Race Report: UK Downhill Returns With Round 1 of the Gravity Events Series at Hamsterley

May 5, 2021
by Nick Bentley  


After a long wait, DH racing returned to the UK. It seems hard to believe but it's been 14 months since the last DH event in the UK. With all the Covid restrictions put in place the Team from Gravity events, supported but Danny Harts Descend Bike Park, put on a fantastic race on a track that was around 1 minute 20 seconds for the fastest riders with a good mix of jumps and flow with some tough tech thrown in-between for good measure. This was the kind of track that you're glad is only 1 minute 20 at race pace. The excitement was clear to see as the riders hit the track at full gas. There were some big sends and some big crashes too, but that's downhill racing for you!

The results were not out as I wrote this so please take any places mentioned with a pinch of salt as they were done with provisional results.


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For the first time in 14 months there were number boards going on DH bikes. The excitement levels were high.

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The pits were up and there were plenty of shiny bikes to see. The buzz around the pits was high all day,

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Harrison Grimshaw narrowly avoiding the tree on his way to the inside line.

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It was good to see a the ladies out in force racing. Phoebe Gale looked quick and smooth all day.

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James Gant looking smooth through the technical middle section of the track

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Jono Jones making short work of the roots.
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Elin Berry working her way through the trees in the upper section.

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The upper section of the track at Hamsterley is dominated by some big gaps. The double drop is the biggest of the lot. With the track in prime condition many riders where taking it on. Rocco Brant showing even the juvenile riders had the skills to send the big gap.

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Alex Foulger pressing send on one of the many jumps in the upper section of the track.

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Andy Desa with his hero lenses on in the sun and making short work of the first rock garden.

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Christopher Philogene taking full advantage of the dry, prime conditions to send it through the roots.

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Liam Clement carving his way through the trees.

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Maxwell Davies pushing hard through the upper section of the track.

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A big triple at the tracks mid-point gave riders the option to hit send.

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Stan Nisbet showing that the best way to deal with sniper roots is to just gap them and not touch them at all.

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Matt Dean pushed hard on his second run today improving on his first run to end up 4th in the Veterans field.

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Bradley Shields on his way to taking the win in the masters field, with a gap of just over 4 seconds to second place.

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The large table-top just before the first rock garden gave riders the opportunity to add some style.
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Whilst some people chose to send it over the large table-top, others chose to squash it and keep wheels on the ground.

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Jake Cartlidge making his way through the darkest part of the woods.

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Today was really well organised event from the team at Gravity racing . Why not check out their website and try one of their other rounds in the series.

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Mark Twitty out representing the Royal Navy today. Love to see the forces guys out racing.

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Deliberate nose bonk or a front wheel case? It's a fine line. I'll give Tom Needham the benefit of the doubt and say he meant it.

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Daniel Bladon making his way through the last bit of tech before the finish

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Jim Stanley - one of the many riders caught up in red flags on track today. Although there were some big hits and crashes out on the hill, all of the riders walked away.

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Brandon Turner throwing a whip over the gap jump near the start of the track.

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Anna Craig gapping the roots before the double drop at the top of the track.

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James Elliott pushing his Scott hard in to the rock garden.

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Ad Brayton was out with the number one board this weekend and on the enduro bike pushing hard as always.

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Jack Reading didn't let a recent shoulder dislocation slow him down today taking the win in the elite field.

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Matthew Rushton getting blow off the pedals off of the last big drop on the track.


Author Info:
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Member since Nov 28, 2019
268 articles

4 Comments
  • 1 3
 Andy Desa - cut your bars down! You're wasting a good inch of clearance at either end there. Great shots all round - I look forward to having an uplift there this year instead of the awful push up during lockdown.
  • 1 2
 Quite a few people were pushing up, social distancing and all that
  • 1 0
 Outside so COVID blows away according to the adverts tho mate don’t worry
  • 1 0
 @McArdle: Their own choice....







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