Simon Ward's first effort and a result for any of you that were down in South Wales, not quite the Valleys but there was still one burned out car on it's roof! £20 to enter, no uplift expense or Health & Safety issues and a good honest walk up the hill gave you this.
Pics, race video and results inside:
Firstly many thanks to these guys
Photos by Tee Jay teejay05.pinkbike.com
Video by Ian teamboon.pinkbike.com/channel/Boon-Productions
2004 was the last time I went to Wentwood and if I remember rightly it rained cats and dogs. This man here:
He used to run the infamous Dragon Downhill series. At the time these were the only races in the land that enforced full face helmets and recommended full body armor. Racing a Dragon was for the men, guaranteed you would fall off in your race run but don't worry, so did every one else. The Dragons were the stomping ground for the skilled and the brave, the Athertons were regular contenders.
What is she doing, the woman in the background?
Interestingly Jason Carpenters daughter races, Youth Female-Manon Carpenter and she came down this course in 2:26.983 today. Is she the next Rachel Atherton? Remember she beat Fionn Griffiths last weekend at the FOD. Remember her name. So that's Rachel taken care of, what about a replacement for the brothers Dan and Gee? How about these two, finishing with the third and fourth fastest overall times of the day today!
Jamie Maller, current British National Champion.
Ashley Maller the older brother
After spending all day Saturday up at Innerleithen for the Alpine Bikes / Trek Winter Series in Scotland the Descent-Gear van hot footed it down the M6 and M5 for seven hours to land at 08:00 in South Wales.
Gareth Hughes in control or going down? Look at all the details in this pic, there is a lot going on
Tired and not quite sure of the directions of how to get to the race? Heading in the right direction and passing Macky Dee's on the left at 07:42? Drive in, order a McMuffin Meal and before you can say "Ronald McDonald" every car in the car park will have £7k worth of DH rig bungey corded to it's rear and one of them will know the way, guaranteed!
The McDonald's breakfast unweighted him
We wound our way down to the main pits which was conveniently located two thirds of the way down the track. Splitting up the uplift walk quite nicely, thank you very much.
The worst part of the push here. From the finish line it was a mellow 10mins walk back to the pits. Then it was a tough 20minute hike to the top.
200 riders entered, enough practice as your little legs could get you back up the hill and the track was yours. Plenty of first timers as well as some really experienced riders made the show roll.
Roe Murry doing the Dance here in practice. Race run he waltzed in with a 2:18.852
The course was really split into two. The top section was a dream, sweeping carved out berms littered with exposed roots, fast, hard straight ways and loads of step downs, doubles, whoops, manualling going down before we hit the show stopper. Not the biggest step down in the World but two of the greasiest steep switch back corners some 25ft before the take off. Coming out of those corners at 3mph for many meant the quick crank spin and a huge pencil style to super case of the back wheel that was that ugly it made your toes curl up.
Adam Price 10th fastest time of the day.
Cross the fire road and smell the freshly cooked bacon from Janet's Jacket Potatoes, stop, F1 change of tyres from your High Rollers to WetScreams cut down and then into the last third of the course. Fresh and juicy soil the Highrollers just sat on top and slipped and slid here. The Wetscreams cut down dug in great meaning you could hold your line and stay outta the ruts of which there were plenty. This was almost like riding on a different hill.
Even the young guns were flying
The top two boys were oh so close here as you can see. Proffit was in 5th place on the 1st run so no pressure!
Proffit Tom BCDS 2:33.013
Gibson James Bikenutz 2:33.284
Croton George 2:42.120 Youth
Copp was 10 seconds clear on his first run and therefore had time for a cup of tea second run. Faulkner closed it to 9 seconds but still a country mile behind Copp.
Copp Sam 2:11.730
Faulkner James Bikestation 2:20.774
Anderson Isaac UK Bike Park/Torico performanc 2:21.035Junior
Jones is on the march, still 5 secs off the top two so some more training! Maller was almost 1 second up 1st run and everyone was going faster second run. Close but no cigar for Cartigny who had to settle for a well deserved second.
Maller Jamie Momento Mori 2:03.804
Cartigny Tom Bikestation UK - KTM 2:04.395
Jones Vivian 2:09.574Master Female
Caroline put it all down to the Oury grips she purchased that day.
Chauvin Caroline 3:16.478
Denham Ivy Brechfa Bike Club 4:32.137 Masters
Greenland needs to make sure he pays for his bar plugs. FOD winner Bishop was pushed here by Gaskin who rides all winter and summer long guiding for Switchbacks.com in Spain.
Bishop Joe 2:07.352
Gaskin Antony 2:08.744
Greenland Ben Psyclewerks/Bodyenglish 2:12.456Veteran
Only four entered, perhaps it was that big walk up that put them off? Saying that though, checkout Sanders time of 2:19, that was fast for this old boy.
Sanders Ian Bike Station UK 2:19.297
Astley Mark 2:28.121
Belcher Patrick Bike Station UK - KTM 2:37.054Senior Female
Hewitt Sarah Jane Bikeactive/Minx-Girl 3:18.831
Hilton Becky 4:18.951Hardtail Podium
1st- Alex Marshall
2nd- Stuart Bond
3rd- Robbie Rickman Senior
Cannocks Racers Guild Machin held on to second by the skin of his teeth. Gareth Jones (must be Welsh) went from fifth to first come second run.
Jones Gareth 2:03.946
Machin Elliot RG Squadron 2:07.455
Price Adam The Bikeshed 2:07.721 Expert
Soffe onboard the 2Stage - see the review we did last week on those bikes
. West went from second to third as Maller for some reason didn't do run one.
Soffe Will 2 Stage Bikes/Torico 2:01.762
Maller Ashley 2:03.895
West Mark 2:06.890 Elite
O.K so only one Elite rider turned up, Rowan still posted up the fastest time of the day against some hot competition. Plus he was on a strange looking Orange.
Sorrell Rowan South Wales Trail Centres 1:59.660
Ian Boon on it again, Danny Boyle watch out.
Gerrard Thomas posing in front of the Pike banners.