Race Report: British Downhill National Series Round 3 Caersws

Sep 29, 2021
by Nick Bentley  


Round 3 of the HSBC National Downhill was hosted this weekend at Caersws, Wales. The unseasonably dry and dusty conditions turned the track from its usual Welsh conditions to something that more resembled California than mid-Wales, which proved challenging for many riders, with several having an off at some point in the weekend.

Race day started with clear blue skies and sunny weather; however typical Welsh weather set in with wind building and rain threatening towards the end of the day. Thankfully, this didn't seem to disrupt the riders too much. 

The track began with a steep top section leading into dusty berms and rocky, chute descents added to the mix in the lower half of the track. This is a track that the riders love, and with the dust, there was plenty of opportunities for riders to slap turns and create massive dust explosions. Once again, following on from the fantastic support the riders received in the last round in Scotland, the UK Downhill fans were out in force to cheer, heckle and have a good time watching the racing.
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In the Male Juvenile, George Madley claimed first place with a solid three-second lead ahead of William Pugh in second and Nathan Diwell-Wilson in third.

The ever-impressive Dom Platt from Atherton Racing was crowned victorious in the Youth category with a round still left to go. Luca Thurlow was in second and Lucas Craik in third. 

Bradley Shield's once again claimed the top of the podium in the Master's closely followed by Michael Vickers in second and Sam Wood in third.

There was some fast close racing on show in the Elite Men's field with just one second separating the podium positions. Roger Vieira not only pipped Adam Brayton to first place by just three-tenths of a second, but the Brazilian also took the win in the Elite men's National series. It's been a dominant performance from Roger this year with him taking the win in each of the rounds so far. Can he make it a clean sweep in Round 4? It was a trio of World Cup riders on the podium, with SR Suntour One Vision's Jack Reading following closely in third place.

In the Women's Junior field, Aimi Kenyon stormed to victory with a 9-second lead claiming first place ahead of Anna Craig in second and Nina-Yves Cameron in third. Stacey Fisher took first place in the Women's Elite ahead of Melanie Chappaz in second and Katherine Sharp recovering from her injury at the World Championships and taking home third.


Tom Lampkin spraying dust
Tom Lampkin spraying dust

Stu Jones keeping his eyes on the next corner
Stu Jones keeping his eyes on the next corner

Sion Margrave squashing the jumps on the way to winning Expert Men
Sion Margrave squashing the jumps on the way to winning Expert Men

Brandon Turner looking fast through the turns
Brandon Turner looking fast through the turns

First year in Elite came with the unlucky number 13 plate atleast Dec Willicombe learnt to hang it upside-down this time. An impressive 11th place this weekend in a stacked Elite Field.
First year in Elite came with the unlucky number 13 plate, atleast Dec Willicombe learnt to hang it upside-down this time. An impressive 11th place this weekend in a stacked Elite Field.

Not the best day in the office for Finn Durkin the moon dust of Caersws claimed yet another victim
Not the best day in the office for Finn Durkin, the moon dust of Caersws claimed yet another victim

Caersws is a track loved by the riders thanks to all of it s amazing gaps jumps and loose turns
Caersws is a track loved by the riders thanks to all of it's amazing gaps, jumps and loose turns

Josh Lancett-Edwards keeping it pinned through the woods
Josh Lancett-Edwards keeping it pinned through the woods

Clearly it was day where Gaz Wilson didn t quite keep it all rubber side down
Clearly it was day where Gaz Wilson didn't quite keep it all rubber side down

Eyes on the prize for Aimi Kenyon enroute to taking first place in the Junior Women
Eyes on the prize for Aimi Kenyon enroute to taking first place in the Junior Women

The views at Caersws are stunning. Wales truly never fails
The views at Caersws are stunning. Wales truly never fails

Putting the power down in the final sprint to the finish
Putting the power down in the final sprint to the finish

After the woods the riders made their way through some grass corner turns to the finish thankfully the rain stayed away or these could have been treacherous
After the woods, the riders made their way through some grass corner turns to the finish, thankfully the rain stayed away or these could have been treacherous

Junior National Champ Preston Williams taking on the classic grass corner finish on his way to taking yet another win
Junior National Champ Preston Williams taking on the classic grass corner finish on his way to taking yet another win

Dom Middleton is not shy over the jumps
Dom Middleton is not shy over the jumps

The woods combined with the insanely dry Welsh trails claimed yet another victim
The woods combined with the insanely dry Welsh trails claimed yet another victim

Dave Smith kicking up the dust as he carves his way through the Caersws turns
Dave Smith kicking up the dust as he carves his way through the Caersws turns

Despite being September in Wales the sun was out and the riders were having tonnes of fun on this classic UK DH Track
Despite being September in Wales, the sun was out and the riders were having tonnes of fun on this classic UK DH Track

Jay Williamson going flat out through the Caersws woods on his stunning Oxblood Red Santa Cruz V10
Jay Williamson going flat out through the Caersws woods on his stunning Oxblood Red Santa Cruz V10

John Holbrook taking the inside line
John Holbrook taking the inside line

Sending it into Welsh views
Sending it into Welsh views

Classic UK trailer uplift this weekend always good for a laugh
Classic UK trailer uplift this weekend, always good for a laugh

Kenzie Nevard was on the gas through the jump section
Kenzie Nevard was on the gas through the jump section

The Green Snow Collective aren t afraid to send it
The Green Snow Collective aren't afraid to send it

The steep upper section was super fast
The steep upper section was super fast

KJ Sharp still recovering from an injury picked up at World Champs took home third in Elite Female. We caught up with KJ and she said I m still injured so struggled to ride on the limit but I was super cool and wore a gillet to ride in KJ may be injured but she hasn t lost her sense of humour
KJ Sharp still recovering from an injury picked up at World Champs, took home third in Elite Female. We caught up with KJ and she said "I'm still injured so struggled to ride on the limit but I was super cool and wore a gillet to ride in" KJ may be injured but she hasn't lost her sense of humour

Plenty of opportunities to press send at the Caersws track
Plenty of opportunities to press send at the Caersws track

And get sideways for the cameras
And get sideways for the cameras

Mr Perfect Roger Vieira making it three wins from three in the HSBC National Downhill Series and wrapping up the over win for the series with one more round to go
Mr Perfect, Roger Vieira, making it three wins from three in the HSBC National Downhill Series and wrapping up the over win for the series with one more round to go

Have I won That anxious moment when only 0.035s stands between you and second place
Have I won?! That anxious moment when only 0.035s stands between you and second place

Celebrations all round for Vieira and his team
Celebrations all round for Vieira and his team




13 Comments

  • 9 1
 Another 1.5 minute track for a 'national downhill' race. BC need to sort things out, way too short to call a national and in money terms including practice your getting around 30 minutes riding over the weekend for just under £100 entry fee! Come on BC, sort it out!
  • 6 0
 Bloody hell around £100 for an entry, you can see why enduro is taking over from DH on this island for what you get for your money.
  • 5 2
 Not that many locations to choose from in the UK but the track at Caersws was mint. Personally much prefer a steeper, shorter track than one where they try & drag it out just to try & make it longer. Series is a mix, Rounds 1 & 3 are short but Rounds 2 & 4 are much longer. If they'd had a Fort William in there (don't think they could make it work due to Covid) it would have been a fantastic mix.
  • 3 1
 Did you race there? - If not, seems the riders liked it even though the internet spectators didnt....
  • 6 0
 Anyone who hasn't ridden Caersws shouldn't comment its short fast an tech also a good venue with a top farmer and matt simmonds ex wc racer looking after the place.thats like snowshoe was to flat and short did it not provide? Did the riders struggle to piece it together yes they did
  • 1 0
 Interesting to see some of these replies. I didn't race it, I simply couldn't justify a £7 - £10 per run weekend (£100 entry) no matter how good the track is, I'd love to race a full season next year, there are plenty of longer and useable tracks in the UK that could be used but I simply won't be entering a £100 downhill race for less than 25 minutes ride time and I'm not the only one. I genuinely hope we can have a race series next year that provides a good amount of ride time and value for money.
  • 2 0
 Yes Roger, just keeps getting better and better
Doing it for Derby and Brazil✌
  • 2 0
 Great photos. Keep up the good work.
  • 1 2
 Nothing wrong with a 1.5 min track if it is difficult. You don't hear circuit racers F1 etc saying after quali that the lap is too short and they are less than 1.5min.
  • 6 0
 An F1 race is 300km regardless of lap length.
  • 2 1
 Stoked for Roger! Whaatttaa boy
  • 1 3
 Yep. Agreed with everyone else. The track lengths are stupid. I race regularly in the forest of Dean, for 30 quid. For the same length. For 100 quid, expect at least 2.30 mins.
  • 5 0
 That is £30 for a one day race that you have to walk up.
Caersws was two full days, every run was chip-timed, 19 marshalls and a mint uplift.
Not really a comparison tbh.

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