28/08/2018 - Wes Fife takes the win

Wes Wins again

The Naughty Northumbrian

After a few crashy races recently, Development Team rider Wes Fife managed to stay on his bike for this one and won the race! Here's how it went down...

Wes: It was a cold morning and spirits were kinda low as the forecast was saying that torrential rain was forecast and the news that one of my favourite stages had been pulled from the loop in view of the forecast. My legs were still a bit stiff from the 45km loop on practice day and I knew I’d have to start using them soon for the 15km liaison up to stage 1. Anyway, after a big bowl of cereal we set off up the beautiful Coquet valley to the 1st stage of the day.

Wes Fife

On paper stage one was pretty simple; flat out up top then back off but keep flow when you get into the woods. Realistically though, there was much more to it than that. Some of the corners had loose rocks, roots, and some pretty blown out off camber sections which caught me out a few times. Turns out I rode the stage much better than I thought and got my first stage win of the day by 4 seconds in my category! After the winch back up the “kidland killer” climb to the top of stage 2 stoke was pretty high. I’d really enjoyed stage 2 in practice day and had a few good lines to get me down. Stage 2 went ok, and even with a few mistakes I still held onto the overall lead in the U18’s. Then it was onto stage 3 which I knew was going to be my attack stage. Fast, tight, techy, loose - all very much like what I was I was used to riding back home in Guisborough. I knew if I put a solid run down I could do make some good time against the rest of the field. So, I attacked and it payed off. I won the stage by 3 seconds in my category and got the 5th fastest time of the day behind some big names!!!!

By now the weather has turned a bit and we were getting some of the rain that was forecast. Me being the intelligent person that I am... had forgotten to take my waterproof jacket. After the cold slog back over the Alwinton hill to stage 4 I just wanted to get riding. Stage 4 was probably the most physically demanding of the day with a big grassy sprint over the top of the hill, then dropping down and traversing across over the rocky off camber Northumbrian screes. To make matters worse there was a howling headwind blowing head on up the valley. Morning aside I got down the stage smooth and gave it my all, getting the 7th quickest time of the day which cool I guess! There was only one stage left and at this point I knew it would be close between me and the other Guisborough lads I was riding with. I knew I would have to put down a solid run. I was having waayyy to much fun to even think of a podium. So stage 5 approached and I dropped in. Round some flat corners and down the slalom. It was at this point that I caught my back wheel on a rock and put a tiny hole in it. Thankfully I only lost about half my pressure before it decided to seal again and the race was back on . I drifted my way down the bottom of the stage. Narrowly missing a dog that had somehow managed to make its way onto track! I knew I hadn’t had the best run down the last stage but I knew my other stages had been strong and consistent. I rolled back and handed my transponder in, waiting my result...

1st in U18 men!!! I couldn’t quite believe it! Then to find out that I was the 9th quickest time of the day!! It's my first top 10 overall at a big race. Wow! I will definitely be back for more next year and I highly recommend to anyone to race it! Big thanks to Tommy Wilkinson and the Descent World team for putting on such a good race and to Matt at Kingud for keeping my bike looking clean all weekend. Cheers!

You'd be faster on a Rocket …