Last weekend saw the return of the mini downhill winter series at Forest of Dean, organised by Chris Roberts and his team. Chris always puts on a great event and the laid back atmosphere meant that race entries filled up double quick. After a bit of begging I managed to scrape an entry and get to race with my Nukeproof Pulse – unlike my team mate Charlie Hatton who had to settled for a trail ride with his girlfriend and a watch from behind the tape!
The track was the well known ‘Ski Run’. It’s quite easy and short but rad at the same time. Because it’s pretty straight forward it’s flat out and it’s super fun to ride. There’s a few lines up top with a few gaps which make it interesting and give people something to think about.
Mini Downhill races are only held on one day but I managed to get some practice in on Saturday with Charlie Hatton and Mike Jones. Most people had come up to practice Saturday to get a glimpse of what’s ahead of them, so it didn’t take people long to get up to speed on Sunday morning. First race runs came around and I set off first in the youth category.
I had a smooth run and scored a 1:08. This time slotted me in 1st in youth and 4th overall. A few people were looking really pinned – Ben Deakin, Jay little and Riley Jenner all looked great on track which showed in the times they put down. Deakin crossed the line with a 1:07 after run one and was sat in the lead.
The really fun thing about MiniDH is that you get two race runs for your money. If you stuff up the first, you can go again and you know that you’ve got two chances to get your best time. Second runs however can sometimes mean a totally different track – especially in the winter when the ground is muddy. Luckily, the track stayed fast and dry and loads of people managed to go even quicker in their second runs.
I had a really fun run with no drama and crossed the line in first place in the Youth category – it was enough to seal victory and help me finish the year with a win under my belt. I was extra stoked as I took the 4th fastest time of the day overall.
The men’s overall was won by The Deakinator (Ben Deakin) and the women’s went to Rosy Monaghan who managed a great ride, despite a bit of trouble with the uplift for her first run!
As always, the MiniDH was great fun. Thanks to Chis, the marshals and everyone else that was involved.
The next mini downhill is on 29th January at Forest of Dean. Get it in your diary!