Ulster Cycling News

Top class Ulster downhill juniors

Hitting the big time both at home and abroad are two Ulster junior downhillers: Sacha Bickerstaff and Jacob Dickson. Both are currently at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada at the DHI Round 5. Jacob was the fastest junior rider in the qualifier on 31 July. Sacha's qualifier time leaves her second junior in the womens event.

Sacha Bickerstaff is a hardworking well mannered 16 year old student from Kilkeel. Riding bikes with her dad since she could walk, which continued all her young life for fun & fitness ... but in the past couple of years it has got serious & moved to a whole new level. In the past 2 years she has won 6 out of 12 Irish Races & this year stepped up another gear to British & World races. Sacha won her first British race & in Fortwilliam qualifies 1st in the World Cup only to catch 2 riders in front of her adding many seconds to her race time. Sasha won gold at DHI Round 4 at Lenzerheide (Switzerland) - 4 July 2015. Sacha won the Elite Women's category at the 2015 Irish National Downhill in Championships at Rostrevor - 19 July 2015.

Here is a video introducing the rider - here

British BDS Round 2 - women's results



Jacob Dickson is 17 and hails from Dromore County Down. He has provided the following about himself and his plans:
"This year and last I have been a rider on the Orange Dirt World team, and through being part of the team it has allowed me to race around the world which has always been dream of mine since I started racing. This year I am racing every World Cup round and the World Champs; as well as the British Downhill series and some of the Irish Downhill series rounds.

Last year I raced the World Champs, which were held in Norway. I went into the race with very little expectations, having only raced a handful of world cup rounds prior to this. I had a lot of fun racing that week and managed a third in the Junior Men’s category, meaning that I had got a bronze medal in the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Championship which is probably my biggest achievement so far and finished off 2014 on a high for me.

This year so far has been another good year, although there have been a few races where things didn’t quite go to plan. The first British round I raced this year I came 5th and since then I have managed a 2nd, and in the last two British rounds I have won both. So the British rounds have been going well for me this year so far, although at round 3 I did get a flat, meaning that I did not finish, but that’s part of racing.

The world cup rounds have been challenging as always. In the first round this year I managed an 8th, which was a good start to the year. The next round was bit more difficult, I qualified well in FortWilliam with a 2nd, but ended up with another 8th which really wasn’t bad considering I had a few slips during my race run. In Leogang I came 2nd which I was ecstatic about, I qualified in 2nd and wanted to be able to maintain the same pace in my race run which I did and came out with a silver. Lenzerheide was a more difficult race for me I managed to get a flat in the first rock garden, but although this happened at the 1st speed trap I was in 2nd place so I was gutted to drop down to 25th with a big slid out after the big drop off further down the track, meaning a lot of time was lost. Now I’m focusing on the final 3 rounds of the World Cup, and trying my best to do well in each round.

I have been going to as many of the Irish rounds as I can this year, but it is more difficult because I am away a lot now; but managed to be back for the Irish Champs. For the 2nd year in a row I have been the Junior Irish Champ, and both years I have been around 1 second slower than the winning Elite male, which I’m pretty proud of.
Now I am focusing on finishing off the year strong with hopefully another solid place at the World Champs and finishing off the World Cup Series strong, as well as the British Do0wnhill Series.

British BDS Round 2 - junior men's results





Posted by Martin Grimley (martin@ulsterxc.com)

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