Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Triple podium delight for Jason Plato on milestone weekend

Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver Jason Plato started the weekend on a high qualifying with pole position for what would be his 500th race of his Dunlop MSA  British Touring Car Championship career.


He set an impressive lap time during the final seconds of the qualifying session on Saturday afternoon and came out on top with team mate Colin securing his place in the top five with James setting the fourteenth quickest time and Warren twenty first.

Race one saw Jason take a lights to flag victory and his first race win of the season in his all new Subaru Levorg GT bringing his total wins to a staggering ninety-five.

Jason led the race throughout managing to hold off the threatening BMW of Jack Goff who took second place with Colin bringing his Subaru Levorg home in third and taking the final spot of the podium.

James brought his car home in a point scoring position of fifteenth but there was dismay for Warren who was tapped into a spin and subsequently forced into retirement from the race.

Race Two once again saw Jason lead the race from the off until the chasing pack of Jack Goff in the BMW and Colin in his Levorg were bunched up behind hi

m during a safety car period. Colin endured a race long battle with the BMW’s of Goff and Tordoff and then Jordan. The Honda of Matt Neal passed both Colin and Goff and into third after contact was made between the pair at the hairpin.

With 75kgs on board Jason was eventually passed by both Tordoff and Neal and finished in third position having held them of until the final two laps with Colin was just behind in fourth.

There was disappointed for both James and Warren who had incidents with James being sent into a spin due to contact but managed to bring his machine home in 21st and Warren was tapped from behind and put into the gravel trap and had to retire from the race for the second time of the day.

The Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers were lucky in the reverse grid draw for the third and final race of the day with Matt Jackson’s number being drawn from the barrel, promoting Colin up to third and Jason to fourth. James started from 21st and Warren 27th.

Colin got a good start retaining his position whilst Jason lost a place to the BMW of Rob Collard on the run down to the first corner.  After a brief safety car period allowing the cars to bunch up, Colin was on the attack of the Collard, and the BMW of Goff was in turn on the attack of Colin, bringing yet another Subaru and BMW battle.  Then disaster struck when there was contact between Collard and Colin sending them both into a spin and ending their races.

Jason then enjoyed a third place battle with the Honda of Scotsman Gordon Shedden but managed to keep him at bay.  Jackson took the lead, Tordoff came in second and Jason brought home the Subaru Levorg in third for the final podium spot.

James finished in his second point scoring position of the weekend in thirteenth with Warren completing the race in twenty fifth.

Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Rockingham on 27/28 August, we hope to see you all in the stands.

Silverline Subaru BMR Racing comments from Knockhill:

Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Subaru UK commented:  "Another good day's work for the team, with steady progress continuing to be made.  I was particularly delighted for Jason, who, in true JP style, marked his 500th BTCC race with a pole, and a lights to flag victory.  Colin continues to show gritty determination, carrying out crucial overtaking manoeuvres to keeps his title hopes alive.  Personally, I wouldn't bet against us being there or thereabouts come Brands Hatch.  Roll on Rockingham."

Jason Plato commented:  “What a fantastic weekend!
“It was great to get back to standing on the top step of the podium especially as it was on such an amazing milestone in my career. I was on Pole and finished second in my first ever BTCC race in 1997 and nineteen years later went one better in my 500th BTCC race with Pole and a Win.

“To leave Knockhill as top points scorer with a first and two third places was a fine reward for all at Silverline Subaru BMR Team, they have worked so so hard.

“Race One was pretty straight forward, I nail the start, built up a lead and then controlled the pace, but, the safety car was deployed late in the race which eroded my lead and produced a tense last few laps.

“Race Two on the other hand was tense throughout, laden with 75kgs of success ballast I couldn’t breakaway and was under severe pressure throughout the race until I lost rear grip with four laps to go, as it turned out the one of the other cars was laying oil around the circuit and I lost the lead and slipped back to third when Matt Neal rattled inside me at turn seven. Still a good result.

“Race Three was all about being patient and letting the race come to me, I was sat in fifth keeping a watchful eye on the leading three starting to get a bit feisty and slightly desperate as Jackson was holding them up. Turkington made a last minute silly lunge on Collard which resulted in him taking both of them out of the race, and nicely promoted me to third. I then got onto the back Tordoff and we both applied serious pressure to the leader Jackson for some eighteen plus laps. Despite all our efforts neither of us could get past the “Slow in the corners, too fast on the straights’’ Jackson. A second third place podium of the day was a great reward.

“Rockingham can’t come soon enough, hopefully we should be on the pace but we are all very nervous about not having enough straight line speed for the flat out sections to combat the Ford and BMW cars.”

Colin Turkington commented:  I come away from Knockhill focusing on the positives and another strong weekend for the team.  We were fast in every session and I was pleased to qualify strongly with championship ballast in the car for the first time.  This was the best the car has felt all season in race trim and I was really able to bring the fight to the table.  We're moving the Subaru forward at a fantastic rate each time out and considering this was our first time at Knockhill we can all be pretty satisfied. I really enjoyed the intensity of the racing at Knockhill.  I had a car that I could push to the limits and there is no better feeling.
“I’m confident about the remaining three events and I'm committed to giving my best.  We may have lost the points in Race Three but nothing changes – I’m here to challenge for the title."

James Cole commented:  Before we get onto my weekend I first want to once again congratulate Jason Plato and Colin Turkington on another mega weekend.

“My own weekend was filled with positives and frustrations. The team prepared a perfect car both days. Myself and my engineer, Richard Owen, are now getting into the nitty gritty of the Subaru's performance to best suit my driving style.

“Our times in Race One showed real top ten pace, which is where I feel I now should be. Sadly driving standards outside the top ten are in my opinion the worst I've ever seen. A distinct lack of respect between a few of the drivers is really ruining it for most.

“It only takes a few to spoil the party. Hopefully we will start to see improvements in the next round as having your own race ruined by the actions of others is tiresome.

“My speed is increasing, my knowledge of the car is improving and I'm certain all of this will be reflected in the results if we can all race properly.”


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Fletcher and Sign Striking For Golden Upset

Brits Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign believe they can spring one of Rio 2016's biggest sailing shocks as their quest for 49er glory gets underway on Friday (12th August).

Fletcher, who grew up in Market Harborough, and Portsmouth-based Sign make their Games debuts 10 years after commencing their partnership in the Olympic skiff class and the pair head to Rio with a 2016 Worlds bronze medal to their credit. 

Yet they know if they are to achieve their ultimate ambition of topping the Rio podium they are going to have to put a halt the Trans-Tasman class dominance of London 2012 silver medalists, Peter Burling and Blair Turke (NZL) and defending Olympic champions, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jense (AUS).

After London the Kiwis won 27 straight events, including four world and two Test Event title, before finishing third at last month's South American Championships, behind the Aussies and Poland's Lukasz Przybytek and Pawer Kolodzinski. 

But Fletcher, 28, and 30-year-old Sign were involved in a relentless selection battle that went to the wire for the one British 49er berth for Rio, and they believe that will stand them in excellent stead to upset the formbook.

Fletcher said "It's impossible to put into words the desire there is to win a gold medal. I think we're one of the few teams that can beat the Kiwis and we’ve known that all cycle. We’re one of the only teams that has come close to them, we maybe even rattled them, so hopefully their purple streak’s going to come to an end.


“To be successful we're going to have to be fast, boat speed wins medals, and that's something we’ve spent most of our effort on in the past year We’ve spent a lot of time in Rio and I really like it, it plays to our strengths. We’re better in smaller fleets, with shifty conditions, a bit of tide, great. It's definitely one of our strongest venues.”

Sign continued: “We had quite a bit of pressure through the selection process so we see this as another opportunity to go and perform. Yes it probably is going to be a bit of heightened pressure, but through the work we’ve done the last six months we’re pretty happy with how we can deal with that.”

Both Fletcher and Sign came through the RYA Youth pathway, enjoying great success in the 29er class, including a World Championship crown for Sign in 2004 and Worlds silver for Fletcher two years later.

Since teaming up in the 49er in 2006, their 10 years together have yielded this year’s Worlds bronze, two European Championship titles in 2011 and 2013, plus bronze from the first Rio Test Event in 2014 too. Now the best friends are relishing the chance of capping a memorable decade with one of the biggest prizes in sport.

Sign said: “A gold medal would be amazing, especially with my best friend. To be able to pat him on the back and say, ‘We've done this,’ it would be awesome. The 10 years we’ve been working together, even through when I was a young kid, wanting to stand on that Olympic podium with the National Anthem going, it would be a really emotional experience.”

Fletcher added: “Alain is probably the nicest person I know and he's just the ultimate crew. In sailing it’s hard to base your performance on your result and ultimately if we have a good performance and feel like we’ve done everything we can I’ll be vaguely happy. But if we’ve got a medal, especially a gold one, I’ll be really, really happy.”

The 49er class is scheduled to contest a 13 race series, with three races per day on 12, 13, 15 and 16 August before the final one off medal race on Thursday 18 August.

To follow the Fletcher and Sign’s fortunes at Rio 2016 visit www.rya.org.uk/Rio2016, follow @BritishSailing on Twitter and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britishsailingteam

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Rachel Atherton takes her 12th consecutive World Cup win at Mont St Anne

Hot, dry, dusty, fast and very very tough. Over the 26 years that it’s featured on the World Cup circuit, Mont St Anne’s track has weathered so that now it is almost as rocky as the other long serving World Cup track at Fort William.

In the Women’s Elite race Tahnee Seagrave had qualified uncharacteristically far down the order. She took the early lead in 4.50.35  and stayed in the hot seat until the final 4 were on track.

Australian Tracey Hannah bettered Tahnee by almost two seconds to go into the lead – still over 5 seconds out from Rachel’s qualifying time – would it be enough?  Local hero Miranda Miller was 0.4 down on Tahnee with only two women left on track. Brit Manon Carpenter was 0.14 seconds down on her good friend Tahnee Seagrave with only Rachel was left on course. 

In a scorching run the British National champion and winner of her last 11 consecutive World Cups made it 12 in a row – over 11 seconds clear of the field.

Rachel said “ I’m over the moon, don’t believe that it ever gets any easier, Mont St Anne is a TOUGH one!”

In the Men’s race Taylor put in a great run, crossing in 4.10.857 enough for an eventual 29th, his best of the season! 

Taylor said “ I bloody love it here, it’s flat out! Stoked with that!”

French rider Loic Bruni was returning from injury and had also qualified lower down the ranks than expected – he put in a storming run to go into the hot seat 4.00.792 4.779 seconds clear of George Brannigan!

By the time the top seven riders were on track no-one had matched Loic – or Brannigan who still sat in 2nd. Luca Shaw started steadily ( 12th at split1) but made up time progressively down the track – crossing into 2nd in 4.03.421. With 6 riders left on track it looked like things were heating up when Loris Vergier went fastest at split 1! But a serious mistake put him down into 77th by split 2 and out of the running. 

Now Gee was on track. He couldn’t seem to get into contention, 11th at split 1 he’d slipped back to 15th by split 3 but powered  back to 7th by split 4 to cross into 7th in 4.07.275 , enough for an eventual 11th place.

Women’s Elite Results

1 Rachel Atherton – Trek Factory Racing DH 4.37.448
2 Tracey Hannah – Polygon UR 4.48.604 +11.116
3 Tahnee Seagrave  - Transition Factory Racing/FMD 4.50.530 +12.862
4 Manon Carpenter – Madison Saracen Factory Team 4.50.479 +12.991
5 Miranda Miller 4.50.979 +13.491


Elite Men’s Result

1 Danny Hart – MS Mondraker 3.59.754
2 Aaron Gwin – The YT Mob 4.00.423 +0.669
3  Loic Bruni Specialized Gravity powered by SRAM 4.00.792 + 1.038
4 Troy Brosnan – Specialized Racing 4.03.418 3.664
5 Luca Shaw SRAM/TLD Racing 4.03.421 +3.667
11 Gee Atherton – Trek Factory Racing DH 4.07.275 +7 + 7.521
29 Taylor Vernon – Trek Factory Racing DH 4.10.857 +11.103

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Four in the top ten for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing

The return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship was one filled with drama for the start of the second half of the series but it was one that brought fantastic results for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing with us accomplishing four of Subaru Levorg GT’s in the top ten.

Free Practice One was all about trying to get the right balance for the Subaru Levorg GT’s with the cars having not completed many miles during the annual Dunlop tyre test.  The session saw Colin Turkington once again dominate for the first of the two free practice sessions and topping the times, as the machines of Jason Plato, James Cole and Warren Scott all improved for the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing quartet into the second session of the day with Colin remaining the quickest of the four Subaru Levorg’s.

The afternoon’s qualifying session saw Honda’s Gordon Shedden secure his first pole position since Donington Park in 2014 with Colin setting the setting quickest Subaru time just 0.015s short, placing his Subaru Levorg GT on the front row.  However it was disappointing for Jason as he couldn’t get a clear run away from traffic on track and qualified in eleventh spot.  James qualified in the top half of the field with a thirteenth place as did Warren who still managed to set the fifteenth quickest time after an excursion off the track.

With huge crowds flocking into a sunny Snetterton on Sunday, the first of day’s three races got underway with all four cars getting a good clean getaway.  Shedden held the lead into the first corner with Colin hot on his heels in 2nd position, with Jason making fantastic progress up to seventh place, as James moved into eleventh and Warren up into twelfth by the end of the opening lap.  

All four drivers held their positions for several laps and by lap eight Colin had almost glued his Levorg GT to the rear of Shedden’s Honda as the duo approached Palmer, when Colin pounced and took the lead of the race.  Warren and James gained a place each and moved up into tenth and eleventh after eight placed Josh Cook received a puncture in his MG.  Jason kept the pressure piled on the Toyota of Tom Ingram seeking any opportunity to pass.

Jason, Warren and James all gained another place each moving up to sixth, ninth and tenth after Sutton followed in Cook’s footsteps and also pitted with a puncture on lap ten placing all four of the Subaru Levorg GT’s up into the top ten.

After a near race long battle Jason made a stellar move on Ingram at Agostini placing him fifth and Colin extended his lead out in front and brought the car home to take the win for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing.

Jason came home in a superb fifth place after a fantastic drive, with Warren matching his career best of ninth and James placing the fourth car in tenth.  All of us at Silverline Subaru BMR Racing are absolutely delighted with our strongest result so far in 2016 and to have all four of the Silverline Subaru Levorg’s in the top ten for the first time.

There was disappointed at the start of race two as James Cole retired on the out lap with a broken drive shaft and had to abandon his stricken car between the Bomb Hole and Coram.  Moments later the lights went out all three made great starts, but Warren was spun after turn one as he took a hit from behind spinning him across the track.  However for once lady luck was on his side and the chasing pack all avoided further contact enabling him to continue albeit a lot further down the order than he had started.  Colin then ran wide at the newly named Wilson bend allowing the Ford Focus of Mat Jackson to nip up the inside and into the lead.  Jason also ran wide onto the grass dropping down a spot to sixth.

As the leaders headed down the Bentley Straight, Ollie Jackson in the Audi ran wide and made contact with Dan Welch kicking up a cloud of dust as the duo speared across the track.  Unfortunately several unsighted drivers including Sutton, Alex Martin and Hunter Abbott ploughed into the accident ahead of them which blocked the track bringing a red flag to the proceedings.  Thankfully although the cars were a bit worse for wear all of the drivers escaped without injury.  The marshals and officials then had the mammoth task of retrieving the damaged cars and repairing the barriers ready for a restart.

As there was less than a lap contested the grid would line up in the same order as they originally started throwing Colin a lifeline and back to pole position.  As the lights went out for the second time the remaining three Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers got off to a good starts as the mayhem unfolded behind him them once again as Mark Howard’s VW and Martin Depper’s Honda both going off the circuit.

With all three Subarus’s safely through the Ford Focus of Jackson on the softer tyres took the lead from Colin, with Jason and Warren holding station in fifth and ninth by the end of the opening lap.

When the pack arrived at Wilson on lap two, Colin escaped a nudge from Shedden’s Honda who subsequently received contact from the Mercedes of Adam Morgan creating a slight gap giving Colin a little breathing space for the remainder of the lap.  However the chain reaction of events caused the chasing pack to bunch up that held up Jason dropping him back down the order to seventh.  More contact ensued between Morgan and Shedden that allowed Jason to regain the advantage and into fifth.  Unfortunately it was Warren that was this time held up as he received contact from the Ford Focus of Andrew Jordan dropping him back down into eleventh, it was then elbows out as everyone sorted themselves out and into their solid positions.  Warren was then sent tumbling down the order to sixteenth by the end of the second lap.  

On lap three Collard, in his weight free BMW, took fifth place from Jason at Nelson.  The remaining three Silverline Subaru Levorg’s proceeded to hold onto their positions throughout the remainder of the race with Colin gaining his second podium of the day in a superb second place.  Jason come home in sixth with Warren just out of a point scoring position in sixteenth.

The luck of the reverse grid draw didn’t swing our way and the highest placed Subaru driver for race three would be Jason on the second row in third position as Sam Tordoff was awarded Pole Position in his BMW.  Colin would start in seventh, with Warren sixteenth as James joined the gird all the way down in in twenty seventh after the team made repairs to his car.  

With the officials hoping for an incident free race after the drama earlier on in the day unfortunately the worst was yet to come.  As the lights went out for what was set to be the final time of the day all the front runners made a clean getaway when disaster would strike for a second time. On the main straight as the cars towards the rear of the field went past the pit garages, contact was made between Howard and Martin forcing several cars to take to the grass in avoidance.  Luckily for us the last gap through was James, and as Hunter Abbot tried to sneak through he clipped the side of Howard’s VW that forced his Chevrolet into a violent series of rolls, whilst he was rolling an unsighted Ollie Jackson hit Abbott’s car mid roll pushing it up onto the barriers and into the ITV camera crew tower sending it and the cameraman toppling in the process.  The race was immediately stopped and remarkably the cameraman had a very lucky escape as did all of the drivers involved in the incident.  The circuit officials then had a huge operation in front of them to clear the start line of the stricken cars and repair the barrier.

With the remaining cars re-joining the grid yet again in their original grid positions, pole position man Sam Tordoff was missing from the start line with a component failure creating a clear gap in front of Jason for the start.  The lights went out with Jason getting a great start off the line and a good run up on the inside on Ingram and into the lead by the first corner with Collard following him through into second position. Colin also had a good start making up two places and into fifth with Warren fifteenth and James twentieth by the end of the opening lap.  Jason however was struggling to hold onto the lead out in front allowing Collard to pass him on the inside at Williams as he defended from Jackson.

There was further disappointment on lap three when Jackson finally made the move stick on Jason sending him down the order to third and now under the attack from the Honda of Gordon Shedden with contact being made several times allowing the Scotsman to take the third place away by the start of lap four with Rob Austin also going through placing Jason in fifth with Colin now hot on his heels in sixth.  Warren also dropped down the order to seventeenth and James eighteenth, when disaster would strike for Jackson moving all four Levorg’s up a further place in the race. 

For the remainder of the now ten lap race there were no further gains to be made with Jason being the lead Subaru in fourth place as Colin passed Jordan to finish sixth.  James brought the third Levorg GT home in nineteenth with Warren retiring with a boost leak on lap seven.

Colin remains the lead Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver in the championship standings having moved up a staggering six places from eleventh to fifth and just 34 points adrift of new championship leader Rob Collard, with Jason eleventh and a further 29 points behind.  Warren took his first points of the 2016 season so far in twenty fourth and James right behind him in twenty fifth.

Silverline Subaru BMR Racing also picked up the Team Trophy for outscoring all the other teams over the weekend.

Racing resumes north of the border at Knockhill in Scotland on the weekend of 13/14 August.

Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver quotes:

Colin Turkington commented:  “I’m extremely satisfied with another strong performance and claiming my third win of the season was definitely the highlight.  We thought that it could potentially be a tricky weekend for us, but all the summer test miles and hard work really paid off and that is incredibly rewarding.
“Coming from P2 to win in race one was a special moment and it was made even more significant as the whole team finished inside the top ten.  I gave it my all throughout the three races and despite some pretty scary moments I was able to take home a big haul of points. I’ve been looking forward to Knockhill for some time and my aim is to build on this momentum and see how far up the leader board we can climb.” 

Jason Plato commented:  "Snetterton produced another mega milestone for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing with all 4 cars finishing in the top ten, a truly fantastic reward for the team for all the hard work everyone has put into our Subaru project. 

“Personally Snetterton was a disappointment for me as we struggled to find the sweet spot on setup. We were close but not totally in the groove, I'm looking forward to making progress at Knockhill. 

“Huge congrats to Colin, he is certainly on a roll at the moment.”
  
James Cole commented:  “I was very happy with my performance over the Snetterton weekend. The two day tyre test certainly helped me get a deeper understanding of the Subaru Levorg. I am now starting to extract the last little bits, which has improved my pace. 

“Finishing P10 in race one should have been only the start of what looked to become a successful weekend. Saving my soft tyres for race two and the potential of a reverse grid upset for race
three was certainly on the cards. Sadly a drive shaft failure on the warm up lap in race two put an end to my weekend early. 

“As much as the weekend ended in disappointment there is still so much potential to extract from the package we have. I'm very optimistic for the future and understand that first year cars have their issues from time to time. I'm prepared to endure some pain now and reap the rewards in the future!”

Warren Scott commented“I am very pleased with the team’s performance as a whole over the weekend and I am overjoyed with my own performance.  To qualify one second off pole position on a two second lap is something I’m delighted with.

“My first race went extremely well with my ninth place finish, I had a difficult start in race two and finished just outside the points and there was obvious disappointment in race three with having to retire but overall I am extremely pleased the move forward in my own personal speed. 

“Snetterton was great for the team and with Colin now lying fifth in the championship and us moving up the overall team’s order I am very much looking forward to an exciting to finish to the year.”

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

5 minutes with the Silverline 49ers on their journey to gold

The Olympics is only just around the corner now. After such a long journey to get here, including 10 years of campaigning the 49er together, it's an awesome feeling that in just under 30 days time we will be racing at the Olympics! We will have our best kit, be at our fittest and at the top of our game. All to try and win a medal for our country. It is a privilege to have this challenge ahead of us, to represent our country.

Between now and then, there is lots of hard work left to do in order to be in the best possible position come the first race. Right now we are in Rio testing our kit and more importantly, practicing our sailing on the waters of Guanabara Bay.


The last few days we have been racing against all of our main rivals with some fairly informal racing. We have been super happy with how everything has been going in the run up to the Olympics. Our decision making had been as good as it gets and the boat is fast. There are still some tweaks needed and we made some silly errors over the 2 days racing, losing some big points. We are here to identify these weakness and improve them ahead of the games.

Alongside the improvements on the water, we have also been working tirelessly off the ware to keep the boat in the best shape it can be. We have a large toolbox filled with Silverline tools out here in Rio, making it easy to manage and maintain the boat.

Over the next few days we are going to continue racing against our main rivals, looking to improve on what we have learnt already and make gains. 

Then it's time for us to head home and have some down time before our final trip out here for the games on the 27th July, although racing doesn't start for us until the 12th so there is plenty of time to make those final gains. It's such an exciting time for us and we're enjoying every second. 

Dylan and Alain 

You can keep up with our progress on Twitter www.twitter.com/silverline49ers

Rachel takes her 9th National Championship at Revolution Bike Park, Llangynog

"The sun always shines in the Nog..."

Well, actually practice day was on and off showers all day with the team swapping between wets (Bontrager G Mud) and drys (Bontrager G5) all day. 

The track was super slippery so the team were going as hard as they dared...

By Sunday the sun was baking and the track had dried out well, definitely a day for G5s all round. The track at Llangynog is tight and technical at the top yet fairly groomed at the bottom with some fast berms.

First up for seeding was Kade Edwards for the Atherton Academy riding in Youth Category. Kade was fast but made a mistake which led to him dismounting his bike but he managed to keep on his feet and jump back on, crossing the line 3.74 seconds clear of the field!

Rachel had a text book run to take the seeding win by almost 8 seconds but insufficient gaps meant that Tahnee Seagrave had to overtake 2 riders on her run, even so she crossed the line into third just 0.2 seconds behind her good friend Manon Carpenter - what would Finals bring?

Gee and Taylor both put in steady runs to seed in 7th and 18th respectively.

Seeding - Youth Men 
1. Kade Edwards, Atherton Academy - 2.47.692
2. Scott Riley,  Revolution Bike Park - 2.51.434 + 3.742
3. Jamie Edmondson, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.53.749 + 6.057
4. Alec Geyser, We Love Mountains - 2.54.002 + 6.310
5. Jack Mills, Revolution Bike Park - 2.54.192 + 6.500

Seeding - Senior Championship Women 
1. Rachel Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.51.694
2. Manon Carpenter, Madison Saracen Factory Team - 2.51.434 + 3.742
3. Tahnee Seagrave, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.59.74 + 8.046
4. Sophia Paull - 3.37.724 + 46.030
5. Lucy Drees, Grips - 3.43.466+51.772

Seeding - Senior Championship Men 
1. Greg Williamson, Cube Global Squad - 2.34.841
2. Danny Hart, MS Mondraker Team - 2.36.08 + 1.239
3. Jack Reading, One Vision Global Racing - 2.37.694 + 2.854
4. Steve Peat, Santa Cruz Syndicate - 2.37.796 + 2.955
5. Jay Williamson, Steve Peat Syndicate Global - 2.38.627 + 3.786
7. Gee Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.39.565 + 4.724
18. Taylor Vernon, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.43.581 + 8.74

In the Finals run, Kade was excited and positive after his seeding run, he was looking fast and assured but disaster struck and he crashed in his race run on a grassy turn, slamming straight into a tree. He lost valuable time getting back on his bike, crossing into 4th place. 

Kade said: "Absolutely gutted, I know the speed is there, I just have to stay on my bike."

In the Women's Race, Tahnee went through into first, Manon never really getting into contention 5 seconds behind her. Rachel blasted down the hill, beating her seeding time by another 2 seconds, taking the National Champs win by a clear 8 seconds.

Rachel said: "I was really nervous coming into this weekend after Tahnee got so close at the World Cup but I soon forgot that once I started riding and having fun with all of the British riders. The tracl was wicked fun and I'm over the moon to take my 6th consecutive National Champs!"

In the Men's race, Taylor Vernon put in an awesome run to cross into the hot-seat from his 18th place in seeding. He held that position for a while but eventually riders started to come through faster - he had done enough for an eventual 8th place.

Taylor said: "I rode fast and aggressive, it wasn't the perfect run but it was good, something just clicked, I'm stoked."

Gee had qualified in 7th but as in seeding, he struggled to find his flow, finishing in 9th. Gee said: "I struggled today to get up and over, hard to find my flow. Stoked for TV though, great run by the little bro."

Youth Men Finals
1. Henry Kerr, Revolution CT - 2.44.095
2. Jamie Edmondson, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.48.388 + 4.293
3. Riley Scott, Revolution Bike Park - 2.49.124 + 5.029
4. Kade Edwards, Atherton Academy - +5.647
5. Alec Geyer, We Love Mountains - +7.101

Senior Championship Women
1. Rachel Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.44.095
2. Tahnee Seagrave, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.57.882 + 8.195
3. Manon Carpenter, Madison Saracen Factory Team - 3.03.582 + 13.895
4. Sophia Paull - 3.35.582 + 45.895
5. Lucy Drees, Grips - 3.37.488 + 47.801

Senior Championship Men 
1. Greg Williamson, Cube Global Squad - 2.33.508
2. Danny Hart, MS Mondraker Team - 2.33.883 + 0.375
3. Steve Peat, Santa Cruz Syndicate - 2.35.760 + 2.252
4. Josh Bryceland, Santa Cruz Syndicate - 2.35.760 + 2.252
5. Marc Beaumont, Madison Saracen Factory Team - 2.36.286 + 2.778
8. Taylor Vernon, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.36.829 + 3.321
9. Gee Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.37.331 + 3.823

Images - Dan Hearn 

Monday, 11 July 2016

Race Report: UCI World Cup 2016, Lenzerheide: Rachel takes her 11th consecutive win!

Another win for Rach! 15th for Gee and 42nd for Taylor!


Saturdays Finals were to prove another scorcher in Lenzerheide this weekend. There’s been some rain overnight but the track had dried out nicely by the time the Women came on course.


5th place qualifier Manon Carpenter went into the hotseat with 3.41.304, still 2 seconds off Rachel and Tahnee’s qualifying times it looked beatable, but next up Tracey Hannah crashed out. French rider Myriam Nicole on her comeback race put in a fast run to take he hotseat from Manon by over 2 seconds then only Rachel and Tahnee were left on course. Rachel hadn’t seemed to be able to find her flow and had been uncertain of some of her line choices this week but all that was put behind her as she posted fastest times at every split, crossing the line 6 seconds ahead of Pompon. But Tahnee was on super-form, would the young Brit (Rachel’s friend of longstanding) take her first World Cup win?

The Trek Factory Racing team held their breath, Tahnee was down at split 1 but only by 1 second, 0.7 by split 2. At split 3 the gap had widened to 2 seconds and it looked like she might not make up the time but Tahnee stepped on the gas to cross just 0.7 secs behind Rachel. The 11th consecutive win was in the bag and this season’s clean sweep continues.


After the race Rachel said “ That was close!! So nerve-wracking. Tahnee is pushing me so hard right now, awesome racing and it’s so cool to watch our different line choices and how much they impact on the split times.”

In the Men’s race 19 year old Taylor Vernon was first up. He put in a great run, crossing the line into 2nd, a fast time that would earn him 42nd place, his second best result this season.

Higher up the rankings it was 19th qualifier Aaron Gwin who really set the bar putting 5 seconds into Brendan Fairclough to take the hot-seat early on.

Gee had qualified in 14th. His run was all about alternative line choices as time and again he took a different way down. He was 1.5 down at split 2, putting him in line for 5th but he kept on pushing, fully committed. Unlike Gwin who’d looked on the edge of control all the way down Gee looked composed but was having to pedal out of the turns. He lost some more time to cross into 6th , enough for an eventual 15th place.


Into the top 3, Greg Minaar looked very fast but crossed 1.6 seconds back , George Brannigan never got in touch, he was 9th by split 1, enough fr an eventual 10th place then only Hart was on course. 

At split 1 he was down by a fraction, not the end of the world, but he didn’t really want that gap to get bigger… but it did. At split 2 he was further back in third, the same at split 3 where the gap was a full second, the crowd began to believe that Gwin was the winner but Danny roared through the last 30 seconds of the track like a man possessed to take the win by just 0.096.

Massive Congrats to Danny today – we’re all stoked for him!


Results

Elite Women

1 Rachel Atherton – Trek Factory Racing DH 3.33.859
2 Tahnee Seagrave – Transition Factory Racing/FMD 3.34.566 +0.7
3 Myriam Nicole – Commencal/Vallnord 3.39.569. +5.71
4 Manon Carpenter – Madison Saracen Factory Team 3.41.304 +7.445
5 Emilie Siegenthaler – Pivot Factory Racing 3.42.461 +8.602


Elite Men
1 Danny Hart MS Mondraker 3:05.710
2 Aaron Gwin 3:05.806 +0.096
3 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 3:07.327 +1.617
4 Remi Thirion Commencal/Vallnord 3:08.276 +2.566
5 Conor Fearon Kona Factory Team 3.09.369 +3.659
15 Gee Atherton – Trek Factory Racing DH 3.12.544 +6.834
42 Taylor Vernon– Trek Factory Racing DH 3.16.243 +10.533


Pics: Sven Martin