Second place at the Llangollen round of the British Downhill Series
Without a doubt, one of the most gratifying rewards for months and years of hard work is to stand on the podium at a national level downhill race, and our Al managed just that at the BDS in Llangollen, North Wales. Beating everyone but Adam Brayton in the Elite field, Al was only 1.8 seconds off the win. Even though he’s a regular on the racing scene, this year he’s not done as much as he hoped, so stepping it up to finish just behind one of the top-ranked World Cup riders was a cracking effort!
Enduro racing isn’t for the faint of heart, as our Al found out at the ‘Ard Rock Enduro. It requires a specific type of fitness – the sort he didn’t have! Al had this to say after the event: “It was an awesome weekend and an amazing event, and I’d definitely recommend people get themselves over to it. Just make sure you do the training beforehand!” We reckon Al will be back next year with a few more training miles under his belt…
Surviving Red Bull Hardline
If you thought racing the ‘Ard Rock or coming second at a national downhill event was tough, then Red Bull Hardline takes things to another level! With jumps and gaps big enough to fit lorries under and sections so steep and slick that touching your brakes is out of the question, our Al stepped up to the challenge to represent MBUK at the UK’s hardest race. He reflected on the event in issue 349 of the magazine: “When I first saw the track three years ago, I was blown away by the sheer scale of it. It’s a track down a proper mountain this one, and Affy [Dan Atherton] has sculpted a masterpiece, which makes incredible use of the natural terrain and the raw, rugged beauty of the landscape. Every year, I’m never quite ready for how big everything is. The jumps used to scare me the most, but the weather was so bad this year that the only chance we got to relax a bit was in the air!”
Helping MBUK readers polish their skills
As well as riding for MBUK, Al’s had the chance to do quite a bit of writing for the magazine, including giving you, our lovely readers, top tips on how to ride. Because he’s a fitness and skills coach, Al is well versed in how to give advice about the skills needed to ride faster with more control and be physically fitter and stronger on your bike.
Features Editor Alex calls the mellow rolling hills of Dorset home, but before he started on MBUK, he lived in The French Alpine town of Morzine for seven years. Here he developed a scary ability to make the steepest and gnarliest trails look like a walk in the park. Occasionally his speed caught up with him, resulting in several bone crunching crashes at World Cup downhill level. Since hanging up his racing shoes Al regularly clocks up a massive weekly mileage on his trail bike, so is one of our hardiest testers.