Adrenaline Alley was initially scheduled in to be the first round of the Spank Ind. Dirt Wars series, all the way back in May but when the nice weather of March and April turned into weeks & weeks of rain in May things didn’t turn out as we had hoped for. There was no way that the jumps at Adrenaline Alley would run so a postponement was the only option but this suited the venue as it gave them chance to add in a drainage system that they vitally needed to help against the great British weather. Four months later we finally had sunshine and the trails were dry as a bone, so it was time to get the Adrenaline Alley round underway.
After some packing, watering and brushing dust up over the lips, the trails were ready to roll. The joint practice got underway as soon as the venue’s doors opened, with a lot of riders keen to do well, and from the start they went at it hammer n tongs!
Corby has two comp lines – a larger Pro line with a drop to start followed by 3 doubles and a slightly smaller line with a roll in, a 27-foot tabletop followed by two doubles. The larger line hadn’t been ridden much since it had been finished and as a result was running slow, with riders from both categories struggling to make it through consistently. The decision was made to allow both Open & Pro to use either line but most riders stuck to the faster running, smaller line. However this didn’t stop some serious mid-air shapes from being thrown!
After almost two hours of all riders warming up and getting used to the trails it was time to start the Open qualification. With 12 riders on the start ramp being reduced to 6 for the final they all looked ready for battle to fight for their spot in the final. Again the line up in Open consisted of some familiar faces and some new ones to the series. With Wig Lewington Booth and Freddy Pullcock both drawing for 1st place in the series it was clear that both riders really wanted the win to get themselves a lead coming into the final rounds and more of a chance of winning the Spank full build bike plus a years deal on the Spank team.
All the usual riders in the open class had really stepped up their game since the last round and a few had some real nice new big banger tricks; Danny Stewart was throwing down the sickest running mans, Ben Nolan was locking his feet on his seat whilst taking both hands off (a variation on the shoebox, an old skool BMX trick) and also throwing some cliffhanger attempts although the air time wasn’t quite enough for him to extend them. Jamie Nelson had also thrown in a few variations on what he had been sending at the last round, flip one handers, even more extended Nothings & No-Footed Cans showed he had been working hard to keep up with the other Open riders. Tom Cardy was also back after a good ride at the Holdshott round; again relaxed 360s & sweet tuck no-handers demonstrated good style & ability.
Amongst the new faces in Open were Jamie Woodford, travelling up from Cornwall with DMR’s rider Clinton Johns. Jamie hade some nice flips with a burly style and even went for some 360 tailwhips on the last. Richard ‘Tabletop’ Hemingray made the trip down from the North, sending some sweet tabletops & after a couple of attempts nailing a flip on the second, whilst a few new faces from Essex also joined us. Toby Ancill had some bad luck in his runs, not quite making it through the line whilst Darren Eastall sent some nice downside tables & flips. Another one to suffer from bad luck was Carl Johnstone who sent some good No-Footed Cans but took 2 runs in the Qualifiers before he looked comfortable getting through the set. 4x racer Dylan Grell Pelsol turned up for his first Dirt Wars event of 2012 and meant business with a varied bag of tricks including nice 360s & superman’s, showing that he could not only race a bike well but throw it down with some of the best open dirt jump riders too.
After 3 runs each the finalist were decided upon. Going through would be Wig Lewington Booth, Freddy Pulman, Danny Stewart, Dylan Grell Pelsol, Ben Nolan, and Jamie Nelson
The Pro riders soon hit the course for their pre-qually practice and all was going well until Dirt Wars UK Co-Owner and Pro Rider Rob Newman decided to eject from his bike and head butt the floor at a fair old speed. After Rob picked himself up the rest of the riders continued practice with Adam Williams, Daryl Brown, Clinton Johns and Matt Jones trying to get it together and get through the bigger Pro line. Even though we re-watered, packed, plyed and carpeted the parts of the trails that were running slow it was still to soft to get a proper run through so they all decided to go back to the smaller of the two lines. It wasn’t a good day for DMR’s Clinton Johns with a bail during practice leaving him with broken forks, a tweaked knee & a large patch of skin missing from his backside!! So that was two riders dropped from the Pro starting list but Qualifiers soon got underway and the guys started to unleash upon the course.
Matt Jones got the crowd going with his huge flips over the 28ft tabletop racer. Danny Pace was on a mission too! After taking third at Holdshott he was unbelievably keen to get back on the podium and even more focussed on taking first – Flips on the first, Flip tucks & Flip X-ups on the second as well as some nice 360s on the last showed he was more than capable of being up there. As was Danny’s teammate Daryl Brown; barspins, tailwhips, truckdrivers & his signature Indian airs were being thrown everywhere. The Slam69/Dartmoor UK riders were also giving it their all. Alfie Stephens had dialled tailwhips on the first as well as some nice seatgrab nac nacs, whilst Marcel Hunt & Ryan Nangle had their standard trick bags fully open owning every part of the course. Both Charlie Watts & Adam Williams were steezing it through the jumps but they didn’t quite have the same finesse that the other riders were showing.
After the qualifiers it was Matt Jones, Ryan Nangle, Daryl Brown, Marcel Hunt & Danny Pace that impressed the judges enough to put themselves into the Pro Final.
After a bit of trail maintenance and some time for the Open riders to warm themselves up again it was time to move into the Open final.
There was definitely pressure to perform being put on the riders, not only by themselves but also by the other riders who were wanting to reach the podium. Stand out runs included 14 year old Dylan Grell Pelsol throwing down a perfect 360 barspin with a nicely extended superman before it. Jamie Nelson had some good extended Can Cans & super consistent flip one handers in his runs. Ben Nolan wasn’t as consistent as he usually is but managed to pack three tricks into one air on the second jump as well as show off his signature Shoebox No-handers some more. But in the end it was the same three riders that took the Holdshott podium that took the top 3 spots at Corby. Edinburgh’s Danny Stewart amazed the crowd with no handed running mans to cross-legged landers on the second, pumping through crossed legged to the third as if it was nothing & uncrossing his legs with a disco can on the last!! Some truly original & inspirational riding from the young Scotsman, put him in third. Freddy Pulman followed him into second place with tailwhips on the tabletop, 360 tucks on the second & Truckdrivers on the third. But again Wig Lewington Booth took the top spot with flips over the tabletop, 360 tables & Flip no-handers on the second & 360 tailwhips on the last securing his victory.
Moving into the Pro final we had five riders all very capable of taking the win. Out of the five it was only Matt Jones that decided to ride the bigger Pro line to try and gain a few extra difficulty points over the other riders. However this didn’t quite pay off for him as he had a couple of stacks on the last one leaving him to take 5th in the final. Next was Ryan Nangle in 4th; Ryan had some nice flips on the first tabletop and a mix of 360 variations & barrel rolls through the other jumps. In third Daryl Brown stepped his game up with consistent barspin to xups on the table, opposite tailwhips on the second & regular tailwhips on the last executed perfectly as well as stylishly. Taking second place was Marcel Hunt with his vast array of tricks including perfect flip-whips on the second as well as truckdrivers & barspin to tables on the last showing he really is here to take the series title. But it was Danny Pace who laid the smackdown to take 1st. His winning run included a massive flip on the first, followed by a flip tuck on the second & a tuck no-hander frontflip on the last (which was also the smallest jump in the set!) Danny rode with such purpose, precision & fluidity that it was obvious before the scores had been added up that he was going to take the win & rightfully so. It was definitely Danny’s most solid performance at a Dirt Wars event this year and you could tell he was happy!
So this left us with Best whip & Best Trick jams to finish off the day. First it was the MountainBikeBitz.com Best whip comp, which again let all the riders get on the jumps to send it as sideways as possible. Wig Lewington Booth was a contender sending some really nice dropped shoulder MX whips on the second but in the end it was Identiti’s Matt Jones riding the bigger line that took the win. The bigger jumps may have helped him but the flow & style of his whips, as well as them being fully sideways won the judges over.
Moving into the Best Trick comp there wasn’t quite as many riders as at the last round trying to take the win but still we had some wicked moves being thrown. Ben Nolan was trying to get some extension on his Cliffhangers, Alfie Stephens after a few attempts got a double tailwhip clean to pedals. However again it was Matt Jones who stomped it riding the bigger of the two lines. After a few attempts at a superflip on the first big double and catching his back wheel or slipping a pedal he managed to land one clean which did it for the judges on this occasion.
So that was round 4 over and done with. Bad luck for some and better luck for others but definitely an interesting set of results to take us into the final round at Rocket World at the end of September.
1st – Danny Pace (Identiti/Ison/Society)
2nd – Marcel Hunt (Dartmoor UK)
3rd – Daryl Brown (Identiti/Ison/Manitou)
4th – Ryan Nangle (Dartmoor UK/Smuggling Duds/Fox)
5th – Matt Jones (Identiti/Ison/Society)
6th – Alfie Stephens (Slam69/Dartmoor UK)
7th – Adam Williams (Rose Bikes/ODI/Alpinestars)
8th – Charlie Watts (Void Bike Shop/Static clothing)
1st – Wig Lewington Booth
2nd – Freddy Pulman
3rd – Daniel Stewart
4th – Dylan Grell Pelsol
5th – Ben Nolan
6th – Jamie Nelson
7th – Tom Cardy
8th – Jamie Woodford
9th – Richard Hemingray
10th – Darren Eastall
11th – Carl Johnstone
12th – Toby Ancill