It was a hell of a good weekend of racing with an amazing atmosphere on the hill and in the pits. It’s fair to say that the BritishDHSeries boys done good.
I don’t know what the recipe to a bloody awesome race truly is… but a big, fast, gnarly, dusty track – mixed in with an awesome atmosphere in the pits, a sold out entry list and a packed elite category is a pretty good start.
I’m keen to hear what everyone else thinks – but from mincing around the pits all weekend I think it was a hell of a success. Best National event in a long time? I reckon so…
Rach Atherton described the track as being like “California up top, with a bit of Wales at the bottom”. Guess which bit this is? By Sunday afternoon riders were actually starting to grumble about how hot it was at the top!
Best bits:A packed elite field, the Atherton pro-compound, loads of happy riders, buzzing atmosphere in the pits, loads of great banter from Si Paton/David Francoisy/Toby Parodi on the mic, 7 runs on Saturday practice, a big gnarly race track, great weather, uplift problems not getting in the way too much of racing, a few ‘celebs’ including Clay Porter and Shanaze Read, Mark and James from WDMBA saving the day by arranging last minute buses on race day, great treatment for us paparazzis, some gnarly new features in the track…
Worst bits: The air ambulance being turned away by the local farmer, a few timing problems (which got fixed fairly sharpish), the bus company refusing to come back on Sunday, big gaps in the riders in Saturday’s practice, Dave/Tobi’s jokes, long walks to the uplift (unavoidable though…), the catering van running out of food mid-way through Sunday, injured riders, the mud-pitt in the bottom section… What did I miss?
Here’s a few random shots from today…
Dirt/Norco’s Ben Reid had some pretty mysterious looking Avid Codes fitted that seemed to be causing a bit of excitement amongst the tech heads and keyboard warriors. Maybe we’ll see a new brake from Avid on the cards in 2010?
Adding to the buzz of a packed rider list was the Irish contingent, who were out in force on the hill and looking to show the BDS regulars how they do it over the water. Here’s Greg O’Keefe up top…
Fresh from last week’s team launch – it’s the all new look Atherton team bikes. The Athy’s pitt set up was about 5 times bigger, flashier and more ‘World Cup’ than anyone elses. By just being parked up in the pitts they injected an extra level of hype to the whole event…
Olympic BMX superstar Shanaze Read was on the scene (with her mate from British Cycling) and soaking up the action… Rumour has it she’s considering giving downhill a crack?
This handsome chap is just one of the many people that have spent the best part of a year working flat out on top of their day jobs to make the BritishDHSeries happen. Big shouts to Dave Francoisy, Si Paton, Toby Parodi and all the other people that are busting a gut to make UK racing STRONG!
These two also deserve a HUGE shout… James and Mark from the WelshDHMBAssociation not only made sure that the track was up and running in time for race day but also pulled off a miracle when the uplift company pulled out at 7PM on Saturday night. They got on the wifi, sorted a new company by 10PM and had buses ready to roll for race day. All that and I can’t even take a photo of ’em in focus!
… And the bit you’re really here for!
The elite women’srace was pretty much a dead cert for Rachel Atherton – until she clipped a tree in seeding, came down the hill with a scuffed up nose and qualified in last place. With Manon and Aimee Dix both storming in practice there was some debate as to whether they might actually be able to topple a world champ… but it was never going to happen today. Rach put together a stormer of a final run, placed 99th overall and won the elite women’s cat.
Elite Women’s seeding:
Final top 3 women’s results:
Elite men– yep – it was Gee of course. He beat his bro Dan by 2 seconds and 3rd place Matt Simmonds by 3… When he crossed the finish line in seeding and put almost 8 seconds into Joe Smith I think everyone’s jaws hit the floor – it was like he was riding a different track!
Here’s the elite men’s seeding times:
and final top 3:
BOOM! The first 2010 Halo BritishDHSeries round is DONE! See you at Fort William!
Don’t forget to look out for our first race video going live this week and your chance to win a Diamondback Sabbath DH frame and a holiday to Morzine with Riders Retreat! It’ll be a sick video and it’s a sick competition! Just watch the video to find out how to win!