a big team around him and lot’s of support we provide a little consultancy and insight from time to time. Polishing his skills and tuning up his mindset.

Harry’s had another stellar season both domestically and internationally as the 21 year old builds continues to build his experience and reputation. Fifth in seeding underlined his confidence on this track. Setting off just in front of Steve Peat in the finals Harry came home to take 9th place. Not quite what he wanted coming into the finals and based on his form in seeding but enough to put him inside the top 10 against some of the fastest riders in the World.

Olie Burton

Olie Burton on his way to 14th place on the day.

Olie Burton was on form too, coming home in 14th place to underline his form of late. Olie was another rider targeting a top 10 performance but with times as tight as they were he’s looking forward to the remaining international races and a strong finish to his season.

Dave Kynaston continued his come back after his arm surgery over the winter. As with all recovery’s it’s been a long road. But Dave starting to find the pace of a couple of seasons ago and we are working hard to get him back up to full speed for the remainder of the season and into 2013.

So that’s the 2012 Nationals rapped up for another year:

Here are your Cross-Country Champions:

Cross Country

Espoir Female: Annabel Simpson
Espoir Male: Kenta Gallagher
Grand Vet Female: Kim Long
Grand Vet Male: Pete Harris
Junior Female: Bethany Crumpton
Junior Male: Samuel Stean
Juvenile Female: Emily Wadsworth
Juvenile Male: William Gascoyne
Master Female: Fay Cripps
Master Male: Luke Smith
Senior Female: Nikki Harris
Senior Male: Liam Killeen
Super Vet Male: Victor Barnett
Vet Female:
Helen MacGregor
Male: Lewis King
Youth Female:
Lucy Grant
Youth Male:
Billy Harding

Here are your Downhill Champions:

Juvenile Men: James Purvis 2:54.061
Youth Men: Taylor Vernon 2:38.184
Grand Veteran Men: Howard Stuttard 3:06.178
Veteran Men 45-49: John Cobb 2:50.396
Veteran Men 40-44: Nigel Page 2:41.051
Master Men 35-39: Christopher Whitfield 2:39.785
Master Men 30-34: Richard Cunynghame 2:41.117
Senior Men Non-Championship: Jake Ward 2:35.040
Women Non-Championship: Kerry Wrigglesworth 3:14.295
Elite Women: Rachel Atherton 2:39.012
Junior Men: Joseph Connell 2:31.718
Championship Men: Gee Atherton 2:25.938

Download the full Downhill results here

Download the full XC results here

Thanks to for all the photo from the Sunday.


Firecrest Mountain Biking on Facebook

It’s been a long time coming but Firecerst Mountain Biking have joined Facebook. Our Facebook page is the one stop shop for all the latest on all the Firecrest Athletes and news on our range of mountain bike skills courses, races and events that we are working on 2012.

We’ve been busy searching the archives too for some features from back in the day. With the old Firecrest/Aston Hill Website holding some real gems.  Facebook is perfect for showcasing the events from yester year. From the early races through to Mountain Bike World Champion Fabien Barel dropping into promote the Codemasters Computer Game Downhill Domination with Rob Warner.

AnaNichoola Sping/Summer collection – Women’s MTB Clothing

When it comes to female specific cycling clothing and Women’s MTB Clothing in particular there’s one brand that’s mixing functionality with style.

Endorsed by Firecrest Skills and Fitness Trained Athlete Maxine Filby for the 2012 race season. AnaNichoola has launched it’s Spring/Summer clothing selection collection.

Women's MTB ClothingThe first arrivals from the AnaNichoola Sping/Summer collection can be found on their website. The Diva Range, which encourages ladies to Ride Loud with hard wearing, statement pieces includes the Star Jersey and an updated version of our popular Kestral Cycling Gloves.

The range includes a number of jersey designs that compliment a range of shorts, armwarmers and the stunning cafe range all designed by women for women with cycling in mind.