Danny Hart – The Art of Winning

Danny Hart made it four wins in a row and added a coveted 2nd World Championship Title to his CV in Val Di Sole Italy on Sunday.

Danny’s run was electric right out of the gate. Up on the competition at the first split time he set the fastest time through the second sector and 2nd fastest time through the final sector to secure the win and put his name firmly in the history books.

Danny’s winning streak has been a long time coming, his technical skills have always been in a league of their own and his attention to detail is second to none.

The difference in my opinion has been in focussing on putting everything together. A new training regime and a focus on developing Mondrakers latest bike and its suspension platform have all enabled Danny to squeeze those vital tenths of a second out of his race runs.

Add to that the technical skills I mentioned earlier that enable him to make the impossible, possible and it’s easy to see why his competitors have suddenly found themselves on a back foot. Gwin has always had an edge when it came to his physical prowess but Danny’s work in this area has really paid off. Now Danny can clearly mix it with the best when it’s power that counts, where as he used to be a little bit down on power, now any gap in that area is made up easily by his ability to carry raw speed through any section backed up by his technical skills. Sunday’s track was all about carrying speed, so it was bound to suit Danny and it was no surprise with the confidence he brought into the Champs to see him looking fast all week.

If you remember his run in Worlds run in 2011 it was his technical prowess that enabled him to win his first World Champs. When the rain made it open season for the technically superior riders and the riders with superior strength and power found themselves lost for what to do to be fast on the slippery track.

Last but not least you have to look at his bike. Danny grew up under the tutelage of Dave Garland a World Class Mechanic that taught Danny to leave no stone unturned in the quest for the optimum bike set up. Switching to Mondraker Danny found a bike that suited his riding style and one that he could quickly dial in to optimise the benefits of its suspension platform.

Again it’s probably no coincidence that the top three riders on Sunday were all on Mondrakers, a bike that undoubtedly comes into its own on the steeper rougher tracks giving the riders on them a huge advantage on a fast, rough track like the one in Val Di Sole.

What are the lessons that you can learn from Danny’s winning streak?

Work hard to optimise your technical skills but not to the detriment of your strength and power.

Work on optimising your bike set up and leave no stone unturned in the quest for the optimum set up.

The details do add up; Danny’s attention to detail and focus on making the right improvements in the right areas have all added up to give him an amazing run of results.

Finally you can’t do it own your own! If you listen to Danny’s interview after he won the list of people he needed to thank was pretty long and impressive. Build your team wisely and remember they all help to bring together the elements you need to nail the winning run.

If you want to find out more about what Firecrest Mountain a Biking can bring to your ‘Team’ and do for your riding we have a range of Mountain Bike Skills Courses and Coaching for Beginners through to World Cup racers, get in touch with me at Ian@firecrestmtb.com or drop me a DM and we can discuss the options. I look forward to hearing from you.

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 baines_mark_@hotmail.com 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!


Mountain Bike Worlds Countdown

UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships 2012 to come

Greg Minnaar

South Africa's Greg Minnaar in Downhill Action

Salzburger Land, Saalfelden Leogang Austria, August 2nd 2012 – The summer of sports 2012 has some big events in store. At the moment all eyes are on the London Olympic Games, but for the MTB community the actual highlight is still to come: The UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in Saalfelden Leogang. From August 29th to September 9th the two venues in the Salzburger Land will be the epicenter of the mountain bike universe. Alongside big names and top class bike action there will also be big celebrations, appropriate for such a Mega-event as the world championships. These 2 fantastic weeks will offer great athletes, competition premieres like the cross-country eliminator as well as a diversified side program packed full of action.

Of course Saalfelden Leogang is also excited about who will take home the medals from the Olympic Games. But there is another, obviously high contagious virus raging in the Salzburger Land: The worlds-fever and the pleasant anticipation for the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships are becoming more and more noticeable throughout the entire region. Stefan Pühringer, director of the Saalfelden Leogang Touristism GmbH describes the ambiance on site as follows:  “The worlds is the ultimate supreme in the discipline of Mountain biking and it is a great honor for us to organize it. We are all very proud to host such a prominent collection of events. What started over ten years ago with a small pioneering project – the Bikepark Leogang – has become one of our core touristic markets. We are especially happy, that Saalfelden can continue to branch out in to the endurance discipline of cross country and establish itself as a true sporting city.”

And endurance is what we will need to see this major event through. In order to help you plan in advance, here is the final schedule with a selection of the most important events at the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships 2012:

Friday, August 31st:

  • Men and Women 4X Qualifying Round (5:30pm)

 Saturday, September 1st:

  • Men and Women 4X World Championships (5:30pm)
Aaron Gwin

The USA's Aaron Gwin is hot favorite for the 2012 title.

Sunday, September 2nd:

  • Women Juniors and Men Juniors Downhill World Championships(10:30am)
  • Women Elite Downhill World Championships (1:00pm)
  • Men Elite Downhill World Championships (2:00pm)

Wednesday, September 5th:

  • Women Trials World Championships (10:00am – 2:00pm)

Thursday, September 6th:

  • Cross-country Team Relay World Championships (5:00pm)
  • Men Juniors Trials 20’’ World Championships (7:00pm  – 8.45pm)
  • Men Elite Trials 20’’ World Championships (9:00pm – 10:45pm)

Friday, September 7th:

  • Women Under 23 Cross-country World Championships (11:00am)
  • Men Under 23 Cross-country World Championships (2:00pm)
  • Women Juniors Cross-country World Championships (5:00pm)
  • Men Juniors Trials 26’’ World Championships (7:00pm – 8:45pm)
  • Men Elite Trials 26’’ World Championships (9:00pm – 10:45pm)
The top cross-country riders in the world in action

The Cross-Country riders will be looking to settle the score post Olympics

Saturday, September 8th:

  • Men Juniors Cross-country World Championships (9:00am)
  • Women Elite Cross-country World Championships (11:00am)
  • Men Elite Cross-country World Championships (2:00pm)

Sunday, September 9th:

  • Cross-country Eliminator World Championships (1:30pm)

Please find more detailed information about the world’s schedule on: http://www.saalfeldenleogang2012.at/en/

The opening ceremony for the World Championships takes place in the city center of Saalfelden on August 29th. We will see a parade of participating nations including all participants on the Rathausplatz starting at 7:00pm. Salzburger Land’s official delegate Mag. David Brenner, the mayors of Saalfelden and Leogang, as well as an official delegate of the UCI will begin the ceremony with some welcoming words. Afterwards, the region will present its finest performers offering a full hearted Austrian experience: traditional folk music and Jazz, as well as Schuhplattler (well-known from the Oktoberfest) and Goasslschnalzer (a “gaudy” specialty from the German-speaking Alps area) will underline the cultural heritage of the region.

The celebrations are expected to carry on throughout the 2 weeks with numerous parties and live music, for example the big Ö3-Party on Friday, August 31st with the Funk & Soul Combo „The Jackson Eleven“ (located at the Leoganger Bergbahnen event hall, entrance fee 8 Euro, 6 Euro in advance sale). On Saturday, the Leoganger Bergbahnen will be hosting the ‘Override Afterparty the Second’ (some of you might remember the ‘First Override Afterparty’ at the Out of Bounds Festival), featuring DJ Grandheight. The party starts at 9:00pm, guests must be over the age of 16.

The Trials Nights is an evening activity highlight at the worlds’: On Thursday September 6th and Friday 7th the Trials finals will take place at floodlight in the city center of Saalfelden, supported by hosts and DJ. Entrance is free! (from 7:00pm to 10:45pm)

To end the worlds in a spectacular fashion the closing party ‘BIKE Vibration’ will feature BUZZ CLUBBING on Saturday, September 8th in the „Congress“ of Saalfelden. This party will be open until the early morning. Since the big final is on Sunday, the Cross-Country Eliminator World Championships will start at 1:30pm so that everybody can get enough sleep after the closing party.

The organization committee, the UCI as well as all participating athletes are looking forward to the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships and hope to see a great turnout from the entire MTB community!

Become a fan of the worlds 2012 on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaalfeldenLeogang2012