Aston Hill DH Race

Mar 28, 2012 at 0:04
Mar 28, 2012
by Simon Paton  
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Aston Hill is steeped in motor racing history. Part of the Lord Rothschild's Estate, it was a renowned motoring venue in the early twentieth century. Lionel Martin made his first ascent of the hill in a tuned Singer Car on the 4th of April, 1914. Shortly afterwards, on the 16th. May, at the Herts County Automobile & Aero Club meeting he was so successful, that the sporting light car first registered in his name in March 1915, was called an "Aston-Martin". It was the start of a legend in the history of the automobile.

Photos by Ian Cross

Ex Power Boat racer Pete Little would have made the Vets podium if it wasn't for a small incident with a tree root and his chain ring that snapped clean off 1:37. At least his son did the business at the office today and made third in the Juvenile category, his first race podium.

Sunday 25th of March 2012
Today we raced mountain bikes through the woods adjacent to the hill and as a short course, push up race the venue is as popular as ever. With the rising cost of fuel, race entry prices and accommodation the idea of a Sunday only race for £25.00 seems to tick all the right boxes. Granted no uplift except that of your two trusty legs, the fit and hungry racers managed four or even five full runs of the course. The favoured route back up is the twisting fire road that runs parallel to the golf club. Just mind your "P"s and "Q"s on the way back up. The young guns seem to revel in the calf busting walk up besides the track..

Veteran racer Rich Abbott is Aston Hill 1:39

Over 250 racers signed on and bolted on their new number boards courtesy of Lezyne and hit the start line for just over two hours of practice before racing started at 11:00 sharp. Two race runs with the fastest time to count, all timed by old father time himself, Mike Gettleson of Mikrotime. Head down the track and amazing how many spectators lined the track from start to finish. Come those technical sections theye were shoulder to shoulder and the cheering and heckling was second to none!

Chest cam from Saturday, prior to the race:
Views: 5,654    Faves: 7    Comments: 2

Views: 4,591    Faves: 33    Comments: 11

Sam Wakefield designed and built the new sections of the course 1:23

Practice went to plan with Chris Vials the local British Cycling Commissaire keeping everyone in check ensuring safety and fairness for all. Even upholding the most debated B.C rule currently in the rule book: Removal of Head/Chest cams during race runs. The Extreme Medics fronted by Rich Bell had a quiet day by all accounts. Their only recommendation for anyone planning a trip to Aston Hill is to wear gloves! The track is littered with sharp flints that not only slice into your tyres but take nice chinks out of your hands.

Break dancing is becoming popular again I hear, I always recommend you bring your own roll of lino flooring though..

I had the Rotation and Windmill down. I just couldn't master the head spin unlike Stu here.

If you are planning a trip to Aston Hill then checkout their website They have a cracking XC loop and several DH tracks with varying levels of difficulty. There is even a 4x track that to be fair has seen better days but is still worth a few laps if you like jumping! May I just recommend not going there when it's wet, it's a slippery nightmare and you will be like Bambi on ice no matter what tyre choice you run.

What ever you do, do not get locked in..

Full results listed here on Mikrotime.

Big news was Jono Jones onboard his Transition setting the fastest time of the day and he is a junior! Jono is the twin brother of Matt Jones the dirt jumper as seen in multiple "POD"s here on Pinkbike. Make a note of Jono Jones and put him on your radar. He qualified fastest Junior at the South African rd1 UCI World Cup and had everyone there asking who was this new young gun?

Ben DEAKIN Primera/Muc Off 1:33.61
Ben BATT Black Canon Collective 1:35.28
Matthew JAMES 1:38.76

Thomas DAVIES Gravity Project 1:44.99
John SALISBURY 1:45.68
Jay LITTLE Team Little 1:48.25

Dan BROWN Mountain Mania Cycles 1:28.90
Albert HARVEY 1:29.36
Finn TENNANT Wiggle 1:29.53

Jono JONES 1:21.85
Michael O'BRIEN 1:28.59
Sam MARZETTI Bournemouth Cycleworks 1:31.74

Chris SPOONER 1:25.64
Stephen SIMMS 1:27.33
Neil WHITE 1:29.92

Trevor HARVEY 1:30.18
Niall INGRAM 1:35.43
Si PATON 1:36.62

Nicky BELTON 1:54.66
Clare FAULKNER 2:07.17
Sarah PREECE 2:09.25

Liam SAINT 1:26.66
Glenroy MARTIN Astonhill.Com 1:26.70
Matthew KOVAR 1:26.79

Sam WAKEFIELD 1:23.26
Chris SINDEN 1:25.07
Nathan VIALS 1:25.76

Stay Unclipped.

Next big race in the U.K is the Halo BDS at Combe Sydenham, near Minehead on the 14th and 15th of April.

Si Paton..

Si Paton 1:36

Must Read This Week


  • + 19
 Glad my dance skillz went down well. I'll try keep to racing for atleast 1 run next time...
  • + 4
 Great report, awesome day of racing from a spectator's point of view! Got a fair bit of it on video too...
  • + 1
 It looks similar to bringewood from the headcam view, I've ridden bringewood dh runs on my xc hardtail, would I face any significant problems with that here? Thinking of planning a trip.
  • + 1
 The downhill courses at Aston Hill are much more technical than Bringewood as well as much steeper - i definitely would not recommend taking them on with a hardtail, just dont think you'd enjoy it. There is an XC loop which has a decent downhill part which is worth a look if your in the area but i wouldnt travel miles for it.
  • + 1
 cheers dude, i'll keep that in mind
  • + 2
 great to see aston getting a mention here its a great place to ride an always hosts a great race well done deaks for the top podium on hard tail !
  • + 4
 Jono JONES 1:21.85? fast fella huh?
  • + 3
 I used to ride here about 15 yrs ago, some of those kids weren't even born then. Now I really feel old.
  • + 1
 Yesterday I wrecked about like the dude up in the pictures and sadly i think i rolled through some poison ivy because its all over the back of my neck now Frown
  • + 2
 in the video i liked how he braked around that flat corner at the end
  • + 2
 Come on Glenroy in second!!!!!! So close well done dude!!
  • + 1
 go on matt!!!! doing us proud as always
  • + 1
 What track was this on? Haven't been to Aston since last year
  • + 2
 It was on the Black Run, with a few new bits added just for the race.
  • + 1
 Great report Si, Ta very much. Glad you had a great day! Cheers, Mark

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