The Shimano British Downhill Series returns to the hills of Rhyd-Y-Felin for the second time this year. Revolution Bike Park was to host round five of the series, one mile down the road from the Bala racetrack. With over a month of waiting riders were eager to get riding on the newly modified race track. Event organiser Si Paton, his dig team, and Revolution Bike Park have spent the last week perfecting the track for top racers from across Britain.
The overall length of the track is 1.6km, giving the riders three minutes of technical descents, drops, and jumps. The rainfall and sunny weather throughout the weekend left the track with a thin layer of slippery slate and mud. Though the track dried up from the rainfall overnight it was short lived when a sudden downpour let loose before the race runs. The Track:
Once off the uplift, riders had a small push up to the start gate. The track started off with three table tops that lead the riders down the first of the high-speed wooded sections. Riders were briefly sent into the open over a table top.
A berm carried the riders further into the wood where they were met with a decision to make on line choices. Most riders debated that going around a drop would set them up straight for the following berm, instead of going off the drop then having to slow down to make the corner. Following on down more drops, slated shoots, and slippery roots, the track narrowed down to a high-speed section over two table tops and onto the step up.
The last third of the track started in the woods with a section that had riders bouncing around like a pinball. Carrying their speed down from the woods over jumps and through berms riders were nearing the end of the track. Race Day:
First down the newly soaked race track. DMR Juveniles. Chris Cumming set a time of 3:08.060 giving him first place. Series leader in his category and national champ, Harry Barret was unable to take the win however he sat in second with a time of 3:14.766. In third, Luke Williamson was over eleven seconds off Harry's time. 3:30.461 gave James Elliot fourth. He was followed by Pearce cycles rider, Matt Bower in fifth.
Next down the hill. Super Alloy Spring's youth boys. Setting the pace Atherton Academy rider, Kade Edwards takes the win by over two seconds putting Jamie Edmondson into second with his time of 3:03.489. Sitting in third, Luke Birkett with a 3:06.583. One second away in fourth place, Adam Beaty. Leaving Riley Scott in fifth with a 3:09.766.
In Dainese veteran men, Madison Saracen Factory Team manager, Will Longden takes yet another win. Missing out on a top spot on the podium by under a second, Andrew Titley crosses the line with a 3:15.997. In third with a time of 3:19.630, Mark Weightman. In Kore grand veteran men, Richard Binns takes the win by a big margin of thirty-two seconds, Michael Waud came second leaving Steven Felstead in third with a 4:45.212. In NS Bikes' master men, Neil White's time of 3:02.450 brings him into a first place. Adam Smith was not too far behind in second. Peter Walton followed in third. Craig Taylor's time of 3:12.606 gave him a fourth place. Four seconds away was Peter Crooks in fifth.
In Rachel Atherton's Junior Women category, Cairn Bell took the win by over six seconds. Junior women's National Champ, Aston Tutt wasn't on pace, however she took second with a 3:56.028. Megan Jones crossed the line in third with a 4:05.852. After snapping her handlebars at one of the earlier rounds of the BDS, Sumayyah Green has re-found her confidence and is back on pace in fourth with a time 4:18.243. Following her in fifth riding for One Giant Leap Llangollen, Rosy Monaghan. In Uberbike women, Martha Gill came first with a time of 4:38.208. NX2 rider, Lindsay Hanley came across the line five seconds away in second. Leaving Ellie Dewdney in third.
Next down the track, Spank Junior men. Times were tight with Wideopenmag rider, Charlie Hatton one second off the win, giving Joe Breeden first place with a time of 2:52.776. James Purvis came third with a 2:58.641. Missing out by a second, Kaos Seagrave came fourth. Douglas Vieira came fifth with 3:03.524. In Pro Tharsis Senior men, Andrew Cooper took first place with five seconds to spare, Kieran Davies' time of 3:09.428 took him into second. In third place, Jay Teague with a 3:12.337. Callum Brookes crossed the line in fourth with under a second off fourth place. Martin Ashe goes into fifth with a 3:15.938.
X-fusion Expert Men. Lewis Boyce takes first place with 3:00.087. Followed by Calum McGee in second. Riding for Hope Factory, Mathew Rushton came into third with a 3:02.833. In fourth and fifth with under a second apart Kris Gemmell crosses the line with a 3:03.71 in fourth, with Lewis Summers a hundredth of a second behind in fifth.
In Schwalbe elite women riding for Madison Saracen Factory Team, Manon Carpenter took the lead with mighty twenty-two seconds. With a time of 3:47.938 Lucy Drees came second. A very muddy Becci Skelton crossed the finish line in third with a 4:12.649. Rebbecca Kennedy followed in fourth and Jessica Greaves in fifth with a 5:45.594.
In Schwalbe elite men Josh Bryceland set a time of 2:48.673, giving him a podium spot in fifth. Last year's overall series winner, Joe Smith came fourth with a 2:47.528. Taking third a second faster than Joe's time, Adam Brayton. Phil Atwill's time of 2:45.520 left him in the hot seat waiting for Marc Beaumont to come down from his re-run. As Marc neared the finish line spectators eyes were glued to the timing board watching the second come by as Marc crossed the finish with a 2:43.857 giving him the win by two seconds. Regarding the Re-run
:Once crossing the line on his first race run Marc Beaumont demanded a re-run. This was due to getting caught in some supposedly loose course tape. After radioing through to the race marshal the commissaire issued a re-run. According to the race marshal, Marc was pushing close to the edge of the track when his handle bars got caught on the tape, causing him to crash. It is unclear if the tape was loose as it wasn't going into the track and each elite rider had the same racing conditions.
Due to the heavy downfall of rain just after seeding no elite rider knew what the track would be like. This put the re-run in the position of being an unfair advantage. The crash took place a marshal point 4. This was very close to the top where he could have pushed up and taken his re-run. Was him going all the way to the bottom more of a practice run? Some say let Marc have the win and other say Phil was robbed of his first BDS win.Results:Schwalbe Elite men:
1 Marc Beaumont 2:43.857 -
2 Philip Atwill 2:45.520 +0:01,663
3 Adam Brayton 2:46.107 +0:02,250
4 Joe Smith 2:47.528 +0:03,671
5 Josh Bryceland 2:48.673 +0:04,816 Schwalbe Elite Women:
1 Manon Carpenter 3:25.325 -
2 Lucy Drees 3:47.938 +0:22,613
3 Becci Skelton 4:12.649 +0:47,324
4 Rebecca Kennedy 4:53.759 +1:28,434
5 Jessica Greaves 5:45.594 +2:20,269 Full results
Join us for round 6 Llangollen BDS on the 17th and 18th of September.