Firecrest Mountain Biking – Covid-19 Status Update

Forestry England have updated their guidance and I can return to running group course coaching alongside the 1-2-1 courses I have been running at Aston Hill Bike Park.

This means that I can get back to running the Young Rider Development Programme – DeVo and the Adult Rider Development Programme group courses.

There’s just enough time to squeeze in some Young Rider Development Courses before the end of the Summer Holidays. We are running at Level1 and DeVo Evo Course on Tuesday 25th August and a Level2 Course on Thursday 27th August. You can find out more and book your place here>>>

Again I would like to thank everyone that has supported me through these challenging times. It really means a lot to me to have you checking in and supporting me and my family in all the ways you have. I know you can’t wait to get back to improving your skills too. Thank you.

I’d also like to welcome those who have taken up or got back into Mountain Biking during lockdown. if you looking to improve your skills then have a look through the range of mountain bike skills courses we offer or get in touch. There’s no better time to get off on the right track than at the beginning and i have range of courses for riders of all ages and abilities.

Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you on Aston Hill!

MX Fitness – Alan Milway – Strength and Conditioning Workshop

Saturday 9th December – Birmingham University Sports Campus

As a Coach or a Competitor there’s always more to learn and things to improve. Anyone that thinks or dares to tells you any different hasn’t quite lost their mind but has certainly lost the opportunity to expand it. There is one thing for sure, although you might like to think you know everything this is rarely the case and in sport in particular there is one constant which is change.

Over the last 20 – 30 years the field of Sports Science has exploded with ways and means to measure and develop athletes that are beyond the wildest dreams of the professional sports men and women in the 60’s and 70’s. Although some athletes might like to hark back to a time before everything in professional sport was measured and calibrated in the 21st century its the way things are and it’s a big business.

For me continuous self improvement has always underpinned what I’ve been doing. The opportunity to perform, review, and improve, has enabled me to squeeze the best out of what I’ve been doing and to continue the push for perfection. Finding the smallest of tweaks and tuning things to find a performance advantage. When you do it often enough It becomes a habit and drives a culture that has enabled me to remain engaged in doing what I love for the past 27 years.

With that in mind I contacted Alan to ask if he offered a Coach Development Workshop that would enable me to gain an insight into the way in which he worked with his athletes. Alan came back with the cracking suggestion of coming along on one of his training days as a participant. What better way to see how he works with his athletes than to become one!

I booked onto Alan’s MX Training Workshop early in December and was eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to get to see one of the best Strength and Conditioning Coaches in Mountain Biking, in action. For those of you that have been living under a rock Alan has worked with some of the biggest names in Mountain Biking Racing from the Atherton Family to Tracy Moseley and has built a reputation on the results that the riders in his charge have achieved on the International Race Circuit.

I also managed to get Firecrest MTB DH Team Riders Chris Cockrill and Tom Shakespeare to come along with me. Chris is a seasoned FMTB DH Team Rider and young Tom is a new signing for 2018 who will be competing in the Youth Category and looking to build on his 2017 season as a Development Rider. The three of us made a very interesting cross-section of athletes for Alan. I was the oldest on the day and having spent hours in the gym training back in the day (racing Cross-County) it was going to be interesting to see how I got on and what habits I’d picked up, or forgotten over the years. Tom at 14 years old is just starting out on his strength and conditioning journey. Training at home and at school to date, this was going to be a little different to his usual PE lessons. Chris won’t mind me saying he is always at the Gym, just a beast (check out his Instagram feed at chris_cockrill) The Gym is his ‘happy place’ aside from being out on the trails and he couldn’t wait for the day to get going.

We jumped in the car and headed up the M40 to Birmingham for the day. Checking in at Birmingham Universities Sports Campus makes you instantly feel like a professional. It’s an amazing facility with every base covered from a Sports Participation and a Sports Science perspective.

We met Alan and Ray Jakeman, Head of Strength and Conditioning at The University of Birmingham our Coaches for the day just before 10am, paper work was completed and we were weighed in and ready to go. Alan ran us through the Agenda for the day before subjecting us to the first batch of tests. The morning was spent testing out our flexibility and mobility with notes made of any imbalance to address later in the session.

Testing complete Alan and Ray then ran through a batch of exercises with us, which were aimed at targeting the imbalances that we’d identified – left to right, improving balance, mobility and/or flexibility. These specific exercises were great and showed up the missing elements in my Training Programme giving me some valuable exercises I will be adding to it going forward.

This took us up to a light lunch, as there was a batch of tests ahead of us where it wasn’t going to be good to have a heavy meal sitting on your stomach. Back to the Agenda and an easy intro, using the foam roller to work on the stresses and strains of the morning by pushing and stretching the muscles loosing them up for what lay ahead. The remedial side of things has never been a speciality of mine but I could definitely feel the stresses and strains ebbing away.

The afternoons tests were aimed at measuring our strength, power and endurance. The first test was the Jump Test. A pressure mat measured our explosive power from a standing squat and then a squat jump. If you ever want to feel like you’re wearing boots made of concrete just do this test.

Then it was onto the bike. Over the years I’ve done a number of max-power and threshold tests on a bike so I knew what to expect. For Tom this was his first and it hurt, but he took it in his stride and put in a great effort and I’m sure he’ll look back at this test with fond memories when he’s smashing them out in the future! Chris on the other hand had the WattBike screaming for mercy as he blasted his way through the tests. The only time I ever enjoy these tests is when they are over and this one was no different but I was pleased with the numbers and I’ll see what Alan comes back with when he’s crunched the data.

The next test was the Supine Pull. With my ‘arms of a sparrow’ I wasn’t looking forward to this one. Chris smashed it as expected and Tom did himself proud, Then Terry stole the show as he came close to beating the all time record held by Dan Atherton, incredible strength and endurance (we later found out Terry is in the Marines). The the leg burning calf raises were next, followed by press ups. With the tests complete and paperwork handed in for Alan to crunch the data that was the day done.

From my perspective it was great to see Alan in action up close and to get his input on my own training. It’s easy to see how his approach and the strengths and opportunities he identifies give the racers he works with the edge come race day. To have Alan’s insight and the level of feedback he provides on an ongoing basis will undoubtedly make you faster on the bike. Having it for the day gave me a great personal insight into where I can make some gains and some big improvements going forward.

Those of you that have been on a Mountain Bike Skills Course with me will know that the ‘Fitness’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Nutrition’ Triangle enables riders to work with professionals on each of the elements that come together to build the perfect rider. Alan’s insight into the ‘Fitness’ point is clearly invaluable and it was great to see the gains he identified and the way in which he works with an athlete to realise those gains.

Chris and Tom came away feeling highly motivated to get over the winter hump and into the new season fitter and faster than ever. All three of us got a lot from the day and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about booking up.

Keep an eye on MX Fitness for Alan’s dates in the New Year and if you’re looking to compliment your fitness with some MTB Skills Training check out the range of Firecrest Mountain Bike Skills Courses I offer on the Firecrest MTB Website

2018 Mountain Bike Race Calendar

Firecrest MTB have put together a comprehensive guide to the Mountain Bike Races in the UK, Europe and beyond to help you plan and keep track of the 2018 race season.

You can either download the calendar as a Excel File or as a PDF for Cross Country (XC), Downhill (DH) or Enduro. Each calendar includes the World Cup and National Series dates along with the details of regional series and stand alone races.

If you’re planning your season this is a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on the must attend races of the 2018 race season.

MTB Race Calendar 2018 – Excel Download – All MTB Disciplines

MTB DH – Race Calendar 2018 – PDF – PDF Download

MTB Enduro – Race Calendar 2018 – PDF – PDF Download

MTB XC – Race Calendar 2018 – PDF – PDF Download

“Are you racing your Mountain Bike in 2018? Do you want to move up the timesheet and improve your results, or get your racing career off to the perfect start?”

Firecrest Mountain Biking have worked with some of the fastest mountain bike racers on the planet and our Race Skills Courses will have you setting the time sheets on fire! With MTB Skills Courses for Downhill, Cross-Country and Enduro with World Cup Racers in all three disciplines on our books we know how to give you the edge when it comes to race day!

Find out more and book your course here>>

Adult RDP – Downhill and Enduro MTB Skills Training – November Course Date!

Sunday 26th November – 9.30am – 1pm
Aston Hill Bike Park

The Firecrest Mountain Biking Rider Development Programme (RDP) based at Aston Hill Bike Park have Coached some of the fastest Downhill and Enduro Riders and Racers in the UK. Following the success of the Adult Rider Development Programme (RDP) it’s back for Autumn 2017. This is your chance to join a Group Skills Course for riders aged 18 years and over, focussed on Skills Development to optimise your riding.

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Skills Training is underpinned by ‘The System’ our proven Skills Training method which supports our ‘holistic approach’ to MTB Skills Development. ‘The System’ enables us to work with you and give you an insight into ‘why to do’ things over ‘how to do’ them. This in turn gives you a unique perspective on polishing your Skills and how to imporove your riding.

This Group Course will enable you to access Firecrest MTB Skills Training at a significantly reduced rate. It is a chance to join a focussed Training Group aimed at enabling you to achieve your skills goals

“Cheers Ian for the Devo today. Felt like that was the key to unlocking the next level of riding potential. Quality of tuition was second to none. Learned so much”. – Ed Meakes -12.02.17

The Course is ideal for Downhill and Enduro Riders new to the Firecrest MTB Skills Courses and riders that have previously had MTB Skills Training from Firecrest Mountain Biking. The Course will cover an introduction to the ‘The System’ and then a range of ‘Technical Trail Features’ including but not limited too; Jumps, Drops Corners and Techincal Downhill Sections showing how you can use ‘The System’ to optimise your Skills, Mindset, and give you more speed and confidence out on the trails.

‘The System’ will enable you to understand how to optimise your riding and easily identify areas that you need to focus on to build your confidence and speed. Tapping into our experience will give you the knowlege and confidence needed to ‘fast track’ the improvements to make those skills gains that will take your riding to a new level.

Adult RDP – Downhill and Enduro MTB Skills Training – Next Course Date!

Sunday 15th October – 9.30am – 1pm
Aston Hill Bike Park

The Firecrest Mountain Biking Rider Development Programme (RDP) based at Aston Hill Bike Park have Coached some of the fastest Downhill and Enduro Riders and Racers in the UK. Following the success of the Adult Rider Development Programme (RDP) it’s back for Autumn 2017. This is your chance to join a Group Skills Course for riders aged 18 years and over, focussed on Skills Development to optimise your riding.

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Skills Training is underpinned by ‘The System’ our proven Skills Training method which supports our ‘holistic approach’ to MTB Skills Development. ‘The System’ enables us to work with you and give you an insight into ‘why to do’ things over ‘how to do’ them. This in turn gives you a unique perspective on polishing your Skills and how to imporove your riding.

This Group Course will enable you to access Firecrest MTB Skills Training at a significantly reduced rate. It is a chance to join a focussed Training Group aimed at enabling you to achieve your skills goals

“Cheers Ian for the Devo today. Felt like that was the key to unlocking the next level of riding potential. Quality of tuition was second to none. Learned so much”. – Ed Meakes -12.02.17

The Course is ideal for Downhill and Enduro Riders new to the Firecrest MTB Skills Courses and riders that have previously had MTB Skills Training from Firecrest Mountain Biking. The Course will cover an introduction to the ‘The System’ and then a range of ‘Technical Trail Features’ including but not limited too; Jumps, Drops Corners and Techincal Downhill Sections showing how you can use ‘The System’ to optimise your Skills, Mindset, and give you more speed and confidence out on the trails.

‘The System’ will enable you to understand how to optimise your riding and easily identify areas that you need to focus on to build your confidence and speed. Tapping into our experience will give you the knowlege and confidence needed to ‘fast track’ the improvements to make those skills gains that will take your riding to a new level.

Firecrest MTB – Jersey 2018 – Order Information

We are taking orders for the 2018 Firecrest Mountain Biking Jersey. The jersey will be produced by Primal Clothing as a custom downhill jersey design for Firecrest MTB.

We have chosen their Custom DH Jersey for the material, cut and fit as it is designed for pads and body armour. As a result the tops come up quite large and most people that have tried them on are going for a size smaller than they would usually wear (e.g. Medium = Small). Please bear this in mind when sizing your order as we won’t be able to offer an exchange or refund on these custom orders.

The Jersey’s cost £45.00 each and can be ordered via the order form below. Please note the following order deadline.

Please Note: The order deadline is Friday 29th September and I am expecting the Order to be delivered 6 weeks from Monday 2nd October (week beginning 13th November). As soon as it is delivered your order will be available to collect on Aston Hill.

Firecrest Mountain Biking – Team Kit Order Form 2018 – PDF

Firecrest Mountain Biking – Team Kit Order Form 2018 – Word

Please complete and send your order Form to


All Biked Up in the Bermuda Triangle

The All Biked Up Mountain Bike Skills Coaching Trip to Bermuda with the Fat Tyre Massive

It’s not every day that you get a call to ask if you’d like to do a week of mountain bike skills coaching in Bermuda, but that’s exactly what happened to me when my friend Richard Kelly from skills coaching company All Biked Up, based in the Surrey Hills, called me to ask if I wanted to join the team of instructors that he was putting together to run mountain bike skills training on the Island.

I’d be joining Richard along with All Biked Up’s regular instructors Glen, Josh and Si. The brief; go to Bermuda and teach the Mountain Bikers the essentials of mountain biking the All Biked Up and Firecrest MTB way!

It’s a seven hour flight from Gatwick to Bermuda and with BA taking care of business it seemed a lot shorter, although maybe that was down to the fact that I was talking mountain bikes with Si for the first two hours of the flight (who would have thought that?) We landed in Bermuda just as it was getting dark, breezed through customs and met our hosts for the week. Rich, Glen and I were staying on our own with our hosts, James, April and Mark respectively, Si and Josh (who was flying in the following day) were staying with Dennis.

We loaded up our bikes and gear and headed out to get some food. The time in Bermuda is four hours behind the UK, so it was dinner time there. We headed to a great little bar for a bite to eat and a chance to get to know our hosts better before heading back to their houses.

I was staying with Mark and Leanne in downtown Hamilton, they’ve got a really nice place with a great view out over the harbour and Admiralty House. Although it was late, my first job was to get my bike built up and when that was done I headed to bed ready for the following days early start. Bermuda time 10.30pm – UK time 2.30am!

Luckily I was tired enough to sleep through to around 6am (10am UK time) and then on and off till 7am. I couldn’t wait to get up and see the Island in daylight. We were heading to the east end of the Island to start our tour so we loaded up the bikes, stopped off to pick up Si and some dodgy breakfast from the Garage and met up with the others. A quick spin round one of the venues for the Islands race series sent my mind back to the UK courses of the late 90’s. It had forest roads, steep, short climbs and short sections of singletrack, the big difference being the ocean backdrop and palm trees rather than pine trees!

We took a spin along the coast to St Georges for a coffee and a chance to soak up sunshine before spinning back across the Island on the road to Hamilton. In town we paid our first visit to Winners Edge, one of two bike shops on the Island, for some spares for Glen’s bike and then we hooked up with the guys to check out the venue for Saturday’s skills coaching.  After a short climb up out of Hamilton we arrived at a great little park called Arboretum. It was perfect for what we needed for coaching with a mix of trails and plenty of rolling grass parkland to get the basics covered.

After a quick spin round the park we rolled back down into Hamilton to catch the ferry across to Dockyard for lunch. After a spot of lunch we were joined by more locals who’d escaped the office for an afternoon on the trails and we headed out to check out the trails on the west of the Island. The Zombie Trail was the first on our list, an awesome little area of single track trails running through some super spooky old naval buildings that wouldn’t look out of place in a horror movie (hence the name).

From there we linked up some singletrack to check out where they are planning on building the Islands first Pumptrack in Lagoon Park. A great spot in an old quarry, perfect for a pumptrack with plenty of natural options for features! Back on the bikes and we continued our ride down the coast to Scaur Hill Fort and Hog Bay. Hog Bay is home to one of the most popular races and there was some more great little singletrack trails that would be ideal for coaching on over the weekend.

Back on the road again and the weather started closing in bright blue skies had turned black and we were about to be treated to an Atlantic deluge! Soaked to the skin we split to drop Glen back at April’s and Mark gave me a great slipstream around the harbour as we headed home to dry out.

Despite there being no let-up in the rain, we headed round to James’s for a BBQ that evening. James did a great job of preparing us a feast under his umbrella in the garden while we recounted our day’s adventures.  Josh also joined us after flying out a day later due to his University commitments. Poor Josh must have been bored by our stories of the days adventures riding end-to-end across the island but excited to hear all about what was in store for day two.

I don’t know what it is but there’s nothing more motivating than opening the curtains to a bright blue sky and that was what greeted me early on Saturday morning. Today’s task was simple, we were heading up to the Arboretum to deliver the first day of training to the riders that James had organised for a two day MTB Skills camp. We were greeted by an excited group of islanders and after Rich had taken care of the introductions, Josh and I took an intermediate group, Glen and Si took the beginners and Rich headed off with the more experienced riders.

We spent the morning introducing the skills and running through the essentials whilst getting an idea of which areas we could help each rider improve on the most. By lunch time our group was already beginning to master the essentials and we were able to use the rolling terrain of The Park to work on developing more of their technical skills. When our stomachs told us it was time for lunch we all stopped to grab a quick sandwich and a drink. It was great listening to all the participants comparing their morning on the trail and all the new skills they’d learnt.

For the afternoon we were heading out to the double tracks and singletracks that criss-crossed The Park to take the participants’ skills to the next level. Again everyone in our group was having a lot of fun and picking up their skills, from cornering, to clearing obstacles in the trail, we had it all covered. We rounded out the afternoon in true 90’s style with a hill climb challenge, fortunately not based on speed but on how far up the climb you could get. With the perfect climbing technique on lock down everyone surpassed their previous record as go after go they headed just a little further up the climb before their legs and lungs gave way!

Wrapping up day one we gathered the group together to grab a drink and let everyone reflect on a great days training. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one already looking forward to day two!

Our trip coincided with the Bermuda Rugby Classic that takes place on the Island every year where rugby ex-pro’s come over to the Island to compete for their national side. Richard, Glen, Si and Josh were well up for a night at the England game, where as I opted for a trip out to a family party with my host Mark and his wife Leanne. It was great to get an insight into family life on the Island. Thanks to everyone for the laughs and for making me feel so welcome.

After a great day in the Arboretum we’d pretty much exhausted all the trails from a coaching perspective so for the day two sessions we headed west to Scaur Hill Fort. This was one of my favourite stops on Friday’s ride and I knew there would be plenty of sections for us to work through. We swapped the groups around a little so Simon and I took over Richard’s group and Richard mixed up Glen and Si’s group between himself and Josh.

For Si and me our morning started with Energy Management working the transitions across the park with plenty of video feedback to get everyone’s pump techniques dialled. We then had a quick look at climbing, working on the super steep short climbs that make their way up to the top of The Fort. Here technique counts as much as fitness and everyone made light work of the climbs in no time!

With going up sorted it was time to look at coming down. The circuit at Hog Bay boasts a short sharp technical decent with plenty of roots and rocks to challenge any rider. This technical descent featured Hirschi’s Rock named after the infamous Hirschi after he got taken out by it on a ride one day. We spent some time working with each of the riders on various elements of their riding to get them through the section with more confidence and speed. Even Hirschi was making light work of the section and manualling over his rock at the end of the session, although he still wanted to look at it every run!

Time for some lunch and another catch up with the rest of the group! More stories were exchanged and lessons learned discussed over lunch. The guys and girls on the course were a great bunch of riders to hang out with and it was great to see the spirit of mountain biking in full effect on Bermuda.

For the afternoon we had a ride planned – a short pedal down the road to another of the popular race courses. This was one of the very ‘90’s renaissance’ venues we’d ridden through on Friday’s ride just before the rain and another personal favourite. We sectioned one of the downhills, mastering a couple of tight shoots into open turns which shot riders out on a ledge right above the ocean. Tough to beat as a section of trail and a great section for mastering footwork, body position and looking through corners.

A little bit more work on technical climbing and line choice and we regrouped at the top of the hill. Group photo for the album and it was time to ride back to the Fort to meet up with everyone to round out another great days coaching. We hadn’t quite finished though as we were invited back to Jay’s house for some video feedback. Jay’s house was amazing, with the most amazing ocean views. It was also perfect for getting everyone in one room and reviewing some of the footage that we’d shot throughout the weekend. After two days of coaching everyone was spotting the things they should have been doing and it was great way to round out the weekend. Thanks to Jay and his family for letting their amazing house get overrun by a bunch of mountain bikers!

We headed down the road en mass to grab some food and chat more about our weekend’s adventures. Throughout the evening stories were exchanged and friendships cemented over dinner and a beer or three.

For Richard and I we had another early start on Monday. James had arranged for some of the youngsters who were too young to come on the courses over the weekend to make the most of a public holiday and join Rich and I for a mornings coaching in the Arboretum Park. We put the youngsters through their paces and they were flying off and over anything with a transition by the end of the session. With their new skills in the bag I headed back to Mark’s house for some lunch and to get ready for an easy afternoon.

We had a treat in store too. Dennis was taking us out on his boat for the afternoon! We met up at the harbour not really knowing what to expect. Dennis’s boat didn’t disappoint though. A 35ft twin engine beast (I really don’t know anything about boats) that we quickly had up to speed and were flying across the harbour and out into open water at top speed. We headed out to a purpose sunk wreck which is a nature sanctuary so there were plenty of fish to swim with. Glen doesn’t do water so the rest of us had lots of fun jumping and diving in off the boat (it took me a while but I did it) and being chased by schools of fish in the sunshine.

We headed back to port and freshened up for a night at Dennis’s house with Chinese food and fresh lobster on the menu and we ate like kings that evening.

On Tuesday morning Josh, Si and I headed out with James and Mark too do a spot of trail building. We were back at Hog Bay on the technical downhill, looking at fixing up the final turn and giving the trail a good tune up. It was also a great chance to give James and the guys some trail building technique pointers for the new trails they have planned. We spent the morning digging, cutting and clearing and knocked the trail into shape before sessioning the life out of it. We had the islanders pushing back up the trail so we must have got something right! I like to think we also helped to change the culture of the trails on Bermuda.

We headed into town for our last evening meal of the trip and met up with everyone at Harbour Front Restaurant. It was a celebration of our week and our chance to say thank you to our hosts for making it a week to remember.

The following morning we headed down to Hog Bay for our final ride of the trip. Rich, Glen, James, Dennis and a few of the locals were keen to check out the previous days trailbuilding as the rumours of the trail updates had spread across the Island. Whilst Josh and Si were keen to improve their Strava times from the day before, before heading home, we spent the morning sessioning the trail and getting some final videos shot. Just getting back to the car and packed up before the rain set in! On the way home Mark and I called into Bicycle Works, the Islands other Bike Shop. A great little shop with chilled out vibe and plenty of great kit in stock. Then we headed into town for a bit of souvenir shopping and a spot of lunch with the guys and it was back to pack everything up and head down to the airport.

What a trip.. I’ve had trouble convincing Michele it was work from the moment I got invited. I guess you can put it down as a perk of the job but it’s the first perk I’ve had like this in 15yrs of coaching.

I’d like to thank Rich for inviting me and Glen, Si and Josh for being such a great team of instructors to work with. I think we made a lasting impression on the skills of the mountain bikers of Bermuda!

Of course we’d have had nowhere to stay without our hosts! Thanks to Mark and Leanne my hosts for all of their hospitality,  Dennis for looking after Josh and Si, April for looking after Glen. I’d also really like to thank James for organising everything and being the driving force of MTB on Bermuda. He puts his heart and soul into the mountain bike scene on the island and it really shows. I had an amazing time and I look forward to getting back to Bermuda in the not too distant future.

For more information on the mountain biking on the Island go to:  or their Facebook page at

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!

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:

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:

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.