Photo Epic: British Downhill National Series Round 2 - Innerleithen

Aug 10, 2021
by Nick Bentley  


For round 2 of the British National Downhill series, we headed north to Scotland and Innerleithen. With some fresh sections of track cut in for the race and Reece Wilson in the house, this race was set to be a good one. Unfortunately, the Scottish weather turned up as well, with some heavy rain just to mix up the action some more.

The elite riders seeding run was greeted by more heavy rain not that it seemed to slow them down. Joseph Mallen making the road gap look easy.
The Elite riders seeding run was greeted by more heavy rain, not that it seemed to slow them down. Ciaran King making the road gap look easy.

It was the Unlucky 13 plate this weekend for Declan Willicombe. Unfortunately Dec had an off in the mud which left him in 12th the elite field.
It was the unlucky 13 plate this weekend for Declan Willicombe. Unfortunately, Dec had an off in the mud, which left him in 12th the elite field.

The new Uk National Champion Katherine Sharp took the win in the Elite women s field Katherine was on it all day with the DMR Pivot rider taking the top spot in seeding too.
The new UK National Champion Katherine Sharp took the win in the Elite women's field. Katherine was on it all day with the DMR Pivot rider taking the top spot in seeding too.

Stuart Jones somehow held on to this Who knew that riding off a muddy drop not clip in without any pins in your pedals your feet don t stay on the pedals still a respectable 7th place for Stu
Stuart Jones somehow held on to this! Who knew that riding off a muddy drop, not clipped in and without any pins in your pedals that your feet don't stay on the pedals - still a respectable 7th place for Stu.

The World Champ Reece Wilson was out racing at his local and was on it until the slick berm just above this section took him down he still made it into 3rd in the elite field. It s so good to see world cup riders back racing the national series.
The World Champ Reece Wilson was out racing at his local and was on it until the slick berm just above this section took him down; he still made it into 3rd in the elite field. It's so good to see world cup riders back racing the National series.

Speaking Of World Cup Riders here s another one Roger Vieira is on fine in the British Series he is not only leading the Championship but he also took the win this week at Innerleithen.
Speaking of World Cup Riders, here's another one. Roger Vieira is on fire in the British Series, he is not only leading the Championship, but he also took the win this week at Innerleithen.

It s not just the riders who make events. The medics were kept busy by the slick track.
It's not just the riders who make events. The medics were kept busy by the slick track.

Ben Cathro with a 2nd place finish this weekend in a stacked elite field is a top result. it will be good to see how Cathro goes next weekend Maribor.
Ben Cathro, with a 2nd place finish this weekend in a stacked elite field, is a top result. It will be good to see how Cathro goes next weekend in Maribor.

Sandy Mackay battling his way through the rin to 10th in the 13-14 boys field.
Sandy Mackay battling his way through the rain to 10th in the 13-14 boy's field.

Eric Harvey-Fishenden enjoying the dryer loamy conditions in morning practice.
Eric Harvey-Fishenden enjoying the drier, loamy conditions in morning practice.

Calum Ross making his way through the mud and roots towards the last road crossing on the Innerleithen track.
Calum Ross making his way through the mud and roots towards the last road crossing on the Innerleithen track.

Ben Cathro was a lucky man after just before heading to the uplift for seeding Ben noticed his bars looked strange only to find a bolt had sheared in his stem. Fortunately thanks to some red flags and some quick work and borrowing some bars and a stem from someone else meant ben just made it onto the uplift truck for his seeding run.
Ben Cathro was a lucky man; just before heading to the uplift for seeding Ben noticed his bars looked strange, only to find a bolt had sheared in his stem. Fortunately, thanks to some red flags, some quick work and borrowing some bars and a stem from someone else meant Ben just made it onto the uplift truck for his seeding run.

Cameron Nairn using the same trick as Riley Scott as he pushed up for his race run.
Cameron Nairn using the same trick as Riley Scott as he pushed up for his race run.

Riley Scott s Saracen Myst is hanging out waiting for elite seeding to start a smart idea in the rain to cover your grips and keep them dry. The gloves even match the fox orange
Riley Scott's Saracen Myst is hanging out waiting for elite seeding to start. A smart idea in the rain is to cover your grips and keep them dry. The gloves even match the fox orange!

Thomas Hawkins heading down to the classic Innerleithen road gap.
Thomas Hawkins heading down to the classic Innerleithen road gap.

After all the rain the track was brutal on the riders with plenty of aching bodies at the finish line.
After all the rain, the track was brutal on the riders with plenty of aching bodies at the finish line.

Oakley Haines carving through the mud.
Oakley Haines carving through the mud.

Roger Vieira was one happy man spraying the Champagne alcohol-free after making it 2 from 2 in the series. That feeling will make the long drive to Maribor a little bit easier
Roger Vieira was one happy man spraying the Champagne (alcohol-free) after making it 2 from 2 in the series. That feeling will make the long drive to Maribor a little bit easier!

Isaac Batty finished up 3rd in the 13-14 boys field. There are so many of these young kids charging hard It s so good to see.
Isaac Batty finished up 3rd in the 13-14 boy's field. There are so many of these young kids charging hard; it's so good to see.

Seth Beasley fighting through the rain.
Seth Beasley fighting through the rain.

Aston Tutt didn t look phased by the wet roots in practice.
Aston Tutt didn't look phased by the wet roots in practice.

Jon Morley working his way through the roots.
Jon Morley working his way through the roots.

bigquotesTime for a mini-rant here. Red Flags are something everyone who races knows about. When they are out, you should slow down and stop as soon as you can! This weekend there was a huge crash, and despite riders stopping on the track and the marshal stood in the track with a red flag, riders were still ignoring it and carrying on through at speed past an injured rider and the medic treating them. There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour. Rider safety is the most important thing, and respecting red flags are key to this! Just think, if that was you down on the track would you want people riding past at full speed!Nick Bentley

Callum Hay s bike waiting to head back down after Callum had a massive off on the mini motorway section of the track hitting a tree hard. I spoke to Callum on Monday and he is ok just has a 4-hour gap in his day after hitting his head. Concussion and head injuries are a big deal in downhill and it sounds like Callum is going to be smart and take some time off the bike to heal up which is good to hear. get well soon Callum
Callum Hay's bike waiting to head back down after Callum had a massive off on the mini motorway section of the track, hitting a tree hard. I spoke to Callum on Monday, and he is ok just has a 4-hour gap in his day after hitting his head. Concussion and head injuries are a big deal downhill, and it sounds like Callum will be smart and take some time off the bike to heal up, which is good to hear. Get well soon, Callum.

Hayden Fletcher looking smooth which is impressive considering the 13-14 boys had some of the worst weather for their race runs.
Hayden Fletcher looking smooth, which is impressive considering the 13-14 boy's had some of the worst weather for their race runs.

Oscar Hakes poping his way through the woods.
Oscar Hakes popping his way through the woods.

Oscar Griffiths took the maiden win for the new GT Viris team a top result for a talented young man. The 15-16 boys field is full of some amazing talent and Oscar is defiantly one to watch for the future.
Oscar Griffiths took the maiden win for the new GT Viris team, a top result for a talented young man. The 15-16 boy's field is full of some amazing talent and Oscar is definitely one to watch for the future.

Jack Norsworthy chasing down Oscar Griffiths in the morning practice session.
Jack Norsworthy chasing down Oscar Griffiths in the morning practice session.

Aimi Kenyon was the fastest junior woman all day and as a Scot she was firmly a fan favourite.
Aimi Kenyon was the fastest junior woman all day, and as a Scot, she was firmly a fan favourite.

Not Just interesting bikes on the track Innerleithen is a mecca for bike riders and it s good to see people out riding and supporting the riders at the same time.
Not just interesting bikes on the track, Innerleithen is a mecca for bike riders, and it's good to see people out riding and supporting the riders simultaneously.

Ben Ballantyne taking the inside line on one of the more open sections of the track.
Ben Ballantyne took the inside line on one of the more open track sections.

Ollie Sinden taking them outside in the same section of the rack as Ben.
Ollie Sinden taking the outside in the same section of the track as Ben.

The new 15-16 boy s national champion Dom Platt put down the fastest Seeding time but unfortunately had a crash in his race run. i cought up with his brother Nick to see how he was he said Doms all good thanks. Had an off on the first corner of the track broke both brake levers so had to get the trailer down hence why no sign of him for a while haha. He was gutted he didn t get to back up his seeding time more than anything else. He loved the track and was keen to try put down a good time in the wet.
The new 15-16 boy's National Champion Dom Platt put down the fastest seeding time but unfortunately had a crash in his race run. I caught up with his brother Nick to see how he was; he said, "Dom's all good thanks. Had an off on the first corner of the track, broke both brake levers, so he had to get the trailer down, hence why no sign of him for a while haha. He was gutted he didn’t get to back up his seeding time more than anything else. He loved the track and was keen to try put down a good time in the wet."

Logan Smith Seeded 9th but unfortunately finished up with a DNF.
Logan Smith seeded 9th but unfortunately finished up with a DNF.

Justin Barratt Dominated the 50 mens field with the fastest time in seeding and his race run and winning each sector split as well.
Justin Barratt dominated the 50+men's field by topping the timings sheet in not only seeding but in race runs as well.

Katherine Sharp on her way to taking the win.
Katherine Sharp on her way to taking the win.

Katherine Sharp giving us her game face.
Katherine Sharp giving us her game face.




9 Comments

  • 20 0
 Anyone spotted not slowing down for the red flag needed DQing. They won't do it again.
  • 4 0
 If that is the red flag, being held behind the tape, then zero riders are going to effectively see that. You obviously aren't a racer or MTBer. Red flags should literally be waved right in front of the riders faces!! With the marshal yelling "RED FLAG"
  • 1 0
 Yeah that was just an example Jerry! That was being done !
  • 1 0
 @Mandownmedia: I have personally stepped onto the track to create an obstruction in a red flag situation. I know its not recommended, but how seriously injured is that person on the ground? At least I can move "quickly" to make them slow down
  • 5 1
 the dude with zerode and trust forks, no number plate, just came to flex on everyone haha
  • 2 3
 sigma male
  • 3 0
 From that angle, they don't even look that daft!
  • 1 0
 It was a wet one for sure. Fun though and grippy apart from those bottom turns which were like an ice rink. There was a fair queueueueueueueueueueueueueue for the uplift on Saturday.
  • 3 2
 Shame about people getting Dqd because of an extremely poorly organised uplift service not getting them to the start in time!

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