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!


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