Round 2 of the Halo British Downhill Series was another awesome weekend for the Wideopenmag race team.
With Brandon, Wayne and Ellie all having spent a fair bit of time off the bike over the winter we started the season unsure about how ‘on pace’ they’d both be. Luckily, there was no cause for concern come round 1 with Ellie winning senior women and Brandon smashing a 9th in the rock solid junior category. Not a bad start we reckon!
So round 2. A big, tough, fast track that rewards strong legs and big balls. Not the sort of track any of the team had spent a whole load of time riding over the winter!
Our first bonus of the weekend was fresh pits and no risk of the wind destroying them again! Round 1 had been a bit of a shocker for our new easy-up which incurred the wrath of the Welsh weather… But with sunshine and blue skies all weekend we were able to enjoy a cool, calm and hassle free pit setup! Thanks to Dan at Surf and Turn Instant Shelters for helping us out with a replacement!
The half of the Wideopen pits that survived round 1!
Practice was reassuringly uneventful for the team … except for Wayne who managed to take a big stack hucking the bomb hole up top. Blatant plug for the sponsors here but his O’Neal pads and THE T2 lid both kept him safe and he was all good for the rest of the weekend! Tyre choice was pretty obvious … it was loose, fast and dry so the Continental Der Kaisers were firmly on all weekend.
Race day arrived and the team hit up seeding. Brandon came down first and looked a bit bummed across the line. He was struggling with arm pump towards the end but still managed to post a top 5 seeding time.
Ellie had gone into Nant G ready to hang up her race jersey but seemed to have swapped brains for this race and was loving every minute of it. The pressure of stepping up to elite didn’t seem to be bothering her too much at all. We’d hooked her up with some fresh armour from Forcefield and some new Avid Elixir brakes and both seemed to be giving her heaps of confidence… as did a telling off by the SRAM team who gave her bike a quick pre-race service and tightened up literally every single bolt on her Turner!
Wayne’s previous race had also been a bit of a shocker, ending up in a DNS for various reasons. Just like Ellie – he was a different lad at Moelfre and was loving the dry, fasty, loose and dusty conditions.
For finals Ellie crossed the line and bagged a 7th place in her first ever Elite national. Just 2 places off the podium and a damn solid follow up to her elite 2nd at Hopton and senior win at Nant G.
Wayne by Jordan Syme
Brandon hit the final straight and I swear he had a trail of fire coming out of the back of him. All weekend people had been commenting on how rapid he’d looked and his result proved he’s an absolute pinner. He crossed the line and got to enjoy a spell in the hotseat … before landing in 5th place overall. His best result ever at a National, a place on the podium and proof he’s one to watch for this season! We’ve got big things in store for Brandog so watch out!
Last but not least, Wayne crossed the line into 25th place in senior men – a damn solid result for his first National of 2011.
So – that’s podiums for Wideopen riders at every BDS of the season so far – we’re stoked!
Brandon Love: 2:36:31 Wayne Appleby: 2:48:80 Ellie Maxfield: 3:03:81
Huge thanks to the team for their super hard work all weekend and to all of our sponsors for their support, encouragement and – of course – awesome products. Thanks in particular to all of the guys that made it to the race and gave us trackside support – Rob at Conti, Wayne and co at Sixpack, Col and Trig at Fli and Pete and Silverfish. Thanks chaps – we couldn’t race without you!