Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Red Bull Hill Chasers 2011

I was only down as a reserve but at about 10am on the day, I found out I was in as 2 riders had pulled out through illness -only I was ill too, with a lingering chest infection.

Park St in Bristol saw a 200m uphill drag, dual eliminator-style from a proper BMX start-gate. Pairing was pulled form a hat and Boom went up against Chris Metcalf, winner of the Rollapaluza Urban Hill Climb and a handy cross rider to boot -no shame in losing to a rider of that calibre, especially as he went on to take top honours in the evenings proceedings.

On my practice run the MC said "That has to be the best looking bike out there" and his comrade said "AND the best looking guy!" ha ha.

My first bout was against Superted James who 'stripped' his sprocket before he touched tarmac.

Next was Mongoose rider Chris Akrigg, winner of the Cobble Wobble and Red Bull London Mini Drome. Chris had set out to win all the Red Bull events and was largely local favourite. Riding some kind of hybrid trials bike with slicks he was so quick out of the gate that I thought it was all over there and then! As we ascended I started to catch him as he reached terminal velocity and I continued to accelerate. He got a second-wind after the final chicane and I just rolled him on the line.

Following that I was pitched against Raleigh team leader and National Hill Climb champion Dan Fleeman. So convinced was I that I was going out, that I didn't even remove my training top -it was pretty bloody cold. In the gates I even mentioned to him that I had a stitch! I noticed he was in the big ring while I was in the small -definately going out. The organisers had spelt my name wrong and as we waited the MC hollered "Will Superior live up to his name??" Urgh..

Down went the gate and my tub hit Tarmac first so I thought, 'huh, game on then'. Gave it some beans and never saw him again, just put my head down and went straight up the middle, fully expecting him to come tear-arsing past me, but, nothing. "SUPERIOR REIGNS SUPREME!!!" Shouts the MC....

My next run saw me swiftly dispatched as I had nothing left in the tank, my legs were wobbly and I had nothing left to give. As I rode down the centre of the run, i heard "Superior will now fight it out for the Bronze bike". As I got to the bottom they told me "You have to go again in 2 minutes. Boom forced me on my rollers and I tried to turn my legs. A commotion in the rider's compound as my competitor ran to be sick. "He's thrown in the towel" I heard and thought I could relax.
Next thing is a Red Bull dude with a radio saying to me "Scratch that, you're going anyway". Knowing my man had been throwing up I thought I might be able to take it easy but goddamn, I was only just half-wheeling him. Head down keep it going, it's just like a single Tabarta interval -8 of them will put you on the floor and I'm only on my fifth.

I was unable to oblige the MC's with any words after my final run and as Chris battled it out for his win, I was aware that my legs were continually buckling under my own weight but, within 5 minutes I was under the Red Bull finish arch with my grubby mitts oin my shiney new custom Bronze Charge Plug! I've never received so much attention before, pats on the back, congratulations from the public, people coming up and taking my photo.

It's rare that I get to bask in any kind of glory but every now and then, you do an event which is awesome and you do well and everyone takes you photo and you dine off it for a year and it makes everything worthwhile!

1 comment:

  1. technically this makes you the best climber in britain beating fleeman :)
    Congrats 'superior' - quality riding by the sounds of it