South Wales racers rule – and Windham just proved it!

Good. Lord. How good was Windham World Cup? I think Leogang still holds my “best race ever” of 2014 crown … but Windham definitely took the “best race ever … for Welsh racers” title!

Why? Here’s 3 reasons why…

Manon Carpenter. Caerphilly.

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OK so Manon didn’t manage to take the win and came away with 4th – she said it was a “scary track” and didn’t suit her. Despite that, like an American Freedom Eagle she swooped in and plucked the overall leaders jersey in her talons putting her at the top of the standings. She isn’t guaranteed the overall win, but she’s one race away from being a World Cup series winner. And that’s pretty tidy.

Taylor Vernon. Bridgend.

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Jesus christ. Taylor Vernon just won his first World Cup race. The world feels like a better place now that one is out of the way! We first met Tay way back when he was a youth out in Malaga. He was probably about as cheeky as he was fast on a bike – and he was FAST on a bike. Since then we’ve seen him destroy the British Downhill Series, seen him brought on to Atherton Racing, overcome a huge injury and return to World Cup racing. After an epic zero to hero to zero story he’s not back as an absolute hero! Tay’s facebook update after the race says it all … but if you want to read a bit more about him you can check out his Wideopen interview.

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Mike Jones. Afan Valley.

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6th place. Did Mike Jones just come out of nowhere and beat pretty much everyone in the World? Bloody right! OK – he’s been on form all year under Chain Reaction but Windham really stamped out what an incredible bike rider he is. There’s no “watch this one for the future” or “he’s got a great career ahead of him” … he’s just smashing it right now at the tender age of 19. Mike didn’t win Windham of course but the amount of incredible riders that he batted away from the hotseat, not least his team mate and mentor Sam Hill, is unreal.

Photos by Ian Lean and Chain Reaction Cycles.


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