Mini Downhill Coaching at Innerleithen


Posted on: 17 May 2012

Article by: Richard Lord, RDO East

Following on from the Mini Downhill event held at Fort William in 2011, this year Scottish Cycling have coordinated a series of regional qualifing rounds for 2012's event on the 09th June.

Round 5, organised by Innerleithen MTB Racing, will be held at Innerleithen on 26th May and will be the first event as part of the Tweedlove cycle festival.  To Support this, the Scottish Borders Cycle Development Group (SBCDG) along with Scottish Cycling offered a days downhill coaching on the trails. Ex elite downhiller Crawford Carrick Anderson was also on hand to offer his expertise to the group.

Mini Downhill is the latest craze for young riders wanting to get down the mountain as quick as they can. To make sure the riders can get from top to bottom in good time, their ‘attack’ position was analysed to make sure riders have control of their bike and not the other way around.

After this, riders put this position into practice on a more challenging environment and introduced a bit of speed. Positions were good with a few coaching points here and there. ‘Get a gap between your knees, have one finger on the brakes, relax those monkey elbows’ where reiterated.

Once coaches were happy, it was off to the singletrack and onto the technical stuff! Short fast straights were used to work on speed control. How the riders use the ‘attack’ position to help chose a good line and the importance of speed control. Tree roots covered in mud made the going technically challenging for all but with practice, all riders improved before riding down the trail to look at an Innerleithen MTB Racing favourite. A right hander with a drop in! Two line choices were explored. Either inside off a drop or high and around the outside.  Again, body positioning, line choice and speed control were analysed and fed back given.

After lunch it was a quick push back up and a chance to race the clock. A classic fire road start and into the fast singletrack section used in the morning session was highlighted. A good start was a must followed by controlling the bike and speed over the technical terrain. All riders had two chances against the clock with all riders improving on their first posting.

Overall a great day out and all the riders are now ready and raring to race on the 26th so look out.