Team Wideopenmag’s last every British Downhill Series Race.
Words by Dave Konstanz / Photos by Ian Lean
Pretty much every British professional downhill mountain biker has the British Downhill Series to thank for getting them where they are now. Riders learn how to race at the BDS, earn their stripes, get spotted and trained up by smaller teams … and then head on up to World Cup level and higher profile, international teams.
We’ve made the most of that at Wideopen and built Team Wideopenmag around the British Downhill Series. We’ve used it to spot talented riders and helped make them fast enough to get spotted by proper, big budget teams. Laurie Greenland and Charlie Hatton are two pretty good examples of that working brilliantly.
We’ve been racing the British Downhill Series since it began and heading in to the last ever race gave us a real push to give our favourite race series a proper, well deserved send off.
Saturday. Practice Day.
Everyone loved the track. Sure, it wasn’t the most technical but it was one you could easily over think and over ride. There were a few roots to catch people out and some tricky bits that were best just hit full gas.
The team didn’t take long to get up to speed and were quickly boosting the hip jump into the final and arriving back into the pits buzzing for another run.
The Pearce uplift service was faultless all weekend and it took just 20 minutes from leaving the pits to rolling in to the top of the track. The BDS sometimes gets a bit of stick for not giving riders plenty of runs … Hopton wasn’t the case. The team smashed out runs all day long, with Kye totting up 10 runs before he decided to call it a day.
Young guns Morgan and Chris had a blast all day. They spent the practice session trying out some new lines with guest rider Mike Jones from the CRC Team and Jacob Dickson.
Sunday. Race Day.
There was a a bit of rain in the morning but it made little difference to the majority of the track and everyone put in a couple of runs to get their lines dialled ahead of quali and race runs.
Both Morgan and Chris made some mistakes in quali, ending up 3rd and 6th respectively. Kye had a bit of an incident with a tree which knocked him down the rankings and took the pressure off for finals.
For race runs Morgan pulled on his National Champs Jersey and jumped on the uplift with Chris. They both knew what they could do and were super keen for a strong end to the season. Morgan especially knew that he had to put in a good run having missed the last run due to a concussion.
It was a strange vibe at the top, of the hill as the riders warmed up. There was a definite feeling of it being the last ever British Downhill Series. The legendary Mrs B was at the top calling all of the riders forward – a job she’s been doing for 11 years – and will hopefully keep doing for many more and continue to be a friendly and familiar face for riders (cheers for being awesome Mrs B!).
Chris set off first and tanked it out of the gate like a man possessed. He was hungry to lay down a time. Sadly a few mistakes landed him in 7th on the day, and 5th in the overall. Still, not a bad result for first year youth taking on riders that are older and more experienced. He’s hungry for it and has got big things coming for sure.
Morgan was next. He set off and just like his team mate, was hungry for a top result to match his National Champs title. A tidy run put him in 3rd on the day and 3rd overall in the series – not bad alongside Welsh and British National Champion. Great season, chief!
I’ll finish by saying a huge thanks to everyone involved with Team Wideopen in 2017 – not least our amazing mechanics Chaz and Dru that have worked like absolute beasts all year, in all conditions and at all hours. They’ve worked their magic and made our bikes fast.
Thanks also to Si Paton and the British Downhill Series team. You guys have been the life blood of British racing and created generations of talent. Thanks for everything you’ve done for us and for the British scene!
We’ve had a great season, and even though the BDS is finished, we are still mad keen for some DH racing in whatever form it lands next year. Peace out!
Thanks to Team Wideopenmag’s incredible list of sponsors for powering us on: