Intro

Hi, my name is Tim Shoreman,  I am a 15 year old cross country mountain biker from Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  I’m lucky to live in the countryside with easy access to rides at Pitfichie and Bennachie. I’m a member of Deeside Thistle Cycling Club.

Last year I competed in the Dales Cycles Scottish Cross Country Series (SXC) which consisted of 5 rounds all around Scotland. I also competed in 3 British races (2 series races and the National Champs).  The season went very well – I managed to win the SXC Series (Juvenile) and I came 3rd at the British Champs at Hopton Woods in Shropshire.P1000405

Last year I raced on a Giant XTC 29er 1. This was my first carbon bike and also my first 29er.  Being 6ft 2 the big bike suited me and I really enjoyed riding it.  Unfortunately I continued to grow last year and I’ve outgrown the large size frame of the Giant but, with the help of Dales Cycles, I’ve just got a new XL Scott Scale 900RC …. thanks very much Dales.  I rode it for the first time yesterday on a 2 hour ride around Bennachie.  It’s awesome and I’m extremely excited about racing on it.  The first race of the season is at the end of March at Cathkin Braes.

My winter training has been going OK, but mainly on the turbo due to the weather.  Hopefully the weather will improve and I can get some more time out and about on the road and on the hills. This year I plan to ride the full Dales Cycles SXC Series again, as well as the full British National Series and the British Champs.  I have, however,  gone up an age group into the Youth Category (U16), so I’m going to have my work cut out to achieve some good results.

I am aiming to write regular blogs about my races so follow me here…..

Advertisements

End of the Season

I was super happy with my 5th place at the National Championships. I had two weeks at home before I was due back down in Glasgow for the Inter – Regional MTB Championships.  The result from the champs really motivated me to work hard to try go get some top results at the end of the season.

The Inter – Regional MTB Championships this year had been shortened to 2 days of racing, from 3. This made for a super hectic weekend.
My team met at the Glasgow velodrome on Friday before heading over to the university halls we were staying in in Paisley. We then had an early morning start on Saturday to prepare for the first event – the skills competition. I’m not the best at skills competitions, however, I have been working really hard to get better at it. I was glad to finish 9th. The skills competition decided the order for the handicap race. This race was set so that the people who did well in the skills got to start first in the handicap. The points system was awfully complicated, so all you need to know is that I started 20 seconds behind the winner of the skills. I had a great handicap race and caught 8 of the 9 riders who started in front of me to finish in 2nd, behind my Scotland East team mate. The third race of the day was the dirt crits. There were two heats, each with 20 riders in it, where you have to race 5 laps, which lasts about 10 minutes. The top 10 riders in each heat goes through to an A final and the bottom 10 go to the B final. I had a good start and was leading my heat when I crashed and cut my knee. I chased bathumb_img_0728_1024ck but didn’t go too deep as I knew I would comfortably qualify in 4th place. The final went really well, no crash this time, and I dug really deep to come 2nd (again) behind my Scotland East team mate (again). However, this time another of my Scotland East team mates finished in 3rd, meaning we got a clean sweep of the podium! The next day we had the team relay in the morning. My team smashed it and we convincingly won. It was then time for the main event, the XC race. It was a cold day (as it normally is in Glasgow) and  I was absolutely freezing between the relay and the XC.  I was also really tired from the intense weekend. I struggled to do an effective warm up as I was so tired and cold and ended up just spinning randomly on my rollers until it was time to get gridded. The race was a really tough one and luckily I wasn’t the only one who was really tired. Again, I managed to dig really deep and finished second, again behind my Scotland East team mate. I was really happy with all of my performances throughout the whole weekend. The Inter – Regional Championships is a team event and all of our top results from the boys and girls meant Scotland East convincingly won the overall.

I had 1 week between the Inter – Regionals and the 5th and final round of the British series. I was super motivated to smash it and get a podium. I enjoy the course at Cannock Chase and was really looking forward to the race. I had a good start and led the field out round the first corner. However, I was over taken and started slipping back. I was really tired as I hadn’t properly recovered from the Inter – Regionals and struggled the whole race. I eventually finished in 10th place. I was really disappointed that I didn’t manage to give some more and finish higher up. I couldn’t dwell on the bad result for too long as I had to leave for the European Youth MTB Championships on Friday.

I was 1 of 9 riders going to the event in Graz, Austria. We left on Friday to try to arrive late on Saturday. However, while driving through Belgium one of the vans broke down and we were stuck for 5 hours. We drove through the night after replacing the van for 2 hire cars, eventually arriving in Graz at 6:30 on the Sunday morning . I jumped straight into bed!! The temperature was in the high 20 degrees, higher than I have ever raced in, and the course was super fun and tough. There was a team time trial, relay, skills and handicap, XC-XL and XC race, spread across 5 days. The whole week was a lot of fun but I wasn’t racing very well and was down in the middle of the bunch (of 147 riders). The racing in Europe is very different to Britain and it is definitely something I would like to do more of.

After the European Championships I only had two races left – the Peebles Cycling Club 4 Stage U16 race and the Scottish National MTB Championships (and last round of the Scottish series). The Peebles 4 stage is always a lot of fun and I was really looking forward to it. I had a slow start to the day and came 3rd in the XC race before picking up momentum to win the uphill, downhill and dirt crit races. I therefore won overall for the second year in a row.

The final race of the season was the Scottish National MTB Championships in Forfar. Going into the race I was sitting 3rd in the Series but still in contention, so I was really motivated. The course was a lot of fun and I really liked it. The race went well.  Although I found the first lap really hard, I got into a bit more of a rhythm oracing-at-scottish-national-championships-forfarn the second and third laps and raced to 2nd place.  I was really happy. 2nd place was also enough for me to win the Series for the 3rd year in a row.

The season has been a very tough one and it hasn’t gone quite the way I had hoped although it did have some good results in there and it finished really nicely. However, I have learned a lot about racing and about how I can race better and this will really help me next year as a first year Junior (U18), which I am really looking forward to.

I would like to thank Debbie and Jim at Dales Cycles in Glasgow, my physio Mike Mackay, coach Tim Mackley and SportsAid Scotland & The Robertson Trust for all the support they have given me this year. It would not have been possible without them.

British National MTB Championships 2016

5 weeks ago I was in a very wet and muddy field in mid wales at the round 4 of the British National Series. The course there had extremely steep climbs and descents and on Saturday in practice, in the dry, the descents were fun and fast to ride. I enjoyed practice and was really looking forward to racing as I thought I had put in a very good training block leading into it. With the race being in the middle of nowhere and also in the middle of June my Dad managed to convince me that camping was a good idea. After a very wet night in a tent I woke up on race day ready. Unfortunately the course had completely changed due to the overnight rain. I had a good start and was in third place going into the first climb, but unfortunately I didn’t stay there very long. My legs had nothing and I immediately started going backwards. The descent that followed the climb was no longer fun and fast, instead it was miserable, dangerously slippery and unrideable. The race continued in much the same way as it started and I was just going backwards through the field. I was struggling on the climbs and the descents. In the end I finished 15th. The Scottish Mountain Bike coach, Paul  Newnham, noticed that something was wrong so we sat and had a chat about training. He and my coach analysed my training and together decided that I had become fatigued.

I took a week off training to recover from my fatigue and got stuck in once again with only 4 weeks to get in top shape for my biggest goal of the season. My training was very different and I was working a lot on my endurance. I was extremely motivated to get in the best shape possible and really happy to find out why my results this season have not been what I wanted them to be.

5 weeks on and it was British Championship weekend in Glasgow. I felt really fresh after a really good rest leading into the race after a good training block. The race was at the end of a family holiday in the Lake District and it felt a bit odd arriving at the race with a kayak on the roof! Practice went really well and there were a few welcome changes to the course to make it more technical and exciting. My aunt and uncle have a flat in Edinbrough which is where we stayed the night before. This was really good as it has a more homely feel to it than a hotel. The hour journey across to Glasgow in the morning was slightly annoying though, as I had to get up even earlier than normal as the race starts at 9 am. My race prep went well and I was really focused for the start. As I had a really bad race last time I was on the second row but I still had a good start and was in fourth going down the first descent. Happily, I was up to third at the top of the first climb, having mixed it up with second and third on the way up! The leading 3 broke away and I was soon over taken to be back in 5th. I was chasing really hard and briefly caught 4th place on lap 3 before he rode away again. I eventually finished in 5th which I was really happy with considering where I was not long before. I am now really motivated to continue to recover my form over the next few weeks for the Inter-Regional Championships back in Glasgow, followed by the final round of the National series.  After that I’m joining a team of Scots going to the European Youth MTB Championships being held in Graz, Austria.

It was also a brilliant weekend for other Scottish youth and Juvenile riders with 4 of us in the top 10 in my race and a number of podiums. We also had 2 National Champions in Jamie Johnstone and Sean Flynn, who also won the National road race Championships the week before!

photo of tim racing

 

A huge thanks to: Dales Cycles for the fantastic support, Mike Mackay for the marvellous massages and Tim Mackley for great P1020291.jpgcoaching.

Riding through the start/finish cheered on by my Mum!

 

 

 

SXC Round 3 – Cathkin Braes, Glasgow

This weekend was the third round of the Scottish series on the commonwealth games course at Cathkin Braes in Glasgow. I was really looking forward to it as it is also the course the British National Championships will be held on in July, so it was really good to have some practice on the course as this is one of my major goals of the season. The weather forecast was saying that it was going to be a rainy and horrible weekend but luckily when we arrived on Saturday it was nice and sunny. As this is the course for the British championships a few of us decided to practice together so that we could get lines spot on ready for the championships, This was not only fun but beneficial. After a few laps I was feeling fast and comfortable on the course.

Race day was a another sunny day and we had forgotten suncream so on the way from the hotel to the race we had to divert to go and find a shop to buy suncream. I think  we were being a bit optimistic as it wasn’t actually that sunny. I warmed up well and was ready to go for the 11 am start. I had a good start and was into second place. We were riding the first lap at a really high pace and soon it was just two of us with third yo-yoing off the back. At around three quarters of a lap in we rode through a technical section and my chain fell off again. I could not believe it as it happened last week as well. I got it back on after a while, it was jammed into the frame, and was soon on my way. Annoyingly about 2 minutes after my chain fell off I was going round a really slow speed corner and my front tyre slipped and I found my self on the floor. I was quickly on my way again but slightly annoyed. I chased hard for the rest of the race in third place but didn’t really get much closer to anyone. However, on lap three the second placed rider had a puncture so I caught him and rode to second almost 3 minutes down on the winner. I now have 3 weeks before my next race to put in a good training block to try to get back to the front of these races.

BMBS Round 3 – Dalby Forest

After a two week break from racing I was back at it this weekend at Round 3 of the British Series in Dalby Forest in Yorkshire. During the two weeks I had off I had to sit my first 4 National 5 exams, which has taken a lot of pressure off me.

Dalby is the closest of the British Series races which meant the journey down was not too bad, it still took Friday afternoon and Saturday morning though. When we arrived it was very cold and rainy, so I was dressed up like it was the middle of winter. I was absolutely freezing on the first lap of practice and my hands were numb so controlling the bike was interesting! I was going down one VERY rough section through a gully and was simply bounced off my bike into the side wall. Luckily, I was ok and was straight back on my bike. I soon warmed up, as it stopped raining, and started to enjoy myself more. The course was good fun with a number of good descents followed by tough steep climbs (The race started at the top of the hill so the climbs followed the descent!). After 2 slow laps with lots of consideration for line choice I was feeling comfortable on the course.

Sunday morning came and I was feeling confident and ready to race. I was gridded 5th and was 2nd into the first descent. I was 2nd, in the leading group, for about a third of a lap before my chain fell off in the gully section. I struggled to get it back on and lost lots of time and places, it didn’t help that it was a high speed section. I got back on and was motivated to get back to the front. Sadly, I didn’t manage to get to the front, but I did manage to get back up to 5th position from outside the top ten. I was with another rider fighting it out for 5th and 6th place on the last lap. It was a good battle and I am very happy to have come out on top in 5th place. I was disappointed that such a small problem set me back so far, but I was very happy with my performance which makes me more motivated for next time. I am also really happy to be the number 2 Scottish rider out of 4 that are in the top 10 of the British Series overall standings.

SXC Round 2 Dunoon

This weekend was the second round of the Scottish cross country series across the water from Glasgow in Dunoon. We travelled down on Saturday morning to practice the course in the afternoon. The weather on Saturday was really nice and sunny which meant that the course was lovely and dry. The course was very long with two long climbs each lap and fast, technical, rooty and fun descents. There was, however, two stream crossings each lap but the water levels were low enough to ride through with no problems.

Unfortunately Sunday’s weather was not quite as nice as Saturday’s. It was very wet and windy which made it quite miserable in the morning. The rain meant that the water levels in the streams rose so we had to run through the first one despite my best efforts to try and ride it during lap one of the race. The wet weather made tyre choice a little difficult because there was so much fast fire track but I was very glad I went with my mud tyres. By the time my race started it had stopped raining which lifted my spirits massively. I felt good this week and found myself leading with a handful of seconds at the bottom of the second climb. I worked hard but was caught just as I reached the top. I was part of a three man group going up the first climb of the second lap but a touching of wheels, between the other two, which led to a crash on the descent split us up again. I ended up chasing in second but was overtaken on the tough climb. At the top I was a handful of seconds back from second, who was a handful of seconds back from first. However, the two in front of me went really fast down the slippery descent and I lost lots of time to them. I came in 3rd place which I was happy with considering how tired I was feeling all week and last weekend.  I really look forward to my next race in Dalby in two weeks time but before that I have 4 exams to sit … fingers crossed!

BMBS Round 2 – Newnham park, Plymouth

With this race being so far away we had to travel down to Bristol on Friday in order to get to the course for practice early on Saturday morning. Seeing as we had all day we stopped off in Glasgow at Dales Cycles to get a problem with my fork fixed along with a list of other small jobs (Thanks very much to Jim). While I was at the shop I was also given the new 2016 team kit which looks amazing.

Saturday’s course practice was good and although it was wet to begin with from Friday’s rain it soon dried out which was good. The course had 3 main climbs which were extremely steep and following the descents were fun but very technical. I was feeling very comfortable on the course and was really enjoying it I was also feeling relatively strong.

On Sunday there was an early rain shower but it soon stopped and the sun came out. I had a front row start following my 5th lace at the previous race which was really good. When the race started we went off at what felt like warp speed and I slipped back to 6th wheel from my initial good start. We hit the first climb fast and I began to struggle, I felt like my legs were empty. I thought I could ride my self into it and get into a rhythm and get back to the front but unfortunately that never happened. I continued to push but I had nothing to give. With a bit of swapping between places through out the race I eventually came home in 7th. This is not the result I was hoping for but I was struggling throughout the race. I was however really happy to be part of the 4 Scottish riders that made it into the top 10. Thanks again to Dales Cycles for getting by bike ready for the weekend, Im now looking forward to the next race in Dunoon next week.

BMBS Round 1

This weekend was the first round of the British National Cross Country Series which was all the way down in Pembrey, South Wales. My Dad who is my driver, decided that it was best to travel most of the way on Friday so it would be easier to get there on Saturday morning. Luckily his parents live in North Wales so we booked in to go and stay with them for the night. Even though we were now in the same country as the race it was still a three and a half hour drive on Saturday morning along very slow and windy Welsh roads which meant yet another early morning. We arrived at the event at eleven o’clock in the pouring rain which made the course very wet and slippery. After two hours of practice in the rain, the rain stopped. This along with the fact the course was on a beach with sandy soil meant that it dried very quickly and come race morning, it was almost dry again. The course didn’t suit me as it was quite flat and I prefer a hilly course. I was very excited about this race especially seeing as I was gridded the number 1 rider because the gridding was based on the national rider ranking were I was 6th and the first ranked rider to stay in the category.

I had a strong start and slotted into second place. At the end of the first lap I found myself in the leading group of 5 and was feeling optimistic but by the end of the next lap one rider had broken away and was riding way from us. Before I knew it we were into the last lap and I was still in a group of 4, I decided to lead out the last lap but at one of the last moments before a single track section near the end of the lap, I was over taken which was slightly irritating but I felt I could handle it. However, right before the last single track section I was overtaken by another rider. I didn’t have the speed to sprint with those two riders and I even didn’t even manage to defend fourth place so I came home fifth. I was quite disappointed with this result but when I reflect on it I am much happier because I was only five seconds from second on a course that didn’t suit me. I now have a three week break between races to put in a big training block to build on my result for the next BMBS in Plymouth.