Practice - Shimano BDS, Llangollen 2016

Sep 17, 2016 at 16:04
by Yasmeen Green  
Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report

The grand finale of the British Downhill Series is well under way in the welsh hills of Llangollen. This is the rider’s last chance to battle it out for the overall series win! Martin is the main man behind the steep, technical and fun tracks of Llangollen. Most famous for its death woods. Raced on for the past two years in the wet and the dry however this year there has been a change of track. The squirrel track is taking over for this weekend’s racing. Despite the sun being out, the looming clouds have been threatening some changes in weather.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report

The Track

The track stretches over 1.6km giving some riders around two and a half minutes of steep technical descents. The morning dew created a greasy layer on track. Making first runs pretty slippery. As the day proceeded the mass of riders combined with sunshine soon dried out the track. Causing it to get more blown out each run.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
First berm of the course

The course starts off with riders flying over four jumps and landing into the first of the berms. Another two berms lead riders into the straight and down the loose, rocky shoot. It was knees out and brakes on so they could make it round the next corner. Following on further down the track riders hit more berms, with over fifteen to rail and roost. If you’re a berm railing master you’ve pretty much already won the race!

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Steve peat, one never to count out

Oak tree junction had riders questioning line choices. With the right line looking like the slowest it was a fight between the left and middle line. Most riders opted for the middle line as it set them up better for the following corner allowing them to get enough speed for the jump. Though the left line is shorter some riders were slowing down to make the corner.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Aston Tutt, Junior women's current leader coming out hot from Oak Tree Junction.

Dropping off into a long straight, some riders went for a full out sprint while others went into a tuck to keep their speed to clear the hip jump. Drawing closer to the bottom of the track riders went into an off-camber section. The last two berms sent riders down Drop Avenue at full speed into the field. A leg burning sprint lead riders across the finish.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Maya Atkinson sending on the big drop, currently third overall. She will be looking to defend her space in the Junior women overall.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Jumping out of the straight before dropping into the shoot

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Juvenile national champ and current series leader, Harry Barrett was showing no sign of slowing down.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
One guy who know how to rail a berm, Phil Atwill. Will tomorrow bring him glory?

Off the first drop of the course, down a loose root shoot, riders carried on down the next few corners and over another drop.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Injury after injury has left Tahnee pretty battered but that doesn't seem to slow her down!

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Kade Edwards will be looking for another win after getting the top step at Revolution bike park.

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
Matt Simmonds is 144 points in the lead in Elite men, but holding the title may be a tough one!

Shimano BDS Llangollen 2016 - Practice Report
After a long day on the pump track the little shredders have disappeared. As for the racers, some took advantage of getting a free massage for their sore muscles.

Keep track on seeding and race runs with live timing.

MENTIONS: @TheHillsAreAlive


  • + 8
 cant believe they changed the track... its not Llangollen without the death woods.
  • + 3
 Squirrel Track at Llangollen is mellow...compared to Death Woods! In isolation, the Squirrel Track is up there with the toughest tracks anywhere in North Wales. It just so happens that Llan also has probably THE toughest track in N.Wales in Death Woods. Si Paton's GoPro run doesn't even come close to showing the steep, slippy and techy nature of the track and it was good to see it used for the BDS. Getting down there in almost under 2mins like some of the quick guys did is mighty impressive!
  • + 6
 Wonder if they got any happy endings
  • + 4
 would have been good to see a few of these faces at thinking atwill
  • + 2
 Great pic of Matt Walker from Madison and not Matt Simmonds
  • + 1
 why was the course changed?
  • + 1
 What bike is Phil Atwill riding?
  • + 1
 He's on Propain
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: looks like the new Rage carbon
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: it's the new Propain carbon with adjustable reach and chain stay length...I think it being tested by Mr Atwill
  • + 1
 He was on the new Carbon bike. Looked very nice and he was flying
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