Not only is Radical Bike Park in Chelmsford Essex the UK home of trials riding it also has a damn fine dirt jump area that we get the pleasure of using for Dirt Wars Rounds. For round 2 of this year's series, we headed over to Radical in Essex for some Dirt Wars madness at their jump park.
With the sun blazing down and a stacked rider line up it was clear from the outset that it was going to be one hell of a day.
As always we got all the riders signed in and let them get used to the course, there were quite a few new faces in the line up with a few old faces about to. Wig Lewington Booth and his younger brother Sam were in attendance along with Oscar Golding (All have ridden the series over the years and it was awesome to see them back on the bikes again) to see if they still had it and believe me they have.
George Snelus, James Joseph and Max Andrews had all shown up for their first ever comp and seemed to fit right in with all the seasoned Dirt Wars riders as they hit the course for joint practice ready for their first Open Class Quallies.
With joint practice out the way we lined up the open riders and set the open qualies off. With 17 riders being cut to 9 all the open riders looked a little nervous wondering if they would make the cut. Just before we were about to start the qualies young Welsh rider Tomas Wood took a bit of a stack spinning his foot 180 degrees which snapped his ankle (healing vibes dude) putting him out of the lineup. He decided to stay at Radical all day and watch the boy’s before going to the hospital to get his foot cast.
With open qualies underway the guys were throwing out 3’s, flips tucks and even a candy bar from young 9-year-old Finley Davis. After all the riders had put down their 3 runs the 16 were cut down to 9 with Rhys Griffiths, Darren Estall, Joe Simkins, Andy Crawford, Fin Davis, Aiden McMillan, Larn Baldwin, Finlay Evans and Dan Northern all making it through to the final.
Next up were the pro riders and after taking a stack in practice Callum Sherwood was off the line up leaving just Jack Cardy from The Radical Bikes Squad to represent at their riding ground.
There was a question asked just before the pro qualies started and it was “how many front flips do you think we will see?” Well I can tell you now that it was 27 at the final count at the end of the day and they were all from the pro class.
The pro riders were showing the level of riding had stepped up a gear from the open riders as there were decades, truck drivers, 3 double bars, flairs on the quarter and all sorts going off.
One of our pro class Marco Perizzolo had travelled all the way from Canada just to ride in the series and taste the British dirt and he did just that, after taking quite a few stacks whilst getting used to the jumps he soon got his tricks dialled and nailed the 7 he wanted.
With Quallies all wrapped up Alex Cahill, Freddy Pullman, Tom Reynolds, Sam Hodgson, Zac Rainbow, Jack Cardy, Wig Lewington Booth, Alfie Stevens and Joe Aldridge had all made the final.
With lunch out of the way and the riders all fuelled up on Monster Energy it was time to get the finals going and see who was going to take the round 2 podium.
The battle for first place in the open class seemed to be between 3 riders all the way through the final although little Finlay Davis was hot on their heals pulling out the Candy Can on the first, flip on the second and 1ft table on the quarter taking 5th place,
Ex Dmr rider Andy Crawford had taken a step back after a few years off the bike but was still showing he had what it takes throwing out flat table 360’s which saw him take the 4th spot overall.
Aiden McMillan has stepped up his game since the 2017 series and his trick bag seems to be growing daily not to mention the height of his 180’s on the quarterpipe but it was all down to RPG (Rhys Pryce Griffiths), Darren Estall and Joe Simkins to battle it out for 1st.
1st RPG / 360 Barspin, Oppo 360, 540 on quarter
2nd Darren / Estall Backflip X-Up, 360 Barspin, Barspin on quarter
3rd Joe Simkins / 360 X-up, Backflip Nac-Nac, Table on quarter
With the open riders out the way it was over to pro and they were all hungry for the win. Round 1 3rd place winner Sam Hodgeson didn't seem to have the same luck at Radical as he did at Chicksands and crashed out on his 3 runs, old face Wig Lewington Booth was going off like a helicopter throwing out tailwhips all over the place whilst Zac Rainbow added to the ever increasing front flip count with his fronty tucks.
Jack Cardy unleashed his signature suicides and dumped 360’s in his first pro comp showing he could put it down with the big guns.
Marco Perizzolo took a few crashes in his first couple of runs but then nailed an awesome run busting out the 7 bomb again on the second jump.
The podium race was however getting owned by the likes of Tom Reynolds, Alex Cahill and Freddy Pulman as they took turns to put down their best, Freddy hitting out with the fully clicked double seat grabs, tom with the flawless 540’s on the quarter and Alex slaying the decades it was a hard call for the judges to separate these 3. After all the numbers were in the results were as follows.
1st Alex Cahill / Decade, Backflip Double Barspin, Flair on quarter
2nd Freddy Pulman / Backflip Barspin to Tuck, Superman Double Seat Grab, Tailwhip on a quarter
3rd Tom Reynolds / 360 1ft Table, Superwhip, 540 on a quarter
We would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to all the Staff and digging Crew at Radical Bike Park for building such an awesome venue and allowing us to take over the jumps for the day. Also a huge thanks to all the riders, spectators, judges, Dirt Wars crew and sponsors for all the hard work put in to make the round at Radical such an amazing day with the best atmosphere.
Don't forget the next Round is NASS so you need to e-mail Cliff@dirtwarsuk.com ASAP to ensure you have a place on the NASS Line up.
See you there
Photos from Terry Stag, Joe Simkins & Cliff Barbeary
Video edit filmed by Henry Agar & Ryan Nangle
Edited by Henry Agar