Race Day at the Final BDS – UK National Downhill Series

Sep 17, 2017 at 17:40
by Tristan Tinn  




The HSBC UK National Downhill Series sponsored by GT bicycles, better known as the BDS, took place today 17th September at Hopton. The race marks the end of Si Paton’s leadership over the series, as he throws in the towel to focus on his Malvern’s Classics Festival 2018. Who will fill his boots for 2018? It’s still to be confirmed, but lets focus on today’s grand send off.

Once again riders awoke to rain, the first practice runs ran rife with sketchy slips, trips and falls for some unfortunate riders. This didn’t dampen spirits however and as the day progressed the track began to return to its tacky state with a mixture of polished roots and rocks thrown in for good measure.

Practice was over in a flash and it was time to get set to watch the riders give it their end of season all against the clock. Seeding produced the usual suspects on top with the likes of Matt Walker for the Junior Men, Millie Johnset for the Junior Womens (with Maya Atkinson not present the overall was well within her sights) and Luke Williamson in the Youth Boys. In the Elite Mens seeding it was Adam Brayton who managed to land himself pole position, with Tahnee Seagrave not present the Elite Womens top step was up for grabs and seeding saw Veronique Sandler be the last woman down the hill.


Time for a tune up to delay embracing a damp start to the day
Time for a tune up to delay embracing a damp start to the day

Jack Reading warms up before practice
Jack Reading warms up before practice

Rain jackets on for the Madison boys
Rain jackets on for the Madison boys

This aint no enduro lads
This aint no enduro lads

A mix of rubber choice for today
A mix of rubber for today!

A damp start to the day
A damp start to the day

Andrew Titley handles the morning grease with ease and went on to take Veteran series overall
Andrew Titley handles the morning grease with ease and went on to take Veteran series overall

Kaos goes light out of a right hander in practice
Kaos goes light out of a right hander in practice

Si Paton dodges the stumps one of which scarred him during his course preview helmet camera leading up to the event
Si Paton dodges the stumps, one of which scarred him during his course preview helmet camera leading up to the event

Millie charges through the slick morning conditions with ease
Millie charges through the slick morning conditions with ease

Simmonds surveys the slick rooty section hungry to hold down third in the series overall
Simmonds surveys the slick rooty section, hungry to hold down third in the series overall

Matt Walker gets a knee down
Matt Walker gets a knee down

Brayton pitches the great whtye into the corners with ease
Brayton pitches the great whtye into the corners with ease

Charlie Hatton keeps it pinned through the trees
Charlie Hatton keeps it pinned through the trees

Oisin OCallahan puts in the air miles from Ireland its paid off taking third in the Juvenille Boys series overall
Oisin OCallahan puts in the air miles from Ireland, its paid off taking third in the Juvenille Boys series overall

Luke Williamson nails the final corner for the fans
Luke Williamson nails the final corner for the fans

Caption this..
Caption this..

Veronique charges the line to take the Elite Womens Win
Veronique charges the line to take the Elite Womens Win

Joe Breeden looks on as Matt Walker takes the win with over a second to play with
Joe Breeden looks on as Matt Walker takes the win with over a second to play with

Matt Walker certain doesnt have the infamous rainbow monkey on his back just yet
Matt Walker certain doesnt have the infamous rainbow monkey on his back just yet

Lord Si Paton
Lord Si Paton

It s curtain call for the BDS as we know it
It's curtain call for the BDS as we know it

One for the gram
One for the gram

Charlie fresh across the line wondering if his time will withstand the Keswick Kestrel
Charlie fresh across the line, wondering if his time will withstand the Keswick Kestrel

Brayton lays down a power wheelie for the fans unfortunately it was too little too late as he slotted into second place 1.9s back
Brayton lays down a power wheelie for the fans, unfortunately it was too little too late as he slotted into second place 1.9s back

Charlie is congratulated on todays victory taking the overall title too
Charlie is congratulated on todays victory, taking the overall title too

Si was the last man down the hill today sending the confetti flying
Si was the last man down the hill today, sending the confetti flying

Todays Junior Mens Winners. 1. Matt Walker 2. Joe Breeden 3. Kaos Seagrave 4. Conor Bate 5. Riley Scott
Todays Junior Mens Winners. 1. Matt Walker 2. Joe Breeden 3. Kaos Seagrave 4. Conor Bate 5. Riley Scott

Todays Elite Womens Winners. 1. Veronique Sandler 2. Aston Tutt 3. Becci Skelton 4. Meg Whyte 5. Deborah Primrose
Todays Elite Womens Winners. 1. Veronique Sandler 2. Aston Tutt 3. Becci Skelton 4. Meg Whyte 5. Deborah Primrose

Todays Elite Mens Winners. 1. Charlie Hatton 2. Adam Brayton 3. Marc Beaumont 4. Jack Reading 5. Mike Jones
Todays Elite Mens Winners. 1. Charlie Hatton 2. Adam Brayton 3. Marc Beaumont 4. Jack Reading 5. Mike Jones

Shout out to the BDS team for their hard work
Shout out to the BDS team for their hard work!

Hopton Round 5 Winners
Hopton Round 5 Winners

Junior Mens Series Overall. 1. Matt Walker 2. Joe Breeden 3. Henry Kerr
Junior Mens Series Overall. 1. Matt Walker 2. Joe Breeden 3. Henry Kerr

Atherton Girls Series Overall. 1. Millie Johnset 2. Maya Atkinson 3. Ellen Flewitt
Atherton Girls Series Overall. 1. Millie Johnset 2. Maya Atkinson 3. Ellen Flewitt

Womens Elite Series Overall with Kaos in to substitute Tahnee 1. Tahnee Seagrave 2. Veronique Sandler 3. Aston Tutt
Womens Elite Series Overall with Kaos in to substitute Tahnee 1. Tahnee Seagrave 2. Veronique Sandler 3. Aston Tutt

Expert Men Series Overall. 1. Luke Cockburn 2. Will Hart 3. Keiran Davies
Expert Men Series Overall. 1. Luke Cockburn 2. Will Hart 3. Keiran Davies

I didnt capture many beast moments on track of this man but on the podium he still lives up to his reputation
I didnt capture many beast moments on track, but on the podium he still lives up to his reputation. Someone get this man a slice of british pie..

The elite winners show their appreciation to Si for organising a great series year on year
The elite winners show their appreciation to Si for organising a great series year on year

Elite Men Series Overall. 1. Charlie Hatton 2. Adam Brayton 3. Matt Simmonds
Elite Men Series Overall. 1. Charlie Hatton 2. Adam Brayton 3. Matt Simmonds

Overall series winners
Overall series winners

Si take a bow Can we get a virtual round of applause for this man and his team all the best in the future.
Si, take a bow! Can we get a virtual round of applause for this man and his team, all the best in the future.

Full results here
Series overall results here



MENTIONS: @GTBicycles / @si-paton / @tris400d




19 Comments

  • 59 0
 Si you've got a lot to be proud of and the UK DH race scene owes you a lot... The BDS was one of the greatest domestic series in the World. I know there will be people that make a point of there being better of cheaper races on the continent or in other countries but we have multiple world champions across the ages in the men's and women's categories. They have come up through the BDS series. Showcasing and developing the DH talent hot bed the exists in the U.K. Inspired by riding with best of the best. Providing the chance to see the riders up close and ride with the Worlds best on U.K. shores outside of a World Cup. Unparalleled access to the superstars of Mountain Biking. I for one for never forget seeing Sam Hill racing at Combe Sydenham when he joined the CRC Team. Watching Pearty and Bryceland making the impossible look easy. So many great memories and amazing places that you took us with the series. The time and passion Rachel Atherton, Manom Carpenter, Tracy Moseley and Tahnee Seagrave have put into developing women's mountain biking and the Junior women in particular in Rachel's case has great and has guaranteed the future of Women's DH racing in the U.K. There's a long list of legends from the sport that have raced the BDS over the years seeing these riders work the magic has inspired a generation and Charlie Hatton, Matt Walker and the rest of the next generation of the Brit pack are now leading the way. Putting a series of this scale together takes a lot of time, money and sacrifice and the passion. Literally blood, sweat and tears. The engery you have put into the series has always shone through. I guess we have to wait and see what the future brings for British Downhill Racing at the highest level. You've pushed up the bar and it's going to be a tough act to follow. Best of luck for the future Si and I look forward to going back to my roots at the Malvern Hills Festival 2018. Thanks Si. Ian.
  • 6 0
 Bravo-Thank you Si for making UK a hotbed of DH talent.
  • 5 10
flag IllestT (Sep 18, 2017 at 3:30) (Below Threshold)
 Well either Si was a tyrant who ran the series into the ground by taking too much money out and used old tired venues that have barely changed for 2 decades OR he worked his butt off for next to nothing, carrying a huge burden with little reward...... Obviously it's somewhere inbetween, but I don't think there'll be a knighthood in the post any time soon. Thanks anyway
  • 5 1
 @stikmanglaspell: Can I have some new TLD race kit now please!!
  • 7 1
 @IllestT: Well perhaps you can take it over, and then you'll know for sure;
  • 2 0
 Hear Hear!!
  • 15 1
 Great report and pictures as always Tristan, very much appreciated.
  • 1 0
 My pleasure, cheers!
  • 4 0
 When Si first took the event over everyone the British national series was in terrible state, with people being concerned about the most basic of demands from an event, Here we are 10 years on with the BDS being regarded as one of (if not) the best domestic series in the world. I enjoyed my years riding at the BDS and it looks like it's grown to something beautiful!

Great work Mr Paton and good luck with your next adventures!
  • 1 0
 Great events and for sure a big contributor to making British riders so good but its a shame it may as well be called the Welsh downhill series.

As a UK national series it should have more than one round outside of wales (Hopton may as well be in wales), so many other venues, Hamsterly, Ae forest, Innerleithern, Glencoe, Aston hill, Kielder, Combe Sydenham, Lake district, Dunkeld and more.

I know Wales has a concentration of some of the best tracks in the UK but having almost the whole National series within a few miles of each other seems a bit ridiculous, Hopefully something the new organisers will look at. (i know it has more to do with the venues wanting it than the organiser but would be nice to see)
  • 1 0
 FREE photos courtesy of Monster Energy from last weekends HSBC UK I National Downhill Series presented by GT Bicycles at Hopton.

One of the benefits of racing the BDS is that you get access for free to download and use the following images at your leisure.

www.pinkbike.com/u/TheHillsAreAlive/album/HSBC-UK-National-British-Downhill-Series-presented-by-GT-Bikes
  • 1 1
 Proud of the UK race scene and how it integrates with the worldwide mtb perspective, and it looks like a great day- so well done.

As for us mere mortals who just like to ride their bikes though, (and I'm preparing to be downpropped here)- there could have been some signage in the trailhead carpark and also on the trail explaning the trail closures and diversions on the red route. Had to give up on what could have been a blissful end of summer ride in the last of the sun, less than half way round the route. That and educate the marshalls as to where the routes have been diverted to- as friendly as they were, they hadn't a clue!
  • 2 0
 Must be awesome being able to running the rainbow kit.
  • 2 2
 Some great sentiment, and some outstanding spelling mistakes lol
I never realised the ladies podium was so hot .
  • 1 1
 Kaos was a stand-in for Tahnee. Sorry, had to Wink .

Not British but I always used to follow mountainbike racing through Dirt magazine so I soon learned that those who do well on the British domestic scene will eventually do amazing on the world podium. Actually, I was surprised Danny Hart didn't do amazing when he joined Nicolas Vouilloz on Lapierre because he complete swept the UK series back in the day.

It is hard to imagine where the British would have been without these series but I'm pretty sure Peaty and the Athertons won't just accept that this will go away. Didn't Jason Carpenter organize these races too? Maybe something for Manon to get into. She must have gained enough experience in the past. Anyway, I love that vibe and I definitely hope someone will step up and keep it going.
  • 2 1
 @vinay: I dont think there is any doubt at all that the event itself will continue long into the future - Si has completed his tenure and its time for things to move on - I hear each event of the series may be managed by a different party with a little overseeing management rather than one team running the show.

Either way - Si did a great job getting the BDS to where it is and is partly responsible for bringing so many young british riders forward - This is not a criticism in any way but I think it is time things moved on and it will move on - Nothing lasts forever and hopefully Si and the replacement BDS both go on to do well in the future.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: Thanks, good to hear that BDS will probably be continued. I read the news on Dirt (dirtmountainbike.com) before I read it here and the way it was written there suggested it was the last BDS ever. If it is just Si then of course yes, he's free to go and pursue whatever he wants to do next.
  • 5 1
 @vinay: The HSBC UK I National Downhill Series will continue next year for sure (Please don't call it the BDS). It may be a number of organisers that organise a round each will be the way forward.

I personally would like to see the riders support all new organisers and help them with regards new venues, steroiding out existing venues, assisting with putting on the event, packing it away, picking up litter as well as promoting it on their social media. Plus get some of the hot riders back, everyone really missed those top names!
  • 1 1
 good lord

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