The weather in the UK has starting to turn a corner after a long, hard winter. Temperatures are up, the sun is making an appearance and the trails are dry, dusty and fast but not for long: they call them April showers for a reason.
In many ways the UK is slightly polarized when it comes to quality downhill riding. The hills and mountains of Wales, Scotland and northern England are ideal training for World Cup-length tracks. However, for those people close to the capital, there are a number of great locations to train on without having to travel for hours. Aston Hill is one of these places.
Nestled in the Chiltern Hills (a certified Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and only 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of London, Aston Hill has been on the map since 1996. With five graded DH runs emanating from the steep hillside, Aston Hill takes no prisoners with its mixture of chalk and flint that is made all the more lethal with the slightest hint of moisture. In recent times Aston Hill has shot to prominence with the opening of the Surface to Air trail, a smooth, flowy trail full of berms, fun drops and inviting jumps. This trail is very different to the others on offer at Aston Hill, but gives you the ability to mix up speed and style with roots and some hefty gradients.
Harry Molloy is a focused individual for 2013. Whilst pulling out some solid results on the both the domestic and world stage, Harry never quite found the form to match his potential. The off-season has been a time to take stock, to regenerate and hit the race season with confidence and positivity. World Cup tracks are changing. No longer is it all about roots and rocks just take a look at the groomed styling of Leogang or the smooth flow of Pietermaritzburg. To be successful and consistent requires mastery of multiple styles of track, mixed with the ability to put the hammer down on the pedals when its required.
It may have been a hard winter on our island but Spring is now here, the domestic race season is starting up again and after a period of regenerating fitness, focus and motivation the drive now moves on to the time on the clock as the line is crossed.
This is now the third year of the Madison Saracen team and after three years on the team, 2013 should be a great year for Harry as he looks to build on a solid foundation.
Photography & Videography: Laurence Crossman-Emms
(www.laurence-ce.com)Previous Episodes//Episode 1: PreparationEpisode 2: ApprenticeEpisode 3: Conditioning