Aston Hill – Lovelo Racing Team at Rnd 1 of the National Downhill Series

Cwmcarn Forest – South Wales
Sunday 8th April 2018
Intro – Ian Warby – Firecrest MTB
Race Report – Joe Kilner and Aston Hill – Lovelo Race Team

Well it felt like the longest off season ever with a cold and wet winter to go with it, but as the saying goes ‘time wait for no one’ and the First Round of the all new National Downhill Series rolled round early in April.

The racer’s headed back to Cwncarn in South Wales to get the National Series off to flying start for 2018. With best chance in years to see the best in the World compete at a DH within 4 hours of London spectators headed to Cwmcarn to catch all the action too making the atmosphere feel more like a World Cup than a National.

The Aston Hill – Lovelo Racing Team has been working hard over the off season for a busy year with both Jeremy Coe and Josh Mead racing in their last year in Youth and Junior categories respectively and Joe Kilner stepping up into the Super Vets, racing against the over 50’s (not as easy as it sounds).  Ellen comes into 2018 as one of the leading Junior Women with a chance of taking the top step at every race she competes at.

I’ll hand over to Joe and the Team over on Ride.io to take you trackside and give you the inside line on how the racing went…

Aston Hill – Lovelo Racing Team – National Downhill Rnd1
Race Report – Ride.io

 

Young Rider Development Programme – Level1 – Easter Holiday Course – 3rd and 10th April 2018

Looking for Easter Holiday activities?

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Young Rider Development Programme’s (DeVo) popular Easter Holiday Courses. The MTB Skills Training Courses (Level1) will be running at Aston Hill Bike Park in the February Half Term. The Courses are for Mountain Bikers aged from 8 years to 12 years old looking to develop their Mountain Bike Skills.

The DeVo Easter Holiday Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bikepark will get you riding your Mountain Bike with more confidence. They are a great opportunity to meet likeminded young riders and progress your riding and get out and experience the trails on Aston Hill.

The perfect introduction for young mountain bikers coming through our programme of Mountain Bike Skills Courses. All the of Firecrest Mountain Biking’s DeVo Courses provide an insight into the Mountain Bike Skills Essentials that enable you to get the most from your Mountain Bike.

Firecrest MTB’s DeVo Level1 Mountain Bike Skills Courses provide a great introduction to the Mountain Bike Trails on Aston Hill from the, Bomb Holes to the Pumptrack and a taster of the Cross Country and Downhill Trails.

All the training is given under the watchful eye of Firecrest MTB’s highly experienced staff providing expert tuition.

Course Dates

Tuesday 3rd April – 10am – 12pm – Spaces Available
Tuesday 10th April – 10am – 12pm – Spaces Available

Young Rider Development Programme – Level2 – Easter Holiday Course – 5th and 12th April 18

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Young Rider Development Programme’s (DeVo) popular Half Term MTB SkillsTraining Courses (Level2) will be running at Aston Hill Bike Park in the Easter Holidays on Thursday 5th and Thursday 12th April from 10am – 4pm. The Course is for Mountain Bikers aged from 12 years to 18 years old looking to develop their Mountain Bike Skills.

The Easter Holiday Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bikepark will get you riding your Mountain Bike with more confidence and speed. They are a great opportunity to meet likeminded young riders and progress your riding. From getting faster on the trails on Aston Hill through to racing at Local, Regional and National Competitions.

For young mountain bikers coming through our programme of Mountain Bike Skills Courses they build on the skills taught on the Level1 Courses. All the Training Courses Firecrest run provide an insight into the Mountain Bike Skills Essentials that enable you to get the most from your Mountain Bike.

Firecrest MTB’s DeVo Level2 Mountain Bike Skills Courses will be using all the trails on Aston Hill from the Pumptrack to the tight and technical Black Run through to the big jumps and drops on Surface to Air!

All the training is given under the watchful eye of Firecrest MTB’s highly experienced staff providing expert tuition. If you’re looking to develop your Mountain Bike Skills these are the courses for you!

All of Firecrest’s Mountain Bike Skills Courses are structured to provide a progressive programme of Mountain Bike Skills Training so you can come on them all or just come along on the days you can make to suit.

Courses Date:

Thursday 5th April – 10am – 4pm – Spaces Available
Thursday 12th April – 10am – 4pm – Spaces Available

Young Rider Development Programme – Level2 – Spring/Summer Saturday Morning Courses – 2018

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Young Rider Development Programme’s (DeVo) popular Saturday Morning MTB Skills Training Courses (Level2) will be running at Aston Hill Bike Park from Saturday 6th January. The Courses are for Mountain Bikers aged from 12 years to 18 years old looking to develop their Mountain Bike Skills.

The Winter/Spring Saturday Morning Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bikepark will get you riding your Mountain Bike with more confidence and speed. They are a great opportunity to meet likeminded young riders and progress your riding. From getting faster on the trails on Aston Hill through to racing at Local, Regional and National Competitions.

For young mountain bikers coming through our programme of Mountain Bike Skills Courses they build on the skills taught on the Level1 Courses. All the Training Courses Firecrest run provide an insight into the Mountain Bike Skills Essentials that enable you to get the most from your Mountain Bike.

Firecrest MTB’s DeVo Level2 Mountain Bike Skills Courses will be using all the trails on Aston Hill from the Pumptrack to the tight and technical Black Run through to the big jumps and drops on Surface to Air!

All the training is given under the watchful eye of Firecrest MTB’s highly experienced staff providing expert tuition. If you’re looking to develop your Mountain Bike Skills these are the courses for you!

All of Firecrest’s Mountain Bike Skills Courses are structured to provide a progressive programme of Mountain Bike Skills Training so you can come on them all or just come along on the days you can make to suit.

Courses Dates:

Saturday 24th March 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 7th April 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 21st April 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 5th May 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 19th May 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 2nd June 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 23rd June 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 7th July 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available
Saturday 21st July 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available

Young Rider Development Programme – Level2 – February Half Term Course – 15.03.18

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Young Rider Development Programme’s (DeVo) popular Half Term MTB Skills Training Courses (Level2) will be running at Aston Hill Bike Park on Thursday 15th February from 10am – 4pm. The Course is for Mountain Bikers aged from 12 years to 18 years old looking to develop their Mountain Bike Skills.

The Half Term Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bikepark will get you riding your Mountain Bike with more confidence and speed. They are a great opportunity to meet likeminded young riders and progress your riding. From getting faster on the trails on Aston Hill through to racing at Local, Regional and National Competitions.

For young mountain bikers coming through our programme of Mountain Bike Skills Courses they build on the skills taught on the Level1 Courses. All the Training Courses Firecrest run provide an insight into the Mountain Bike Skills Essentials that enable you to get the most from your Mountain Bike.

Firecrest MTB’s DeVo Level2 Mountain Bike Skills Courses will be using all the trails on Aston Hill from the Pumptrack to the tight and technical Black Run through to the big jumps and drops on Surface to Air!

All the training is given under the watchful eye of Firecrest MTB’s highly experienced staff providing expert tuition. If you’re looking to develop your Mountain Bike Skills these are the courses for you!

All of Firecrest’s Mountain Bike Skills Courses are structured to provide a progressive programme of Mountain Bike Skills Training so you can come on them all or just come along on the days you can make to suit.

Courses Date:

Thursday 26th October – 10am – 4pm – Spaces Available

Young Rider Development Programme – Level1 – Spring Half Term Course – 2017

Looking for Spring Half Term Holiday activities?

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Young Rider Development Programme’s (DeVo) popular Half Term Holiday Courses. The MTB Skills Training Courses (Level1) will be running at Aston Hill Bike Park in the February Half Term. The Courses are for Mountain Bikers aged from 8 years to 12 years old looking to develop their Mountain Bike Skills.

The DeVo Spring Half Term Holiday Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bikepark will get you riding your Mountain Bike with more confidence. They are a great opportunity to meet likeminded young riders and progress your riding and get out and experience the trails on Aston Hill.

The perfect introduction for young mountain bikers coming through our programme of Mountain Bike Skills Courses. All the of Firecrest Mountain Biking’s DeVo Courses provide an insight into the Mountain Bike Skills Essentials that enable you to get the most from your Mountain Bike.

Firecrest MTB’s DeVo Level1 Mountain Bike Skills Courses provide a great introduction to the Mountain Bike Trails on Aston Hill from the, Bomb Holes to the Pumptrack and a taster of the Cross Country and Downhill Trails.

All the training is given under the watchful eye of Firecrest MTB’s highly experienced staff providing expert tuition.

Course Dates – Tuesday 13th February – 10am – 12pm

Young Rider Development Programme – Level2 – Winter/Spring Saturday Morning Courses – 2018

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Young Rider Development Programme’s (DeVo) popular Saturday Morning MTB Skills Training Courses (Level2) will be running at Aston Hill Bike Park from Saturday 6th January. The Courses are for Mountain Bikers aged from 12 years to 18 years old looking to develop their Mountain Bike Skills.

The Winter/Spring Saturday Morning Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bikepark will get you riding your Mountain Bike with more confidence and speed. They are a great opportunity to meet likeminded young riders and progress your riding. From getting faster on the trails on Aston Hill through to racing at Local, Regional and National Competitions.

For young mountain bikers coming through our programme of Mountain Bike Skills Courses they build on the skills taught on the Level1 Courses. All the Training Courses Firecrest run provide an insight into the Mountain Bike Skills Essentials that enable you to get the most from your Mountain Bike.

Firecrest MTB’s DeVo Level2 Mountain Bike Skills Courses will be using all the trails on Aston Hill from the Pumptrack to the tight and technical Black Run through to the big jumps and drops on Surface to Air!

All the training is given under the watchful eye of Firecrest MTB’s highly experienced staff providing expert tuition. If you’re looking to develop your Mountain Bike Skills these are the courses for you!

All of Firecrest’s Mountain Bike Skills Courses are structured to provide a progressive programme of Mountain Bike Skills Training so you can come on them all or just come along on the days you can make to suit.

Courses Dates:

Saturday 3rd March 2018 – 10am – 1pm – Spaces Available

MX Fitness – Alan Milway – Strength and Conditioning Workshop

Saturday 9th December – Birmingham University Sports Campus

As a Coach or a Competitor there’s always more to learn and things to improve. Anyone that thinks or dares to tells you any different hasn’t quite lost their mind but has certainly lost the opportunity to expand it. There is one thing for sure, although you might like to think you know everything this is rarely the case and in sport in particular there is one constant which is change.

Over the last 20 – 30 years the field of Sports Science has exploded with ways and means to measure and develop athletes that are beyond the wildest dreams of the professional sports men and women in the 60’s and 70’s. Although some athletes might like to hark back to a time before everything in professional sport was measured and calibrated in the 21st century its the way things are and it’s a big business.

For me continuous self improvement has always underpinned what I’ve been doing. The opportunity to perform, review, and improve, has enabled me to squeeze the best out of what I’ve been doing and to continue the push for perfection. Finding the smallest of tweaks and tuning things to find a performance advantage. When you do it often enough It becomes a habit and drives a culture that has enabled me to remain engaged in doing what I love for the past 27 years.

With that in mind I contacted Alan to ask if he offered a Coach Development Workshop that would enable me to gain an insight into the way in which he worked with his athletes. Alan came back with the cracking suggestion of coming along on one of his training days as a participant. What better way to see how he works with his athletes than to become one!

I booked onto Alan’s MX Training Workshop early in December and was eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to get to see one of the best Strength and Conditioning Coaches in Mountain Biking, in action. For those of you that have been living under a rock Alan has worked with some of the biggest names in Mountain Biking Racing from the Atherton Family to Tracy Moseley and has built a reputation on the results that the riders in his charge have achieved on the International Race Circuit.

I also managed to get Firecrest MTB DH Team Riders Chris Cockrill and Tom Shakespeare to come along with me. Chris is a seasoned FMTB DH Team Rider and young Tom is a new signing for 2018 who will be competing in the Youth Category and looking to build on his 2017 season as a Development Rider. The three of us made a very interesting cross-section of athletes for Alan. I was the oldest on the day and having spent hours in the gym training back in the day (racing Cross-County) it was going to be interesting to see how I got on and what habits I’d picked up, or forgotten over the years. Tom at 14 years old is just starting out on his strength and conditioning journey. Training at home and at school to date, this was going to be a little different to his usual PE lessons. Chris won’t mind me saying he is always at the Gym, just a beast (check out his Instagram feed at chris_cockrill) The Gym is his ‘happy place’ aside from being out on the trails and he couldn’t wait for the day to get going.

We jumped in the car and headed up the M40 to Birmingham for the day. Checking in at Birmingham Universities Sports Campus makes you instantly feel like a professional. It’s an amazing facility with every base covered from a Sports Participation and a Sports Science perspective.

We met Alan and Ray Jakeman, Head of Strength and Conditioning at The University of Birmingham our Coaches for the day just before 10am, paper work was completed and we were weighed in and ready to go. Alan ran us through the Agenda for the day before subjecting us to the first batch of tests. The morning was spent testing out our flexibility and mobility with notes made of any imbalance to address later in the session.

Testing complete Alan and Ray then ran through a batch of exercises with us, which were aimed at targeting the imbalances that we’d identified – left to right, improving balance, mobility and/or flexibility. These specific exercises were great and showed up the missing elements in my Training Programme giving me some valuable exercises I will be adding to it going forward.

This took us up to a light lunch, as there was a batch of tests ahead of us where it wasn’t going to be good to have a heavy meal sitting on your stomach. Back to the Agenda and an easy intro, using the foam roller to work on the stresses and strains of the morning by pushing and stretching the muscles loosing them up for what lay ahead. The remedial side of things has never been a speciality of mine but I could definitely feel the stresses and strains ebbing away.

The afternoons tests were aimed at measuring our strength, power and endurance. The first test was the Jump Test. A pressure mat measured our explosive power from a standing squat and then a squat jump. If you ever want to feel like you’re wearing boots made of concrete just do this test.

Then it was onto the bike. Over the years I’ve done a number of max-power and threshold tests on a bike so I knew what to expect. For Tom this was his first and it hurt, but he took it in his stride and put in a great effort and I’m sure he’ll look back at this test with fond memories when he’s smashing them out in the future! Chris on the other hand had the WattBike screaming for mercy as he blasted his way through the tests. The only time I ever enjoy these tests is when they are over and this one was no different but I was pleased with the numbers and I’ll see what Alan comes back with when he’s crunched the data.

The next test was the Supine Pull. With my ‘arms of a sparrow’ I wasn’t looking forward to this one. Chris smashed it as expected and Tom did himself proud, Then Terry stole the show as he came close to beating the all time record held by Dan Atherton, incredible strength and endurance (we later found out Terry is in the Marines). The the leg burning calf raises were next, followed by press ups. With the tests complete and paperwork handed in for Alan to crunch the data that was the day done.

From my perspective it was great to see Alan in action up close and to get his input on my own training. It’s easy to see how his approach and the strengths and opportunities he identifies give the racers he works with the edge come race day. To have Alan’s insight and the level of feedback he provides on an ongoing basis will undoubtedly make you faster on the bike. Having it for the day gave me a great personal insight into where I can make some gains and some big improvements going forward.

Those of you that have been on a Mountain Bike Skills Course with me will know that the ‘Fitness’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Nutrition’ Triangle enables riders to work with professionals on each of the elements that come together to build the perfect rider. Alan’s insight into the ‘Fitness’ point is clearly invaluable and it was great to see the gains he identified and the way in which he works with an athlete to realise those gains.

Chris and Tom came away feeling highly motivated to get over the winter hump and into the new season fitter and faster than ever. All three of us got a lot from the day and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about booking up.

Keep an eye on MX Fitness for Alan’s dates in the New Year and if you’re looking to compliment your fitness with some MTB Skills Training check out the range of Firecrest Mountain Bike Skills Courses I offer on the Firecrest MTB Website www.firecrestmtb.com

2018 Mountain Bike Race Calendar

Firecrest MTB have put together a comprehensive guide to the Mountain Bike Races in the UK, Europe and beyond to help you plan and keep track of the 2018 race season.

You can either download the calendar as a Excel File or as a PDF for Cross Country (XC), Downhill (DH) or Enduro. Each calendar includes the World Cup and National Series dates along with the details of regional series and stand alone races.

If you’re planning your season this is a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on the must attend races of the 2018 race season.

MTB Race Calendar 2018 – Excel Download – All MTB Disciplines

MTB DH – Race Calendar 2018 – PDF – PDF Download

MTB Enduro – Race Calendar 2018 – PDF – PDF Download

MTB XC – Race Calendar 2018 – PDF – PDF Download

“Are you racing your Mountain Bike in 2018? Do you want to move up the timesheet and improve your results, or get your racing career off to the perfect start?”

Firecrest Mountain Biking have worked with some of the fastest mountain bike racers on the planet and our Race Skills Courses will have you setting the time sheets on fire! With MTB Skills Courses for Downhill, Cross-Country and Enduro with World Cup Racers in all three disciplines on our books we know how to give you the edge when it comes to race day!

Find out more and book your course here>>

Adult RDP – Downhill and Enduro MTB Skills Training – January Course Date!

Sunday 7th January – 9.30am – 1pm
Aston Hill Bike Park
www.astonhillbikepark.co.uk

The Firecrest Mountain Biking Rider Development Programme (RDP) based at Aston Hill Bike Park have Coached some of the fastest Downhill and Enduro Riders and Racers in the UK. Following the success of the Adult Rider Development Programme (RDP) it’s back for Autumn 2017. This is your chance to join a Group Skills Course for riders aged 18 years and over, focussed on Skills Development to optimise your riding.

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Skills Training is underpinned by ‘The System’ our proven Skills Training method which supports our ‘holistic approach’ to MTB Skills Development. ‘The System’ enables us to work with you and give you an insight into ‘why to do’ things over ‘how to do’ them. This in turn gives you a unique perspective on polishing your Skills and how to imporove your riding.

This Group Course will enable you to access Firecrest MTB Skills Training at a significantly reduced rate. It is a chance to join a focussed Training Group aimed at enabling you to achieve your skills goals

“Cheers Ian for the Devo today. Felt like that was the key to unlocking the next level of riding potential. Quality of tuition was second to none. Learned so much”. – Ed Meakes -12.02.17

The Course is ideal for Downhill and Enduro Riders new to the Firecrest MTB Skills Courses and riders that have previously had MTB Skills Training from Firecrest Mountain Biking. The Course will cover an introduction to the ‘The System’ and then a range of ‘Technical Trail Features’ including but not limited too; Jumps, Drops Corners and Techincal Downhill Sections showing how you can use ‘The System’ to optimise your Skills, Mindset, and give you more speed and confidence out on the trails.

‘The System’ will enable you to understand how to optimise your riding and easily identify areas that you need to focus on to build your confidence and speed. Tapping into our experience will give you the knowlege and confidence needed to ‘fast track’ the improvements to make those skills gains that will take your riding to a new level.