It's the second year that Harry Bradley has represented us at the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race and what an amazing job he has done! We caught up with Harry after the race to find out what he thought .....
"Preparation prior to the race was going really well. I decided to take a day off work and go training on a Thursday - 10 days before the race with my mechanic Craig. We went down to mildenhall and we were putting in a lot of work. Just after dinner time I had a nasty crash which bent my bike up really bad and winded me badly. We fixed the bike up and I did one more session but I was in a lot of pain with my ribs so we cut the day short. The next day I went to work as usual but in a lot of pain and then Saturday I was riding at FatCat so I took some pain killers and carried on as usual. I could only ride for 10/15 minutes and then the pain was becoming unbearable. I took a trip to the doctor which ended up with results showing I had cracked two ribs in the crash. Not wanting to suffer any training loses I went back to Fat Cat on Sunday and tried to ride again but the pain was still bad.
At this point I was pretty worried about even riding weston as the pain in my ribs was pretty horrific whilst riding.
Then when you get to the beach. Everything changes !! The whole atmosphere around the town changes your negative thoughts as it's such a good weekend.
My starting position was good after a good result the year before so i was almost at the front on the gate. When the gate opened Irwin swiped my front end out a little which put me back a little.
My bike was fast down the straight so I made up some good time and had a really clean and crash free first lap which was one of my goals. I came round after the first lap in 18th.
I tried to just ride a steady race and not take too many chances, I was riding injured and the race was tough enough. This year there were a lot of riders so at some points near the start of the race I waited and picked passes rather than rushing anything and risking any crashes. Every lap I would come round to the pit board showing me between 21st and 24th which I was more than happy with.
About half way into the race the dunes became really worn so you can start to jump them with no real issue but the worst thing about Weston is you never know what's the other side. I jumped a dune and landed straight into a fallen riders bike and went over the bars pretty big taking me and another guy down.
At this point Im thinking my race is done after hitting my ribs off the handlebars. My bike was pretty bent and my body was sore.
After the crash I pitted the next lap. We were pretty slow with this stop as it was my last one. The bike was straightened and I changed gloves goggles and had a big drink ready to finish the race. I was now down in 29th place which was disappointing. For the last hour I was pretty sore and just told myself to keep going. I again didn't want to make any mistakes or push to hard I just wanted to finish. You then start to notice some of the riders you are passing, you see your mates and shout or wave as you pass which gives you that little bit of encouragement you need to keep going.
The track this year was brutal. It was really wet. And really rough. I've done the main race at weston 3 times now and this was the hardest one for sure. I came over the finish line feeling pretty gutted as my pace had slowed quite a bit after the crash and I didn't think I would have moved up any further. Waiting for me in the pits was my dad girlfriend and mechanic Craig who were all really supportive and happy to tell me I ended 23rd.
23rd out of around 900 starters with a pretty beaten body was a great achievement. You always want to beat your previous result which for me was 21st in 2016 but considering the circumstances 23rd in 2017 was a good result. I already can't wait for next year !!
I would really like to give a huge shout out to everyone from Hydrogarden who cheered me on, helped me out and had my back this year. Not just at weston but throughout the whole year. The support they have given me has been amazing and I'm more than thankful for the opportunity. I'm pleased we are going to continue our partnership in 2018! I'd also like to thank everyone else who's supported me this season" (K Tech Suspension, SM Pro wheels, Off-road World, MX Science, Dave Thorpe, RJ Electrical, T.S Racing, SerChem)