• Michael Maiden

Back on Form - Hooper Hooner 2017

After hearing news that Ben Deakin had been injured on Saturday, many were concerned for what was installed come race day.

The good old Hooper Struve trail hadn't changed since last year, only rather a lot slippier. After dropping my tyre pressures it was time to head off for practice. I slid dangerously out of control on the first corner, "better take it easy" I thought. The deceptively slippy chalk surface was made obvious by many mud stained jerseys!

Race Runs: In the first corner I came unclipped making the rock garden and 'Mini Morzine' rather sketchy. I sent it big off the coffin drop with a cheeky tabletop thrown in for good measure causing me to nearly hit a tree. I crossed the line and ran over to the TV screen: 'Michael Maiden 2nd' not bad I thought considering the issues.

I spent some time fiddling with pin height and cleat configuration to try and sort the unclipping issue ready for run 2.

As I headed up the track, I watched and assessed the areas where it was drying out to see if I could push a bit harder and claim the number 1 spot!

Clipping in at the start gate I knew I could win, but I had to remain calm to stop myself from pushing too hard. BAM! First corner I come unclipped again, "WHY!" I ask myself as I hurtled between the trees. Trying to keep composed I battled through the rock garden, down 'Mini Morzine' and off the drop! I finally got clipped back in for the final sprint putting every ounce of energy I had through the pedals, and reaching for the finish line.

I jumped off my bike, "Where have I come?" I said to my self, desperate to see the number 1 next to my name. To my amazement I was in first place, but were are eight riders left to go.

Could I hold on to the win?

Fortunately I did and I was ecstatic!!!

Huge thanks to my Muc-Off and Sixth Element Wheels for their support.

#HooperStruve #hooperhooner #bendeakin #TidworthFreeride #MichaelMaiden #santacruzv10 #downhillracingdorset



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