It has been a busy few weeks for Kona Grassroots/Wheelbase.co.uk riders Dan and Andy Farley. Andy has been recovering from injuries picked up at Bringewood at the end of April while Dan has continued with his training and racing programme.
A brilliant 2nd place at the English Championships behind top UK Junior and Madison Saracen team rider Phil Atwill at the end of May was a good boost for Dan prior to a very hectic June. The first weekend of June saw Dan racing at the BDS round at Innerleithen in a field packed with elite World Cup riders. The race did not go to plan and Dan was disappointed with 15th place from 40 Juniors. Maybe the upcoming World Cup round at Fort William was on his mind?
The Fort William World Cup round followed straight on from Innerleithen. Dan was thrilled to wear the team GB jersey and to race his first World Cup. Practise went very well in sunny and dry conditions and Dan finished a solid 25th from 46 starters.
From Scotland it was straight on to Val Di Sole in the Italian Dolomites for round 2 of the World Cup. The pits were jam packed with teams and riders as the event also included rounds of theUCI XC World Cup and 4x Pro-Tour series. Dan’s Rock-Shox forks were in need of some TLC after taking a hammering at Fort William. The Sram service crew stepped up and completed an overhaul before practise started. The Val Di Sole track is renowned for being steep, rough, and rocky and it did not disappoint. Practise went very well but Dans race run did not live up to his high standards and he finished 51st from 74 Juniors.
On reflection Dan realised that he has learnt a lot from these first two World Cups and will takethat knowledge into the third round at Vallnord, Andorra in July. Andy has also learnt a lot about the role of a support mechanic at a World Cup but would have rather been riding!
Since returning to England both Andy and Dan raced at round 4 of the BDS at Llangollen, North Wales. Andy had only been back on his bike a few days before the race and finished a creditable 36th from 56th Experts while still recovering. Dan smashed it and came in 4th.
Dan currently sits in 7th place in the national rankings and 5th in the British Downhill Series with one round to go.
Andy and Dan will both be riding at the biggest domestic race of the season the National Championships at Bala on the weekend of 20th and 21st July. From there it is straight on to Vallnord in Andorra for round 3 of the World Cup.