Last weekend saw the first round of the Onza Mini Downhill series at The Forest of Dean. The race track was routed down 'Flatland' and then into 'Sheepskull'. This is very popular trail combination and has been used nearly every year. This means that every second counts if you want to be on the podium at the end of the day.
The atmosphere last weekend was great, the rain decided to stay away and the spectators came out to make some noise. It was also good to see the amount of variety of bikes on the track, from 24-inch hardtails to full-on downhill bikes.
The top section was long and flat, making it very physical for everyone. The aim here was to keep speed and flow over the greasy roots and turns, one mistake could cost you a lot of time.
Although it was quite straightforward, the top of the track provided a lot of different line choices for people to choose from. This made it hard to decide which line was the best on a short and fast course.
The dreaded root section caused havoc all day. Luckily it dried out when it was time for racing. But it was a great spectator viewing point all day long. Not only were there off-cambers and roots, It had various line choices which resulted in some crazy options and some very fast straight lines.
41 women entered this weekend, another great turnout.
After the root section, you crossed the road into a long and flowy bottom section. The aim here was to keep momentum over the tricky off-camber and wet rocks that could catch you out. Putting a few pedal strokes in could gain you a few milliseconds here too.
The last section of the course is called 'Corkscrew'. There's a mixture of turns and jumps that take you all the way to the finish, another popular spectator area to keep your adrenaline high to the end. The greasy conditions meant that one slip could 'make or break' your podium opportunity.
As the mud settles, we hope to see you at the end of February for round two of the Mini Downhill Series! Click here
for the results.
Blog and video – Behind the tape
Photos – Linas Kupstys / Behind the Tape / Dave Price Photography