Redbull Hardline 2015

Sep 13, 2015 at 18:19
by Sam Taylor  

The weekend started with grey skies and consistent rain. With most of the features relying on firm ground for speed, practice wasn't looking promising.

The Redbull road gap was visible from the finish area, if spectators thought it looked big from down there they'd be in for a shock when they got up close. As most features at Hardline this year proved to be, it was a monster.

Practice got underway with the raincoat clad riders deciding to hit the road gap first... but it wouldn't be Hardline without a gnarly rock garden immediately before it.

Kye Forte sends the road gap, courtesy of Dan Atherton and his build crew - some of the features this year must have required a serious amount of engineering.

The Welsh weather was far from what Lluis Lacondeguy is used to. A days missed practice and seriously challenging conditions combined with a course "gnarlier than the fest series" kept him from racing.

Back in the pits for lunch and conditions weren't looking much better...

The afternoon was spent sessioning the two huge middle dirt jumps. The second involved clearing a dry stone wall but the rain soon started to wreak havoc with the takeoffs and the landings began to take a bit of a beating.

Desperate attempts were made to patch up the takeoffs between riders but really they needed a while to dry out. A better weather forecast for Sunday kept the riders feeling positive for race runs.

A sunny end to the day meant it was time for a train over the finish jump. Bernard Kerr knows how to please the crowds.

Gee always has time for a quick catch up with the fans before focusing on the next days racing.

No messing around on Sunday, it was straight into some of the biggest features on the course. Big step down into...

...even bigger hip jump.

Big jumps make for big crashes. Joe Smith went down hard in practice but bounced back for finals and finished 2nd.

The Renegade step up remained unconquered.

With the sheer size of the jumps it's easy to forget how gnarly the rest of the track is. Sheffield's Craig Evans makes light work of one of the more technical sections.

Al Bond styling up the middle jumps on his race run.

After a first place in qualifying, bad luck was strike Gee again for a second year running. A flat in the top section put a swift end to his days racing.

Looking consistent all weekend, it was Ruaridh Cunningham who took the win on the day.


@samtaylorphotos
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14 Comments

  • + 22
 Some nice shots there bud. Good coverage.
  • + 2
 Yeah, great shots. I am however confused by the picture of Gee's bike... where the hell is the tyre? Did he actually tear it in half so it came off, or stop halfway down to take the back wheel out (tools?), ditch the tyre, then put the wheel back on?
  • + 2
 The tyre was wrapped pretty tightly around his cassette, not easy to see in this photo but it is there. This was taken at the finish: www.pinkbike.com/photo/12680415
  • + 1
 Ahh... that makes more sense! cheers @SamJT
  • + 15
 Should be on home page this
  • + 4
 +1. Great photos dude.
  • + 0
 Just had it rejected by the pinkbike editors because they've already got it covered apparently, not sure where their coverage is though... Ah well.
  • + 10
 Great photos dude, you've provided an excellent summary of the event.
  • + 5
 Awesome photos! Congrats to Ruaridh!
  • + 1
 so Hardline vs Rampage witch is bett you think ?? on pic it looks so easy but when reality strikes you butt have a pampers Smile
  • + 0
 Awesome post, would have loved to see the Gwinner hit up those rock gardens and steam roll over the top of them in his usual style
  • + 2
 great blog and killer shots man.
  • + 2
 The composition in that Kye Forte road gap shot is particularly awesome.
  • + 2
 Great write up and amazing pics, thanks @samtaylorphotos!

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