Team Cycle Jersey Orange
February 23 2011
Team Cycle Jersey Orange will have two riders for the 2011 season:
James Shirley has been flying the Orange Bikes flag for a few seasons now, specialising in endurance DH and representing in other disciplines where he can. We first got a glimpse of just how consistent James was at speed when he beat off stiff competition at the 2009 No Fuss Endurance DH. Clocking in incredibly quick runs for six hours, James' times were always within a few seconds. James returned to the Nevis range to defend his title in 2010 on the same 224-Evolution, here's an idea of how the format works...
In addition to being a handy downhill rider, James' fitness has brought success beyond the DH scene. A particular highlight of 2010 was taking his Blood to second place at the Orange Bikes sponsored Tour de Ben Nevis. Read the report, and look out for James, Hutchens and Ruari taking the win on a borrowed Orange Five...
James Shirley is hard to beat on any DH oriented race stage...
James will be defending his title in the No Fuss Endurance DH and looking for another podium at the Tour de Ben Nevis. He'll also be racing three of the UK Gravity Enduro rounds in addition to the SDA series, a smattering of SXC races, Relentless 24, and the Northern DH Enduro season opener at Kielder.
The focal point of James' training is working towards a good result at the Megavalanche and Mountain of Hell in July. James will be riding a 'team orange' prototype 225, and a 2011 Orange Five for all things pedally.
Chris Hutchens has ridden Orange Bikes for as long as I can remember and has racked up domestic and international experience racing as an Elite on a 224-Evolution. Chris moves from the Canadian based Transcend Orange team but sticks with his prototype 225 as he heads into 2011 riding with James on Team Cycle Jersey Orange.
Chris and James both mix it up in different disciplines, proper cyclists...
Hutch will continue to dominate the SDA series and attend a smattering of National and World Cup rounds around his main focus on UK enduro racing.
To give you an idea what a day in the life of a Scottish downhill racer holds, Stuz Leel put together this great edit from last season's SDA round at Glencoe. Plenty of Orange Bikes action from James Shirley, Chris Hutchens and others...
To follow the guys through the season keep an eye on our news pages and take a look at the team blog:
Plenty more to come from James and Chris, stay tuned...
James pre-season blog for the readers out there: student racing...
It was a cold and damp day on the 12th of February which made ideal weather for the first ever Scottish universities mountain bike championships! The event was held in Blairadam forest just North of Dunfermline. The format of the race was to do as many laps as possible of a short cross country course in 2 hours. The course itself took less than 15minutes for the fast guys. It was predominately narrow, natural single track trails with only three small forest road blasts to break up the flow. Due to the rain over the previous days leading up to the event, the course was really muddy and some of the climbs turned into a mandatory ‘get off and run’ sections. Apart from the running bit, the course really suited me. The trail was super slippery and since the descents were of shall gradient you had to be really smooth to keep your speed. I had a great race jostling for position against Liam Moynihan and Jack Richards for the lead. A small crowd of rowdy students had gathered round a jump about two thirds round the course which gave a good atmosphere to the event.
There was even a judge amongst the crowd to pick the winner of the ‘best trick’ competition. A prize that Chris must have had his eye on when he pulled a sweet one footer.
After an hour and a half I was sitting in 2nd place just a few seconds off 1st. All was good because I knew I still had plenty left in the tank. I came to the berm just after the jump where the spectators were standing. I slammed into the corner just as I had done in my previous laps, only this time my back tyre fell off! Not only did my tyre fall off but my rear gear cable also decided to snap.
This was not ideal. Thankfully, I had enough time to re-fit my tyre and limp round the course on one gear to take 3rd place overall.
Despite not owning a thorough bred cross country race machine, Chris did really well on his Orange 5 to finish 6th overall.
After the XC race there was a fun one lap night sprint. I thought I best give it a go since entry was free for those who had already done the real event. This was another close affair, this time between me and my big bother Gavin. I was just in front until there a massive BANG!!! A few seconds later I was riding on my rim and it was obvious that I had a puncture. Yet again I had to limp round the slippery course but this time I took the 2nd place spot.
The next day I took a trip down to Innerleithen for the I-Cycles mini DH event. This was a fun and relaxed downhill event that required riders to push their bikes to the top of the course. The riders could do as many runs as they wanted in the day and each run was timed. The person who had the single fastest time was the winner. Simple. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my downhill bike so instead I competed on my Orange Blood which made things slightly less simple. Thankfully the course wasn’t too rough. In fact, I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t a fast track but it flowed nicely through the trees all the way to the bottom. Just like the day before, there was plenty of mud but at least it didn’t rain too hard. I hadn’t actually ridden downhill for months before this event and so I was pleased to come away with joint 3rd place on the same time as Scott Laughland. Overall, a pretty successful weekend!
Until next time,