The Wilson Interview
This week I have managed to track down one of the Dromara CC Junior squad Ben Wilson who has been having an awesome season. With the MTB season over and cyclocross season just beginning he was a notable absence at Lurgan Park. It seemed time to track him down and find out what was happening.
- So you Missed the first round of the Ulster Cyclocross Series..Where have you been?
Ben: I was delighted to have been picked to go to the inter-regional MTB XC champs with the Ulster team at Hadleigh farm the London 2012 Olympic MTB XC course.
- So I hear it was like a stage race. What did they test you on?
Ben: They started off by testing us on bike skills, we were timed to ride a skills course using flat pedals. We were tested on a range of skills including bunny hopping and a new test, rear wheel changing.Then we had the hill climb where we road up a technical climb against the clock. Later on in the day we had the dirt crit, it was a 3 lap race with the lap only being 800m, depending on where you finished you were put into either the A,B,C,D final.
The next day we had the team relay which was a 1km lap, two boys and two girls competed in each team. After that we had the XCO race, an hour long race doing 6 laps of the Olympic course, which took in some of the big Olympic rock sections.
Here is some footage of what real skills are on the mtb:
- How much practise do you do to keep your skills up?
Ben: At least every other day I put my flat pedals on my XC bike and practiced a range of skills including wheeling, bunny hopping and rear wheel changing. During the year I would practice my skills at least once a week usually twice just to keep my skills good.
- How did you find the competition? Tougher than expected or a walk in the park
Ben: I expected the competition to be very hard and it lived up to my expectations. The European U16 XC champion was there. All the events took it out of you and by the end of the weekend everyone was very tired. The XCO race was by far the hardest event due to all the climbing in the gruelling heat. However I would go back there straight away as it was a great experience.
- How did the team do overall?
Ben: Overall the Ulster team done very well as we came 8th out of 14 teams the best result to date. We got complemented at the prize giving on how good our skills were and our attitude towards the event.
- What’s the goals for the season ahead?
Ben: I aim to do the cyclocross this season to keep my fitness so that I can come into the MTB season in good shape. I hope to do all of the Ulster xc rounds and possibly some of the NPS rounds so that I will be in good shape to hopefully get picked to ride the inter-regionals again.
Its always great to hear from one of our internationals and Ben has definitely been keeping his feet on the ground taking part in the Dromara Cyclocross Pit team at Musgrave Park as well as getting back to the cyclocross. I know we all at Dromara CC will wish Ben every success and look forward to see him on the next podium. So congratulations on the huge achievement of selection to the Ulster team and hopefully all those goals will be achieved.