Build A Park And Then A Race Team

Mar 11, 2014
by Aspect Media  
Views: 15,787    Faves: 76    Comments: 1


BikePark Wales is delighted to announce the launch of its very first race team. Supporting local racers and giving them the necessary tools to compete to the best of their ability has always been an aim for the team behind BikePark Wales. Realising this ambition with the formation of a strong team just six months after the park opened to the public has been a real bonus. The intention in years to come is to grow the team with a focus on nurturing young talent.

The team was pulled together late in 2013 after discussions between BikePark Wales directors Martin Astley and Rowan Sorrell and the two other team riders revealed a common goal. All the riders wanted to be part of a team that would provide great equipment and support as well as a great venue at which to train, and of course some good times during the season with an emphasis on fun and solid results.

Photos to go up with the new Bike Park Wales team edit.
Team riders Rowan Sorrell, Martin Astley, Leon Rosser and Duncan Porter

The team got together for their first official ride at BikePark Wales on a sunny day in February to dial in their new bikes and get the banter flowing. Leon Rosser set the scene for the rest of the day by sending an enormous huck on the "Locomotion" trail that left everyone scratching their heads. Rowan Sorrell showed he still has the skills that earned him the reputation as one of the UK's most stylish riders, whilst Duncan Porter and Martin Astley both made their intentions for the upcoming DH and Enduro season clear with some solid riding. Most importantly, this first get together set the scene for good times during the rest of the 2014 season and it was all captured on film.

Rowan Sorrell (DH):After several years out of the race scene proper during the planning and building of BikePark Wales, Rowan is looking forward to a season of DH, Enduro and fun times racing and riding in 2014. Fresh off the back of winning the masters BDS category and Welsh Champs he steps back up into experts for the year for a new challenge and will be looking to repeat results such as 7th at the Trans Provence and 21st at the Mega Avalanche in the increasingly popular Enduro scene.

Photos to go up with the new Bike Park Wales team edit.
Rider: Rowan Sorrell

Martin Astley (Enduro): Like Rowan, Martin has taken a step back from racing in the last couple of years to spend time on the development of BikePark Wales. For 2014 Martin will be back racing and has taken the decision to step down from the Elite Enduro category and sand bag the Masters category where he knows he now belongs. Highlights from Martin's racing past include podium finishes at UK gravity enduros, mini enduro wins, top tens at Maxi Avalanches as well as top 35 finishes at the Megavalanche. Martin will be focussing on UKGE and select EWS races and can’t wait to spend more time on the bike in 2014.

Photos to go up with the new Bike Park Wales team edit.
Rider: Martin Astley

Leon Rosser (DH): Team nut-case, cage fighter and all round nice guy, Leon will be racing elite DH and Enduro for BikePark Wales. Leons aggressive and powerful style and do or die attitude make him a great rider to watch and he is a real asset to the team. One of Wales’ fastest riders, Leon will be looking for that elusive Welsh Champ title in 2014.

Photos to go up with the new Bike Park Wales team edit.
Rider: Leon Rosser

Duncan Porter (DH): After a strong 2013 in the Expert DH field, Duncan will represent BikePark Wales at both DH and Enduro events for 2014. Highlights in 2013 including first overall in MIJ Taff Buggy series and 12th at Dyfi UK Gravity Enduro in the Elite category have Duncan well set for a great year.

Photos to go up with the new Bike Park Wales team edit.
Rider: Duncan Porter

BikePark Wales would like to thank all of the team and bike park sponsors for making the team possible. Mercedes Vito Sport, Trek, Mojo, Shimano, MBUK, iXS, Sun Ringle, Answer, Continental and Swift Credit.

BikePark Wales is the UK's premier mountain bike destination with trails to suit all riding styles and abilities. If you spot one of the team riders training at the park feel free to stop them and ask them to direct you to their favourite trails. There are options to pedal up as well as a fast and efficient uplift service. To book online and find out more visit www.bikeparkwales.com

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40 Comments

  • + 38
 the only thing which sorta annoys me is the fact loads the trees get cut down to build the trails, i love pinning it down a trail with dense forest either side of me makes me feels like its just me and the bike but without the trees it feels really manufactured, clinical and takes away from the heart of mtb. the trails look amazing but the scenery of what im cycling through is half the reason why i even go biking.
  • + 7
 Is most of that forest cut back and hauled away for logging anyway? It didn't look like that was just for a bike park. I could be wrong?
  • + 5
 The trees are cut back by the Forestry, apart from any that are moved for the actual trail, so it would be done anyway! I agree though it does looks shit!
  • + 3
 Good example of that is the top of llandegla. Used to be under tree cover. Looks and feels very different exposes.
  • + 2
 It's has more impact when the trail used to be in the trees, then all of a sudden it isn't. As Randy said, it feels completely different. Plus no shield from the wind at 'degla!
  • + 2
 at Cannock chase they cut down trees and then lay then down on the sides of the trail like a wall, it looks f**kin shit, god knows who came u with that crap idea, biggest mess I've seen anywhere imo
  • + 2
 I agree 100% - trees are a big deal for me. My favourite tracks are covered in trees. Same tree felling thing happened with Caersws, although I know its a big source of income for the landowner
  • + 0
 Yeah, trees are awesome, but dangerous. I don't think the bike park wants to see a customer pull off a Lehikoinen, if you know what I mean
  • + 3
 Ya when I ride i love being in a really thick forest. Something about just riding DH and being detached from all the noise and people is great.
  • + 2
 its working forest land the trails are just an amenity on the side to create more profit. the trees will always come ahead of the trails as thats where the money is.
  • + 3
 That's possibly the only downside to public bike parks... the death of the singletrack. Dancing through the trees is incredible and it makes you feel like you're on speed bike a la Star Wars. If you can't ride singletrack, then you don't belong on a bike... an absurdly elitist biker would probably say. lolz
  • + 1
 It was very difficult to get good footage of the guys riding in the trees. The wide open trails tend to look better on camera. If you head to trails like Melted Welly, Vicious Valley, or Bonneville, you'll find plenty of tight, twisty, between the trees riding at BikePark Wales.
  • + 1
 pretty sure 99% of the tree's were gone before the park was built. as the original gethin DH track had to be altered when it was logged
  • + 1
 Completely agree. I don't like it when trees have been cut down either side of me to build the trail. it makes the trail feel really exposed and too unnatural.
  • + 10
 helmet-check gloves-check jersey-check expensive unnecessary riding shoes-check shorts-check bike-shit...
  • + 5
 the bikes seem far more than nice enough to me...
  • + 13
 Ask me and I'd tell you that my five tens make one hell of a difference
  • + 7
 Didn't say the bikes they were using were shit, I just haven't got one
  • + 4
 Good thing about tree's is that they grow back! Deggers is privately owned so they have to cut the tree's for profit etc so I have been told. I guess we who live near to a place like degrees should think ourselves lucky really as it seems like only wales and scotland have really taken on the mtb trail centre, come on england sort it out your missing out.
  • + 5
 Not sure about that hat Rowan!
  • + 3
 Went last week - It's on a anothe level to any UK trail-centre you have ever ridden - FACT
  • + 2
 got 2 days booked in may with my son, cant wait to go
  • + 1
 Have they sorted the uplift now then? We went last year and it was nothing short of crap! Superb trails but the organisation was shocking.
  • + 2
 i must be completely honest and say that this place was the biggest disappointment ever, it's like shit version of Glentress with all the fun bits taken out. I do understand that the place has to make money on all those Sunday riders and people with kids and stuff but the black trail is some sort of a misunderstanding. The rock gardens are like 5m long with clear lines through them, the pro line is pretty much just crazy jumps and nothing else...i would not recommend this place, maybe a loop and a descent on the way to Bala or some other good places. Must say tho, uplift service is awesome.
  • + 1
 Well it sounds like they've sorted the uplift then! The trails are great for short travel bikes, basically a trail centre with an uplift. I took my Uzzi but it was far too pedally for that.
  • + 1
 sorry to hear you had a bad time samsquamsh, yours is the first bad report I;ve heard though, just hope me and my lad enjoy it now
  • + 1
 i'm sure you will mark3, it's perfect for what you want to do with your kid, i'm just saying that a black run in wales , even in a bike park, should provide a bit more challenge. those are good flowy trails which are not intimidating,...i guess it just got overhyped with the involvement of the Athertons and all that...or maybe i just had too big expectations Smile
  • + 1
 is there anything there that's anything like Chatel? i.e black shore or some of the steep forest black runs
  • + 1
 i've never been to Chatel but you won't find steep stuff there, maybe there are some cheeky locals trails with some fun gradient but not in the park itself :/
  • + 4
 13th Floor Elevators - don't hear them too often on pinkbike
  • + 2
 ROKY ERICKSON!
  • + 2
 Best train of 4 that I've seen. Those dudes can shred! Looks like it'll be a good season for Bike Park Wales Racing...
  • + 3
 That Trek session looks amazing!
  • + 3
 So is that bike the fastest in the pits or what ?
  • + 2
 Got a proper crew of sheep shaggers, eh? j/k, good ridin' mates
  • + 8
 You don't take the mick out of the Welsh like that. Last time I heard someone comment on their sexual preference the guy's reply was "we sh*g them fist, you eat them afterwards..."

Can't think any many comebacks from that lol
  • + 2
 Martin astely, any relation to rick astley ???
  • + 2
 Astley**
  • + 2
 Booked on next month for a day Smile
  • + 1
 1:30 - How not to whip.

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