Olly Hooper reports from the 2015/16 661 Mini Downhill at the Forest of Dean – 6th December 2015
Words by Olly Hooper, photos by ALC Photography
Can you believe that Chris Roberts’ Mini Downhill series has been running for 8 years now?!
All you need to do is turn up to see why. It just works. It’s a great race if you are looking at getting into the sport and kids as young as 10 are welcome to come try their hand in the Rippers category. You get two race runs and the whole event is packed into just one day – meaning it’s easy on time but big on fun.
Another reason for the popularity is the tracks. They maybe short but with ‘one line’ the whole way down makes racing is fast, rough and super tight. The spectators and the fans love it. The famous ‘Ski Run’ was the choice for the first round of this winter series.
After turning up at a ridiculous time on Sunday morning, we kitted up and went up for a little practice before racing started at 11am. It was really cool to see such a huge of variety of people on track – from dad and kid combos to the guys on the DH bikes to people even on dirt jump bikes. The mix and match of bikes and people was great and we were excited to see Phil Atwill from the Dirt team and Wideopen’s own Charlie Hatton on track and battling it out for the overall win.
In the Pro Mens category Will Soffe took the win by far with a 1.30 second advantage over Darren Evans who was on a hardtail! Yes, a hardtail. Everyone was amazed that he managed to set a remarkable time on his little green machine.
A packed women’s field of 28 separated into two categories 30+ and under 30. In the over 30 one time Wideopenmag team rider Ellie Maxfeild took a healthy win over Lindsay Handley followed by Hayley Tutte. In the under 30 class local and Great British Worlds rider Katy Curd took the win. Not too far behind her was Pedal a Bike Away rider Maddy Brown and in third was Aston Tutt.
The fastest rider of the day went to Charlie Hatton with a remarkable 1.05.09. Good going again Charlie!!
Overall it was an awesome day smashing out runs and having a blast and I think that’s what brings people back to these races time and time again.