Wow – what a weekend. Nant Gwrtheyrn put on a hell of a show for round 1 of the HSBC UK National Downhill Series.
We were treated to a a gnarly as goat’s knees track, wild weather, stunning terrain and a big day of racing.
The clouds parted for Sunday’s race, the sun beamed and Rachel Atherton and Danny Hart punched out fastest times in the elite categories.
Danny killed it from the word go. He turned up and put down fast, consistent runs all day during practice. Where some riders were squeezing in as many runs as they could, Danny stomped 6 solid runs with his second of the day being the fastest overall.
Rachel Atherton took an equally chilled approach to practice. She clocked just 5 runs in timed practice and spent the day helping her young gun riders with a mellow 3rd overall in timed practice.
Danny’s seeding run was either off pace or calculated as he crossed the line in 5th. That meant he came down ahead of the other big guns in his race run and could sit back in the hot seat and watch the action. He was 5th fastest through the technical, tight, gnarly top section and then put the gas down on the bottom, flat pedal and went fastest at the bottom split.
Simmonds, Gee Atherton, Mike Jones and Marc Beaumont all rolled in after Danny but none of them could take it. Danny took with win with a 2:05,92 – two seconds clear of Gee Atherton.
Rachel Atherton simply smoked the field. She was fastest in seeding and fastest in the top split, fastest in the bottom split and fastest in her race run. She beat Manon Carpenter by 10 seconds and was 25 seconds up on 3rd place Veronique Sandler. Next level.