Race Report: SixSixOne Mini Downhill January 2015

Jan 27, 2015 at 10:49
by Lauren Jenkins  
Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Jordan Beighton of Kreek Racing Team

There’s so much to be said for racing. It’s not just about the race, it’s the whole package. Whether it’s beating your mates, improving your skills or conquering your demons, racing is that and so much more. I'm not talking about the big leagues, the World Cups and the like, I'm talking grassroots, mate’s races and the smaller races held around the UK. Behind the scenes racing is so much more than just turning up and riding your bike, it’s thanks to the organisers, the marshals, the race mums and dads, the caterers and so much more - this encapsulates our little community and nothing sums it all up much better than the SixSixOne Mini Downhill series at the Forest of Dean.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Ed Bartley, Pedal Progression Racing

This past weekend the second round of the 2015 winter series was held on Sheepskull, one of the longer tracks in the forest. It’s recently undergone a bit of work thanks to the Dean Trail Volunteers (DTV) which has seen the addition of two berms, a rock garden and a few technical features at the end of the trail. From the future stars to the weekend warrior, it’s not unheard of to see any number of people enjoying the mini downhill races, many have tried their first race and in turn told others, then there’s the familiar faces, the talented youngsters and the balls to the wall rider – that’s the great thing about this sport, there is no pigeon hole, we come from all walks of life.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Curtis Peters, Bike Park Wales Team.

Sunday morning was icy cold, with parts of the forest hard packed with ice which soon melted through the day as hundreds of riders made their way through. The skies stayed grey, threatened rain, but stayed dry and Sunday saw another sold out round for Chris Roberts and his team. Many people were eager to earn some points early in the season and others were just in it for the fun. The forest was hub of activity from early morning, with friends, family and racers preparing for the day ahead. The forest was alive with the whir of hubs and tires on dirt.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Jeremy Vass, near the bottom of the course.

The whistles echoed through the trees and shouts could be heard from everywhere. Cooper was in the finish area keeping spectators entertained with his commentary and riders were lined up, ready to race. Flyup Downhill did an incredible job balancing racers and riders that had booked on the uplift despite only having two buses for the day instead of the usual three.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions

Rhys William Turner-Jones in the sweeping berms.

Sheepskull is another firm favourite at FoD, it can be hard going but certain sections more than make up for it. The track starts with an all-out pedal through a few flat, rocky, rooty turns before crossing a section of fire road to the middle section, here riders can pick up some speed and send a few jumps before coming to a rooty section with a few line options.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Owen Delaney styling it at the top of sheepskull.

Some chose to go high, other chose the right, through a bomb hole and out onto the road before dropping down to the final section of track. The final section is the longest, starting with a slope down into the woods, over rocks and roots before the track spits you out onto a flat section – this is make or break, fitness plays a huge part here, this is where time was made or lost, if you have the fitness, it’s in the bag, otherwise it can be hard going.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
William White, before the flat pedalling section.

Pedal through the straight and riders were greeted with a few corners and another section with a few line choices, some chose high, some chose the middle and others chose a tight section to the right, squeezing through two trees. The next section is perhaps one of the best, with a few step downs, sweeping berms and the finish just moments away. Riders then come to a final berm before riding the newest section of track, the bottom was super slick, catching a few people out, but most managed to hold it and speed towards the finish.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Tim Ponting, Vet Winner & current DH Veteran World Champ

The women were up first with 23 riders in two separate categories; senior and master women, followed by the rippers with another great turnout and 14 riders competing. The biggest categories of the day were senior and master men with a combined number of 148 riders in just two categories. Most people had been working hard over winter, getting the miles in and working on their fitness, the competition was pretty close with riders in every category upping their game and trying to shave the seconds off.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Callum Corbin, ready to pedal

Coming to the end of the second runs the woods were getting darker, the crowds had dispersed a little but you could still hear the whistles and shouts of support from those waiting to see the last riders make it down the hill.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
The final jumps were pretty slick.

Fastest time of the day came from local rider, Charlie Hatton, with an incredible 1:24.68, in the past he was supported by Flyup Downhill, but he’s just picked up sponsorship with Wideopen for the 2015 season. Notably, the pro-am category had some incredible talent, with Hope Factory Racing’s, Craig Evans coming in first with a 1:25.75, followed closely by Ieuan Williams, just 0.02s off pace, even more impressive considering he had dislocated his collar bone the day before. Suzanne Lacey put down a storming run, having not raced since October, she has been working hard for the past few months, taking the win with a time of 1:42.38. Teams were out in force, sharing tips and working lines together before taking to trackside to watch their fellow team-mates race. Podiums took place outside the Pedalabikeaway Café and people gathered round as dusk set in to congratulate the winners of the day.

Mini Downhill January 2015 - Photos Full Throttle Productions
Racing to the line.

Overall it was another incredible round, the winter series is faultlessly run, great fun and a must for those who want to try racing. It’s great to see a mixture of people on the hill and everyone coming together to do something they love. The next round is on 1 March 2015, details can be found on the website, or you can find further information on the Facebook page.



Pro-Am Men

1. Craig Evans – Hope Factory Racing - 1:25.75
2. Ieuan Willams - 1:25.77
3. Laurie Arthur – Morvelo/Mulebar/Solid Bikes - 1:28.23
4. Will Soffe – Bike Park Wales - 1:29.25
5. Bill Farrington Adventure X/Crank Cycles - 1:29.28

Junior Men

1. Charlie Hatton - 1:24.68
2. Will Hart – Bad Ass Bikes - 1:33.91
3. Jay Little – Bike It - 1:33.92
4. James Thompson - 1:35.60
5. Ollie Hooper – Pedal Progression - 1:35.75

Master Women

1. Hazel Wakefield - 1:48.08
2. Lindsay Hanley - 1:54.93
3. Emma Braithwaite - 1:58.17
4. Emma Bradley - 2:10.24
5. Kelli Salone - 2:17.80

Senior Women

1. Suzanne Lacey - Banshee / BansheeBikes / Team Aston Hill - 1:42.38
2. Madeleine Brown – Pedalabikeaway - 1:57.79
3. Aston Tutt - 1:58.92
4. Hannah Escott – Overspoke Bikes - 2:03.78
5. Megan Wherry - 2:07.21

Ripper Boys

1. Connor Smith – Lichfield Cuty CC - 1:56.21
2. Henry Crease – Tiverton BMX Club - 1:56.52
3. Daniel Cope – Team Skene - 2:00.18
4. Dowie Evans – Exeter Mountain Bike Club - 2:05.63
5. Niall Clerkin - 2:15.62

Juvenile Boys

1. Morgan Tyrrell – Bikeit/Sinclair Finance - 1:40.84
2. Chris Cumming - 1:44.20
3. Luke Williamson – Rogate DH - 1:48.29
4. Evan Davies - 1:50.16
5. Sonny Goode - 1:51.98

Hardtail Men

1. Steven Jones – Malvern Cycle Sport - 1:36.17
2. Simon Nash – MBSwindon - 1:37.36
3. Andrew Wright - 1:37.74
4. Sam Fowler – Pedal Progression Racing - 1:42.09
5. Ben Jones - 1:43.58

Youth Boys

1. Jake Gaskell – Team Skene - 1:32.94
2. Seth Barrett – Pedalabikeaway - 1:34.08
3. Jordan Beighton – Kreek Racing Team - 1:34.10
4. Jack Devlin – East Coast MTB - 1:37.33
5. Billy Surway - 1:38.04

Veteran Men

1. Tim Ponting - 1:32.11
2. Graham Sheldon – Clive Mitchell Cycles - 1:35.90
3. Ian Bray – MIJ/Continental/Decade - 1:40.97
4. Chris Crook – D.T. Cycles - 1:41.08
5. Graham Ayling - 1:41.23

Senior Men

1. Liam Jones – Pedalabikeaway - 1:31.34
2. Isaac Mundy – OUCC - 1:32.41
3. Nick Sheppard - 1:33.19
4. Joe Adsett – Deity/Oneal Europe - 1:33.25
5. Patrick Dukes – Northern Films/Portsmouth Uni - 1:34.06

Master Men

1. Matthew De Villanueva – Bad Ass Bikes - 1:29.88
2. Ricky Dorrington – Bad Ass Bikes - 1:31.08
3. Mark West – Worcester Cycle Centre - 1:32.30
4. Wayne Davis – Flyup Downhill - 1:32.93
5. James Weames – Crank Cycles - 1:33.16

Full Results here

Photos: Full Throttle Productions

MENTIONS: @nakedracing

Author Info:
laurenjenkins avatar

Member since Jan 10, 2012
105 articles

  • 3 0
 Is this a good race for beginners. Ive never raced before but looking at getting into it.
  • 2 0
 Yeah for sure One day only so the commitment is less for you, both financially and physically. Do it, it's only 30 quid There's nothing like racing, even low key events. You will find you ride different as well, enjoy.
  • 2 0
 It's a really solid intro into racing DH, basic tech and nothing to kill yourself on
  • 4 0
 Charlie Hatton is rapid, GoodLuck in the coming year
  • 2 0
 Amazing eh! I take my Hattoff to Hatton!
  • 1 0
 Was a really good fun race, always a fun day out. I suck but find doing these a great way to train and improve and hopefully ill be able to do the next two aswell.
  • 2 1
 Tim Ponting forevaaaaaaaaaa!
Remember the tights and trainers!?
  • 1 0
 Awesome race! Cant wait to get back for the next round Smile
  • 1 0
 Damm. I missed another race...

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