The 2017 British Downhill Series starts this weekend in North Wales.
The British Downhill Series is – of course – the UK’s top Downhill Series. It gets the official badge of approval from British Cycling and is a 6 round tour of the UK’s biggest and best venues.
The tracks are designed to be the most challenging, there’s a decent prize purse for winners, there are plenty of bells and whistles and a strong turn out of riders – with a deep elite field that regularly features riders like Josh Bryceland, Gee Atherton, Manon Carpenter, Rachel Atherton, Steve Peat and more. If you want the gnarliest tracks and the fastest riders … it’s the place to be.
We’re BIG into racing and covering the British Downhill Series. To us, it’s the lifeblood of British downhill and acts as a stepping stone from local races into the world of big time competition. It’s a feeder from talent and has helped many riders move up to careers as professional World Cup racers.
The full title for the series this year is the catchy British Cycling HSBC UK British Downhill Series, powered by GT bikes.
The 2017 British Downhill series dates and venues are:
BDS Rd1 1/2 April Nant Gwrtheyrn
BDS Rd2 13/14 May Fort William
BDS Rd3 17/18 June Rhyd-y-Felin (Bala)
BDS Rd4 29/30 July Moelfre
BDS Rd5 19/20 August Llangollen
BDS Rd6 16/17 September Hopton
Looking back to 2016
The 2016 British Downhill Series was a BIG season of racing with Manon Carpenter and Matt Simmonds crowned series champions at the final in Llangollen.
In the men’s field, the season saw a real spread of winners with Gee, Danny Hart, Innes Graham, Simmonds, Marc Beaumont and Jack Reading all taking top spots. Consistency won it for Simmonds who only needed to take the top spot in one race to take the overall.
The women’s series was less of a mix-up, with Manon winning 3 out of 5 races and taking a 300 point clear lead over second place Lucy Drees.
Round 1 – the track
This weekend’s race sees a long overdue return to Nant Gwrtheyrn in North Wales. The venue was raced back in 2011 at the British Downhill Series and has been quietly hosting local stuff since then.
We’re being treated to a new track (thanks to the Simply Downhill team) that promises a good mix of steep, rooty and technical with a beast of a pedal at the bottom. The season will see a few big, flat out, high speed tracks – Nant G should make a nice twist up to the mix.
Who’s in the mix?
Whilst there’s no guarantee they’ll necessarily turn up there’s a strong elite field on the start sheet. Rachel Atherton, Manon Carpenter, Tahnee Seagrave and Veronique Sandler are all signed up for the ladies.
The men’s elite field is massive – with a host of big guns signed up. Gee Atherton, Marc Beaumont, Brayton, Danny Hart, Elliot Heap, Mike Jones, Steve Peat, Matt Simmonds and more.
What can you tune into?
We’re going to be ALL over the British Downhill Series this year – we want to give you World Cup level coverage at British races.
Join us on Friday afternoon for a live intro to the series and the venue, hosted on our Facebook page.