MBUK race team is back on track
MBUK has a strong racing heritage and now we’re back between the tapes with team rider Alex Bond
Back in the day, MBUK were at the sharp end of racing in the UK and abroad, signing up talent like Steve Peat, Jason McRoy and Danny Hart. After a 10-year hiatus we're proud to once again have a regular presence at the heart of the UK scene.
When the idea of relaunching Team MBUK was mooted, plenty of discussions ensued and lots of shandy was drunk to keep our minds clear and focused on how this should work. It became exceptionally clear that the depth of talent in the UK is so impressively vast that choosing the right person for the team wouldn’t be an easy task. We debated long into the night and one name kept on popping up – someone easygoing, friendly, approachable and devastatingly fast on a bike. Enter Alex Bond.
We’re now two events into MBUK’s fantastic comeback season and Al has put us firmly in the top 10 of the British Downhill Series where, at Round One he placed ninth and at Round Two he placed eighth. Al’s been pushing the limits for us and reaping the results. Although, like any racer or person with a competitive streak, he's not totally happy unless he’s had the perfect run. You can keep up with his progress right here at MBUK.com and in most issues of MBUK.
We asked Al what his top tips were for a successful weekend of racing, and here’s what he said:
Bike and kit preparation
Make sure you've located and packed all your spares and tyres, and that your bike is fixed and working perfectly. Your kit needs to be clean and you need to have plenty of choice if it gets wet. Think about getting all this ready way before you race so you have time to sort it if something's wrong or missing.
Make sure you know the itinerary of the race, like knowing exactly where you need to be and at what time. You don't want to be flapping around at the last minute – that sort of stress isn't ideal race preparation! Try to watch some helmet cam footage of the track beforehand to refresh your memory and let you know what to expect, if possible. I like to try and imagine the whole event start to finish. Visualising your preferred outcome can be a very powerful tool. Spend 20 minutes going through the event in your head, imagining how you want it to pan out, and see yourself ending with a good result.
Eating and drinking
Sounds obvious, but doing this correctly leading up to and during the event is a big help. Try to prepare or buy the right sorts of food ready for the weekend. Remember to drink plenty of water, and have small snacks while riding, combined with good meals at meal times.
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Believe in yourself
Most top sportsmen and women will tell you that a lot of success comes down to the right mental attitude. Make sure you go into the weekend with a positive frame of mind. If something goes wrong, don't focus on it. Work through it, put it behind you and continue aiming towards the goal you've visualised for yourself.
Definitely my most important tip for a successful race! By making sure you're having fun, you're more likely to relax into the event and without it there'd be little point in entering, right? I usually achieve my best results at races where I'm having the most fun.
To keep up to date with everything that Al is up to you can follow our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, or check out the mag for more!
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Alex Evans is BikeRadar’s senior mountain bike technical editor. He started racing downhill at the tender age of 11 before going on to compete across Europe. Alex moved to Morzine in the French Alps at 19 to pursue a career as a bike bum and clocked up an enormous amount of riding. Hitting those famous tracks day in, day out for eight years, he broke more bikes than he can remember. Alex then moved back to the UK and put his vast knowledge of mountain biking to good use by landing a job working for MBUK magazine as features editor. Since working for MBUK, Alex’s focus has moved to bike tech. He’s one of BikeRadar’s lead testers and knows how to push bikes and products to the limit, searching out the equipment that represents the best value for money. Alex is also a dedicated eMTB rider, and still dabbles in racing of a sort, doing his best to top the Strava leaderboard on the steepest, gnarliest and twistiest trails the Tweed Valley has to offer – just for fun, of course. Alex is also a regular on the BikeRadar YouTube channel and BikeRadar podcast.