Firecrest MTB Team – 2017 Season Recap

The Ethos

Firecrest MTB Team returned for the 2017 race season with a slightly different ethos. Looking to support two Senior Category riders and to focus on the development of these riders to illustrate how the Firecrest MTB Skills Training can enable athletes to achieve their goals, by setting some lofty but achievable targets and then working with and coaching the Team Riders to achieve them.

With Firecrest MTB already training a number of Elite Riders across the Mountain Bike disciplines the opportunity to support Racers in the Senior Category (19.29yrs) presented us with a great showcase to underline what’s possible with the right programme of skills training, fitness training and Team support in place.

The Team

The Firecrest MTB Team Riders for 2017 were Chris Cockrill and Pete Robinson. Two seasoned Senior racers. Both working full time jobs with the challenge of fitting training and racing around their busy day jobs whilst chasing the dream and racing downhill at the weekends.

The busy 2017 Downhill Race Calendar enabled Chris and Pete to race at selected rounds of the British Downhill Series (BDS), the Pearce Downhill Series, selected regional and local races.

Setting sensible targets is essential for a racers motivation, so the riders targets were set at a top 10 or podium at the BDS, top 5 at the Pearce Races, podium finishes at regional and local races.

Sponsors and Partners

The Firecrest MTB Team has some great sponsors and partners for 2017. Saracen Myst Downhill Bikes were the race bikes of choice, with Mudhugger providing custom front mudguards, and Bell Helmets providing head protection.

The riders have access to Firecrest MTB’s Skills and Fitness Training working with Ian Warby to hone their skills. With MTB Skills Training sessions on Aston Hill throughout the year and the option to fine tune their fitness training through the Training Peaks online Training Platform.

The 2017 Season – The perfect start.

The 2017 Race Season got off to a perfect start on our home tracks on Aston Hill when Chris won and Pete came second at the Ricochet DH Race. What a result and a great way to get the 2017 season started. Whilst it’s great to hit performance targets so early in the season it’s also hard as it can put pressure on racers to continue to meet or exceed their targets. However, it’s a great boost to a racers confidence going into the season proper as they know the hard work in the off season is paying off.

The first round of the BDS set precedence in terms of the weather at Race weekends for the majority of the races in 2017. Wet and windy conditions turning getting a result into more of a lottery. The guys decided to skip racing in North Wales at Round 1 of the BDS and kicked of their Pearce campaign with Round 1 at Kinsham. A track familiar to both Pete and Chris but one that takes a certain rhythm on track to score a good result. Chris came home in 14th and Pete struggled coming home in 27th.

The Highs and the Lows of Racing

Racing as an amateur can be tough. Working hard and training hard takes its toll on the racers minds and bodies. Recovery is key to a riders development and it’s all to easy to miss the signs when some rest and recovery is needed. Chris was about to find out just how tough it can be. Illness hit him hard and for a while it looked like it might be time to hang up his full face.

Specialist help and a diagnosis of a treatable stomach condition meant that he could get back on the bike and get his 2017 race campaign back on track. Meanwhile Pete had been suffering with a problem with his wrist for quite a while seeking specialist help didn’t really explain the issue or offer a cure so further tests would hopefully get to the bottom of what was wrong.

The season however was now in full swing and the Pearce Race Series was flying through the rounds. There were more wet and muddy races to challenge the guys on track and keep the washing powder companies in business at the end of the long muddy weekends. At Round 2 of the Pearce Series in Bringewood Pete came home in 18th and Chris had to skip the race due to his health problems.

Both Chris and Pete skipped the BDS in Fort William to recover and recoup, focussing on the busy mid season races. Chris was getting back to full fitness with the right medication and Pete was still on the pace despite the loss of strength in one hand due to his wrist (some might argue his front wheel isn’t on the ground long enough for him to notice). Pearce Cycles Round 3 at Rhyd y Felin (Bala) was one of the muddiest and toughest races of the year. The track is unforgiving at the best of times and Pete slide her home in 11th  with Chris in 29th.

The Busy Mid-Season

The following weekend the BDS went back to Bala. The track had died out and both Chris and Pete were flying. BDS Round 3 saw Chris hit one of his big season targets with a top three finish in Seniors. An awesome ride against the UK’s best and a podium place at the highest level for his efforts. Pete meanwhile was on the pace when he ran over a Grouse sending it flying into his chest and blowing any chances of him joining Chris on the podium he rolled home to a creditable 14th place finish wondering what could have been. Such a frustrating turn of events as there’s been so little between the guys this season Pete was pretty much nailed on for a podium finish here too!


More great results through the busy mid-season, Pearce Round 4 was a mud bath again at Rheola. Pete put in a great ride to come home in 12th and Chris was right on his wheel in 13th with just .013 of a second between them. The last race before the summer break was Pearce Round 5 and the English Champs at Hopton. Pete came home in a very creditable 16th place with Chris making it into the top 20 with 19th. The mid season break gave the guys the chance to head out to France for some serious fun in the mountains.

The Final Straight

Back on home shores and the last few races of the season. Blackrun 20 was another chance to impress on home trails. Chris was sidelined with illness but Pete put all of his Blackrun demons to bed and scored a solid 3rd place finish and finally making it onto the podium on a trail that’s not been kind to him in terms of results over the years.

That left the final round of the BDS and the last round of the Pearce Downhill Series to round out the series. It was back to Hopton for the final ever BDS as Si Paton hands over the organisation of the event to New organisers in 2018. We’d just like to thank him for all the hard work he’s put in over the last 10 year on the BDS. It’s been great and we’ve been very lucky to have one of the best domestic downhill series in the World here in the UK.

This is Pete….

This is Chris… Hard to tell them apart especially when their times are so close!

For the final round the weather followed the seasons trend turning the trail into a wet and wild run from top to bottom. Chris and Pete finished 24th and 10th respectively. Pete hitting his season goal for the BDS at the final round with a great ride. The final round of the Pearce Downhill Series headed to Bucknell the weather once again played a major role in how the weekend panned out with wet and wild conditions on track. Chris clocked a run time of 2:18:082 and Pete clocked a 2:18:084 leaving just .002 of second between them. The closest they’ve been all year with Pete clocking his time on his first run and Chris on his second.

Done and Dusted (well muddied in 2017)

What a season, as always there were highs and low’s, frustrations and challenges but overall the Team has a great season. To make things completly fair in the 8 races that Chris and Pete went head to head they finished the season with 4 races a peice showing just how close the inter-team competition was too. Thanks for a great season!

Head to Head Comparison – Roots and Rain

Time for some hard earned R&R

Chris and Pete will get some time for some much needed R&R so that they can come into the 2018 season fully fit and as strong as possible. Firecrest MTB will be working hard with them again all winter to ensure they come into the 2018 season ready to set the time sheets alight!

Thank You

I’d like to thank Chris and Pete for doing such a great job this season representing Firecrest MTB not only at the races but for the time they give back in supporting the young riders through our Young Rider Development Programme (DeVo) when ever they can.

Thanks also to the Firecrest MTB DH Teams Sponsors and Partners as always without your help we would be able to go racing,

Saracen Bikes –

Mudhugger –

Bell Helmets –

Blockhead Energy –

Thanks to all the photographers that contributed to the round up – BigMacPhotography, Brett Tree Shelfer and all the others that captured the Firecrest MTB Team this season.

The Next Chapter

Look out for more news soon on the 2018 Firecrest MTB Team and our plans for the races next season.

See you on the Trails!

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

Saracen British Downhill Series – Round 2 – Fort William – Sunday 12th May 2013

For round 2 of the Saracen British Downhill Series the team headed north to the Scottish Highlands and the UK’s Outdoor Capital Fort William. Widely regarded as one of the toughest downhill courses on the World Cup Downhill circuit, this race was seen by many of the world’s top downhill racers, as the chance to get some time on track a month ahead of the opening round of the 2013 World Cup Series which takes place in Fort William over the weekend of the 8th and 9th June.

Fort William’s 3km downhill course winds its way down the slopes of Aonach Mòr and is punctuated by unforgiving rocks, jumps, drops and steep rooty tree lined sections. All of this before the riders are fired out of the woods and onto the final section of the track known affectionately as the motor way which see riders launching over a series of massive jumps before dropping down a steep shoot and jumping into the finish arena.

As with round one the weather was a big factor and the riders were in for another wet and windy weekend. However the Fort William Track is designed to handle the worst of the weather and aside from the short sections through the trees the track conditions were a lot better than round one.

However as the riders get to the top by cable car the wind was a major consideration and with this in mind seeding which normally takes place on Sunday morning was brought forward to Saturday afternoon. With only a morning’s practice on track Blockhead Downhill team rider Josh Lowe was still getting up to speed as he recorded a time of 5.27.24 in his seeding run which was still fast enough to seed him in 9th place.

With the racing starting at 11am it was an early start for the team on Sunday morning. Josh was the first rider down as practice got underway and he focussed on getting his lines dialled and the Fox Suspension on his Trek bike set up for his race run. By the end of the morning’s practice session Josh was feeling confident that the seconds he’d been looking for had been found and that he was ready to improve on his seeding run time.

Racing at National Level is never easy and at the top of the course you could cut the atmosphere with a knife as a heady mix of nerves and adrenaline filled the air. Not only were the racers against each other and the clock but they were against the course too and Fort William course is renowned for being unforgiving for those that don’t treat it with the respect it deserves.

Josh was more than up for the challenge though and made the perfect start to his race run launching out of the start house. Carrying speed is all important when it comes to making time through the challenging fast rocky top section of the track and Josh wasn’t hanging around.

However Josh’s chances of repeating his win at round one were soon gone along with the air in his front tyre as he rounded one of the many corners only around a minute into his race run.

Not the result the team had all hoped for but there were a number of positives to take away from what had been a very productive weekend. “Unfortunately punctures are an element of racing. We do all we can to prevent them and this was the first of the weekend. Josh had done 8 runs of the course over Saturday and Sunday with no problems. It’s unfortunate that this happened on his race run, especially as we had every chance of being on the podium again” said Team Manager and Performance Coach Ian Warby.

“I was feeling confident and riding well, so to puncture as high up on the course as I did was frustrating. The changes we’d made over night and this morning had made a big difference and I was feeling confident of putting in a good time.  There are lots of positives from the weekend and I’m looking forward to getting back on the podium at round three in Innerliethan in a few weeks’ time” said Team Rider Josh Lowe.

Blockhead Energy Chewing Gum launched on the 1st May 2013 – made from a brand new gum technology, Blockhead energy gum delivers an increase in cognitive and physical performance which is digested 5 times quicker than an energy drink. One pack of 10 gums is comparative to 4 energy drinks, so at £1.95 per pack they are great value for money. For more detail see

Tesa Tape is the number one protective tape in the automotive industry. It’s perfect for protecting bikes too and preserving that show room look for longer.

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 is sponsored and supported by Blockhead Energy Chewing Gum, Firecrest Mountain Biking, Speedsport, IMB Magazine, Trek Bikes, Kali Protectives, Shoretrax Portable Mountain Bike Trails, Whackjob Clothing and Nomad Portable Power Washers.

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>>>





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.

Team Madison Saracen Skills Training

Team Madison Saracen’s Jack Geoghegan was back on Aston Hill with Team Manager Andy Ayres for a mornings training with Firecrest Mountain Biking last weekend. Jack was polishing up his skills as he prepares for the next round of the British Downhill Series at Glencoe Ski Resort on the 28th and 29th in May.

Jack was flying coming off the back of a strong run of results in his first season battling with the Uk’s Elite Downhillers including an 18th place finish at the BDS in Molfre and 4th place at the Pearce Downhill the previous weekend.

Read all about Jack’s training session on Aston Hill here in Saracen’s Team Blog: