Halo BDS Combe Sydenham Round 1

Apr 17, 2012 at 11:54
by Dave Franciosy  
So after a long abnormally warm winter riders were all raring to go for Round 1 of the Halo British Downhill Series at Combe Sydenham, Devon. The last national was held here in 2004, and the top 3 elite riders on the day were Gee Atherton (2:45.012), Dan Atherton (2:45.071) and Neil Donoghue (2:47.769) respectively. So with a long 8 year gap in racing, the Number 1 Downhill Series in the UK was back to race.

Getting sideways over the table at round one of the British Downhill Series.

When we turned up early Saturday morning, and despite the ever-present cloud cover, the pits were already in full swing with throngs of riders, Mums, Dads, and dogs wandering around waiting for the tractors to appear and take them up the hill. Having not enough time to walk the track we got the pit sorted and kitted up with bikes to go up and hit the track with our box fresh Identiti Mogul bikes.

See this bike in action this weekend at the Halo BDS The frame retails for 1099 7.5 travel 64 head angle 150mm rear 9lbs for the frame and shock Rock Shox Vivid R2C coil shock

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From the bottom the hill looks pretty small but it soon becomes apparent as the tractor goes up the fire road that there is a lot more above what the eye can see through the tree line. The track features 3 sections; the swoopy top woods, the flat out jump section through the middle field, and the more technical lower woods, a track for all and the crowd definitely loved the diversity of the course as they thronged and gathered the whole way down the trackside top to bottom.

Halo BDS Rd1 Snaps www.factoryjackson.com www.callumt.co.uk LIKE MY FACEBOOK http www.facebook.com Callum.T.Photography

With the usual ‘cattle cart’ style uplift there was a little delay early on Saturday and then a system kicked in and there was a consistent flow of traffic through the uplift field of tractors and riders going up the hill, and with the rain holding off all day the course dried out and gave more traction and confidence as the day went on. This showed through with the smiling faces of the riders at the finish area and in the pits comparing lines and how loose they just got coming down in some of the tight turns or down the last stepped rocky section that caught a lot of people out. With one rider being air lifted from the bottom of the middle field after a particularly nasty crash, and a potential punctured lung.

Photo s from the Halo BDS Round 1 at Combe Sydenham Somerset

bds 1 2012 combe sydenham what a weekend

On Sunday morning people were hiding away keeping warm from the icy cold night before, the coffee/bacon sarny queue was long as ever with people wanting a hot drink and some warm food before going up for the short but sweet practice, but the sun was out and most riders opting for 1 or 2 runs to get lines dialed and save energy for qualifying and racing later, which was needed for the pedal sections of the bus stop/fire road at the top and the fast middle field.

take at combe sydenham downhill round 1


Youth riders kicked seeding off in the morning and by lunchtime all categories had finished qualifying with a couple of re-runs due to crashes and a small delay due to a lady rider down.

first round of BDS... www.peterfphotography.com

Once finals came round the track was dry and up to speed with riders pushing it the jumps in the middle field soon became too small with many people landing to flat at race speed. None the less, the crowds were loving it, and the sunshine brought cardboard signs, horns and cheers. It was definitely an exciting part of the track to ride through. As the riders descended on their final runs of the season opener the cheering grew louder and the riders faster until the number 1 seed Marc Beaumont hit the track as the sun lowered in the sky. It was obvious people wanted him to push it and keep his number 1 position from earlier in the day and he proved his worth riding into the finish 2 seconds up on his seeding time taking the number 1 place with Josh Bryceland and 2nd and Brendan Fairclough in third.



1 4 BEAUMONT Marc GT Factory Racing 47.68 1:47.694 2:25.976
2 5 BRYCELAND Joshua Santa Cruz Syndicate 46.27 1:49.298 2:28.902 2.926
3 7 FAIRCLOUGH Brendan Scott 46.03 1:50.874 2:30.035 4.059
4 13 SIMMONDS Matthew ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof 46.57 1:50.441 2:30.426 4.450
5 28 THOMAS Richard 46.75 1:50.291 2:30.458 4.482
6 19 BRAYTON Adam 45.74 1:52.337 2:31.198 5.222
7 3 PEAT Steve Santa Cruz Syndicate 48.25 1:50.532 2:31.660 5.684
8 12 SMITH Joseph ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof 44.94 1:52.708 2:31.896 5.920
9 26 BRAITHWAITE Tom Hope Technology 45.45 1:52.522 2:32.082 6.106
10 17 REID Ben Dirt Norco Race Team 45.05 1:52.381 2:32.441 6.465

Elite Women
1 603 CARPENTER Manon Madison Saracen Downhill Team 42.45 2:06.036 2:51.960
2 602 ATHERTON Rachel GT Factory Racing 41.09 2:05.754 2:52.594 0.634
3 604 STONE Jessica Trek Bikes 34.95 2:14.565 3:03.585 11.625
4 611 COATES Angela 34.74 2:24.146 3:17.421 25.461
5 606 WAREHAM Emma LeisureLakesBikes.com 39.60 2:24.594 3:17.759 25.799


Next round of the Halo BDS

Saturday and Sunday 12th/15th May 2012.
Halo British Downhill Series Rd 2
Nevis Range
Aonach Mor access road
Fort William
PH33 6SQ

Must Read This Week


  • + 8
 Hate to point this out, but Combe Sydenham is in my beloved Zumerzet, not Devon...
  • + 1
 Hahahaha very true, but shhhhh!
  • + 1
 gee on cruthces?!?!
  • + 13
 someone been living in a cave?
  • + 3
 According to Dirt, Triscombe's in Devon too! Oh well, it keeps the crowds down if they're all heading for Devon! Wink
Spongebob, on the other hand IS from Devon & part of the Woodlands massive!
  • + 1
 Magnus you fucking idiot he broke his tibia ages ago, god your a clown!
  • + 1
 good! that'll learn 'im
  • + 1
 Easy now me little whipper snapper
  • + 7
  • + 2
 Was there, great day's riding on Sunday.
Good to see this track all buffed back up and being ridden properly again!
So... See you next year, same time? Haha.

P.s Spongebob, make the day that little better!
  • + 2
 Great riding! The track looked really dark heading into that forest section. But, the first song almost put me to sleep. Maybe next time you could put a more up-beat song to help keep people interested and motivated?
  • - 8
flag iChimp (Apr 18, 2012 at 0:50) (Below Threshold)
 That's the go pros terrible low light adjustment, it wouldnt of been that bad
  • + 13
 it wasn't a go pro, they're sponsored by drift, it says at the beginning,
  • + 1
 The song Is really mellow because it reflects their riding. Really smooth and flowy! Stop being so ungreatfull..
  • + 2
 I never had a problem with the light anywhere in the forests.
  • + 1
 I'm with Roast Dinner Pinner on that, I went up for a play after the event, so I wasn't up to the top of the middle wooded section until at least half 6, still didn't have a problem seeing where I was going, it is a shame that the camera doesn't reflect this as it's low level light didn't seem to kick in, either way there is stack loads of light up there through-out the course.
  • + 1

that's a go-pro run, lighting is a lot better
  • + 1
 Oh no!! Poor Gee! This must royally suck for him now! After the disappointing last season and now this on a new team to boot! And Dan out with a shoulder injury too. The Atherton's are in a luck rut!
  • + 1
 Pun intended
  • + 1
 The southerdownhill.com edits are way better than this



Pinkbike should put these videos up on the front page for some decent video reportage.

  • + 1
 Were looking for marshals at Fort William Halo BDS, if your 21 or over and fancy £80 for your troubles then hit me:
  • + 2
 Cheers pinkbike for using my picture (6th one down) It was an awesome day and great racing!
  • + 1
 Great day, great atmosphere, great times.
  • + 1
 bad luck gee atherton !!!
  • + 1
 the entry into the 2nd forest section is quite ballsy nice looking track
  • + 1
 in the first picture, buddy "jizzed in his pants
  • + 0
 It all gets a bit Pietermaritzburg in the middle there. Looks like a tidy track though!
  • + 0
 for a second i thought it was some vintage video of piernariztburg haha!
  • + 0
 the whole track looks pretty flat to me
  • + 1
 Sup with Gee?
  • - 1
 Gee broke his Tibia, smashed it on the inside of a corner in training, left his odd-one-out team mate Marc Beaumont to win, for once Smile
  • + 1
 broken fibia or tibia dont remember which one? he says that he is planning on being there for val di sol
  • + 0
  • + 1
 Ah, Right you are but airsoftesneeto still cant spell!
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