Practice Photo Epic: British Downhill National Series Round 4 - Antur Stiniog

Oct 10, 2021
by Nick Bentley  


The final round of the UK National Downhill Series is hosted at Antur Stiniog this weekend, with some typical Welsh weather spicing up Practice Day with a rain shower making the already difficult track that extra bit harder, but that's racing in October on the side of a Welsh Mountain.

Game face on for Roger Vieira trying to make it the perfect season with 3 wins from the last 3 rounds in the bag - can the Brazilian make it 4 from 4
Game face on for Roger Vieira, trying to make it the perfect season with 3 wins from the last 3 rounds in the bag - can the Brazilian make it 4 from 4?

Mud splatter everywhere and some long waits with some big crashes during practice
Mud splatters everywhere and some long waits with some big crashes during practice

The first straight has plenty of jumps for riders to enjoy
The first straight has plenty of jumps for riders to enjoy

With plenty of scrubs on show
With plenty of scrubs on show

Marshall point 2 probably had the best view of the day but was pretty exposed when the weather came in
Marshall point 2 probably had the best view of the day but was pretty exposed when the weather came in

The first tough feature on the track was this rock wall with a drop at the bottom which in the dry is simple but with the rain later in the day it kept a few riders on their toes
The first tough feature on the track was this rock wall with a drop at the bottom, which in the dry is simple but with the rain later in the day it kept a few riders on their toes

One Vision SR Suntour Team out doing laps together in practice
One Vision SR Suntour Team out doing laps together in practice

There s always time for a little whip in practice
There's always time for a little whip in practice

KJ Sharp pressing send over the stepdown
KJ Sharp pressing send over the stepdown

With the rain coming in out came the waterproofs - it is autumn in Wales after all
With the rain coming in, out came the waterproofs - it is autumn in Wales after all

It wouldn t be October in Wales without a rain storm rolling in over Snowdon
It wouldn't be October in Wales without a rainstorm rolling in over Snowdon

Stacey Fisher currently in second place in the overall standings seemed determined today to claim the number one spot tomorrow
Stacey Fisher, currently in second place in the overall standings, seemed determined today to claim the number one spot tomorrow

Plenty of mud covered riders from various offs throughout the day
Plenty of mud-covered riders from various offs throughout the day

Plenty of trains today with the Elite riders leading the way in the tough conditions
Plenty of trains today with the Elite riders leading the way in the tough conditions

The entrance to the steep chute over the exit of a berm was the fastest line through this section but came with a large amount of risk
The entrance to the steep chute over the exit of a berm was the fastest line through this section but came with a large amount of risk

The view down the valley was pretty epic not that the riders had time to pay attention with this chute proving the most difficult part of the track
The view down the valley was pretty epic, not that the riders had time to pay attention with this chute proving the most difficult part of the track

Natasha Bradley looked comfortable in the slick conditions
Natasha Bradley looked comfortable in the slick conditions

There were plenty of riders ending up in the B zone below this chute
There were plenty of riders ending up in the B zone below this chute

Ad Brayton making the steep chute that most mere mortals found treacherous look easy
Adam Brayton making the steep chute, that most mere mortals found treacherous, look easy

Bit of style for the camera
Bit of style for the camera

The afternoon began with a rain shower which left plenty of slick wet rocks and puddles for the riders to navigate
The afternoon began with a rain shower which left plenty of slick, wet rocks and puddles for the riders to navigate

Autumn is starting to take hold in Wales
Autumn is starting to take hold in Wales

One of the many flat out straights at Antur Stiniog
One of the many flat out straights at Antur Stiniog

This high line into the last corner was proving popular maybe a bit to popular as it began to wear out it got even tougher to use
This high line into the last corner was proving popular, maybe a bit too popular as it began to wear out it got even tougher to use

Roger Vieira is looking fast and tough to beat this weekend
Roger Vieira is looking fast and tough to beat this weekend

Elin Berry one of the many team Wideopen Mag riders out racing this weekend in what will be the last National Series race for the team
Elin Berry, one of the many team Wideopen Mag riders, out racing this weekend in what will be the last National Series race for the team

Easing your way in to the steep chutes wasn t a bad idea
Easing your way into the steep chutes wasn't a bad idea

Wet mud on top of wet rocks keeps you on your toes
Wet mud on top of wet rocks keeps you on your toes

The Viris team were out in full force and looking like they mean business this weekend
The Viris team were out in full force and looking like they mean business this weekend

Thankfully there wasn t much wind in practice allowing the riders to make full use of the gaps on offer
Thankfully there wasn't much wind in practice allowing the riders to make full use of the gaps on offer

Madison Saracen s Jordan Williams leaning it in around the last corner. This young man has put in some impressive performances this year and will be looking to end on a high
Madison Saracen's Jordan Williams leaning it in around the last corner. This young man has put in some impressive performances this year and will be looking to end on a high

Alison Tutt having fun in the mud
Alison Tutt having fun in the mud

Antur Stiniog s iconic dark grey track snaking it s way down the slate strewn landscape
Antur Stiniog's iconic dark grey track snaking its way down the slate strewn landscape

KJ Sharp one of the two women in the hunt for the overall title tomorrow looking fast in the final corners
KJ Sharp, one of the two women in the hunt for the overall title tomorrow, looking fast in the final corners

Dom Platt looking as smooth as ever despite the slippery conditions
Dom Platt looking as smooth as ever despite the slippery conditions

With the long hold for a full track red flag due to a rider needing medical attention everyone at the top had plenty of time to take in the view
With the long hold for a full track red flag due to a rider needing medical attention, everyone at the top had plenty of time to take in the view

Archie Casson having some fun on the upper section of the track
Archie Casson having some fun on the upper section of the track

Plenty of riders choosing to press send on the various drops littering the Antur Stiniog track
Plenty of riders choosing to press send on the various drops, littering the Antur Stiniog track

Jack Reading with a quick goggle clean whilst being held under on one of the many red flag holds of the day
Jack Reading with a quick goggle clean whilst being held under on one of the many red flag holds of the day

Bradley Shields looks as quick as ever throughout practice
Bradley Shields' looks as quick as ever throughout practice

Jack Reading on the gas
Jack Reading on the gas



15 Comments

  • 3 0
 Its been graded because of the weather up there the blacks where getting dangerous.trust me when I say the weather and rider combos bed it all down after winter itl be gnarly as ever come spring
  • 1 0
 @superbug1304:
I raced with my 13 old, practice was carnage and loads of red flags mainly due to middle section which was constantly changing, especially the gully section it was not easy.
Awesome weekend great track and the weather was spot on, it was Antur at its best.
  • 2 0
 I love Stinky dog,bit it's a brave rider that goes full tilt in the wet Smile Smile Smile
  • 2 1
 Bet that was a tame affair since they removed every black graded feature from the trails this year.It’ll be at Sherwood pines next.
  • 1 0
 I'd have to disagree there - evidenced by the crashes that were reported and that I've seen the worst rider injuries at Antur of all the uplift places I've been. There are easier (less technical) Blacks at both Dyfi and Revs. All can be lethal in the wet as well
  • 2 0
 @Niseach1: have you been recently,it’s completely changed to how it was last year.The blacks are a red trail at most now.
  • 1 0
 @jase111171: it used to be pretty good havent been recently. however the speed has always been high and lots of rocks, hard surfaces to crash on. There will always be bad crashes/injuries with those combinations.

out of interest why have they made it easier?
  • 2 1
 @jase111171: Been there a few times recently - you're obviously riding beyond my levels. On the Black, there were a couple of the rock sections that seemed sanitised. The huge rock drop after the bridge also looked as if it has been 'smoothed out' a little and the routes to the left and right seemed easier. I definitely wouldn't say that the Black is now a Red though. At the same time, the likes of Capsun had got rougher, but that along with Scrubadub were fantastic. The one that I thought had got harder were the two steep slabs into corners at the top of Wildcart, but not many seem to ride that. Great place though.
  • 1 0
 @steve4130: think it’s just to appeal to a wider demographic.last timei I went ,there was a lot small travel entry level bikes,half lid helmets and families there.Which is good,more inclusive.After COVID the place is probably trying to recoup some lost revenue.There are other places for riders looking to be challenged can ride,Revs,Dyfi etc.I feel they could have left the blacks and double blacks as they was.
  • 1 0
 @Niseach1: Your right mate,it is all relative to rider ability and what you want out of your trails.For fast open trails with no surprises it’s great,if you want to challenge yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone now and again,it’s probably not the place,but again that depends on where a riders skill set is personally.Eitherway it’s great things are getting back to normal and we’re out enjoying the wide variation of stuff we have to ride in the UK.
  • 1 0
 @jase111171: Absolutely. I'm blessed being within two hours of Antur, Dyfi and Revs. I absolutely love all of them, but they are each very different both in the trails that they offer and the vibe that you can feel there. Great people as well - it's always a privilege to go to any of them.
  • 3 0
 I was there all weekend and new sections had been cut in for the race making it capable of catching out even the Elite riders.Didn't hear anyone complaining it was too easy
  • 2 0
 I'd heard Stinky had been calmed down,not been there in a couple of years,I'll have to hit youtube for a look
  • 1 0
 Love Antur. Great pictures and good to see when you are really familiar with the trails.
  • 2 0
 I think it is awesome they have a practice day for the photographers.

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