Our mate Wayne went along to put together this quick repo of the very first official uplift day at Nant Gwrththeyrn, all photos are by Ann James:
Sunday 17th of January saw the first official uplift day at Simply Downhill’s new venue Nant Gwrtheyrn in North west Wales.
Simply Downhill are the guys behind last years race at Wentwood in South Wales, the Wentwood trophy.
Long before downhilling came on the scene, Nant become home to the Welsh Language centre, you go there to learn welsh for a bit of an educational holiday thing. But… sat nicely behind the centre is one big hill! The hill, combined with the centre makes for one great venue!
Sunday’s uplift started bang on 9 o’clock and ran till 3.30, there was plenty of parking for the riders on a tarmac car park, tea and coffee all day at sign on, transport was in the form of two trailers for bikes and a 50 seater coach for riders. The uplift route itself is a smooth tarmac road all way to the top with good turnaround points and plenty of passing places and best of all it’s less than 10 minutes to the top and from drop off it’s 5 minutes to the top of the track with no hard pushes.
The track starts half way up the hill (the top half is SSSI land) but the track is still very long, I’d reckon 2.30 – 3mins. For the first minute the track traverses across the hill with steep corners while maintaining a good flow, then into some slippy rock sections that are really testing and change each run.
The next highlight of the track is “snooker balls” which is roughly a 40ft section of large and small rock which you can hear moving beneath you. Then it’s over a stream crossing and onto a fire road with a brilliant right hander for getting a drift out, foot out moto style! Back on the gas for a sprint then off to a slight uphill into one long rock section, back onto the fire road then off the other side with a choice of two step downs. Then it’s out into the open alongside the uplift road over two rock walls and finish.
For the race to held in August it will be about another 10 seconds further to the finish but due to some building works at the centre this can’t be added to the track at the moment.
Overall the day was a success, brilliant uplift, brilliant track. I have to say the day did bring out a lot of problem areas on the track which weren’t helped by the recent snow melt running off the moorland above the forest, but this is all the maturing of a race track and with a few dig days and plenty of graft it will be sorted. There was a good atmosphere, welcoming hosts, parents walking up and down the track taking photos, this is sure to be a great race venue!
Here’s a bit more info on the venue from SimplyDH’s Si Ward:
Nant Gwrtheyrn Welsh Language and Heritage Centre, is located in a former quarrying village on the northern coast of the Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales.
The Centre specialises in Welsh for Adults (as a second language) residential courses. Weddings and conferences are often held at the Centre and visitors are always welcome to come and enjoy the on-site Heritage Centre, shop, restaurant, beautiful surrounding countryside and beach. The centre has a cafe and toilets, a bar and function room aswell as B&B accomadation which are all right by the finish of the track.
We’d like to give Revolution Bikes in Bangor a special mention also for all their help.