Round 2 of the British Downhill Series Moelfre
What a difference a round makes. A month ago at Nant G for the race season opener the weather was nothing short of crap. Cold, wet, and miserable. But Moelfre for the 2nd National judging from the weather reports was going to be amazing. I wasn’t going to get my hopes up just yet though.
I pitched up Friday in the late evening sunshine and grabbed my spot in the pit area and set about levelling the van. Which proved to be tricky thanks to the slope that Moelfre finish area is on. But with a bit of digging (which would come back to haunt me on Sunday evening) and a couple of chocks the Burgtec Van was level, well according to my Blue Peter, here’s one I made early, Evian water bottle spirit level had used to decide the van was straight.
Got the Burgtec cooker fired up and set about dinner and relaxing whilst the chilli bubbled away.
Saturday morning rolled around and the sun very politely began bath the pit area with its warm rays. Nothing helps a British race run more smoothly than good weather and today was going to be no exception. As the temperature rose so did the activity. There was a great atmosphere around the whole site as riders and spectators made there way up the hill.
The course was flat out and pretty much bone dry, ideal conditions. For those who haven’t been Moelfre the track is wide open, with no trees anywhere to be seen. This is a unique track for the BDS and no other track is as wide open. It can suffer from strong winds blowing riders off track at the top of the course but even this element of the weather was playing ball.
Moelfre is always a good place for uplift with plenty of tractors and trailers taking racers to the start line allowing plenty of runs. With a loop taking about 30 to 40 mins to complete. Track hold ups were kept to a minimum and everybody got a lot of time on the bike.
The British race scene really seems to be on it’s game at the moment and it shows with the talent that is turning up at the BDS. Just when you thought that the field couldn’t get any better up pop the Atherton’s. Good to see Dan racing again after his near career ending injury last year.
The Elite line up read like a whose who of Downhill. Peaty, Bryceland, Fairclough, Leioken, Smith, Athertons, Dale. I feel blessed that I can watch these guys on my doorstep and what’s more they are taking the British races seriously.
Practice was going off without a hitch and I managed to get out from all the work/socializing | was doing to get up the hill and grab a few snaps
Bryceland rad as ever!
Loving Scotty’s Fox kit!
Good to see Dan Back.
Sam stands out in the day glow orange kit.
The day had been running smoothly without incident up until an hour to go when a rider missed judged the landing of one of the doubles at the bottom and nosed dived into the landing. Bonking his front wheel on the peak of the downslope and flying over the top of his bars and meeting the ground with a thud. Everybody stopped a gasped at what they just saw and then a piecing cry of pain rang out from the bottom of the jump. The rider was not in a happy place and medics were called immediately. The injured party was swiftly picked up by the air ambulance, as it is often difficult for ambulances to get round the tight single-track roads around Moelfre. Luckily the rider was ok and he only suffered a broken collarbone.
Race day was a carbon copy of practice the day before the only difference for me was that I woke up with a hangover thanks to Steve Dale (Sam Dale’s Dad) and Paul Mears (Scott Mears Dad) but was worth it thought good night had buy all.
The day was peppered by sorties from the Air ambulance throughout the day but this didn’t seem to cause any major headaches for the running of the race.
I watched the Elites qualify and I felt riders were holding back it wound be interesting to see what would happen in the race. A good crowd had gather to spectate. People were just happy to be enjoying the mini heat wave and I myself walked away with just enough sunburn to be sore but not enough that it was painful, perfectly baked for an Englishman.
Could Marc Beaumont add another national title to his list of achievements? What would Peaty do? How would Gee react to being back on the British scene with such strong competition? Would last rounds surprise entry Al Bond prove it was not a one off?
Unfortunately Al only managed 29th although his seeding run would of put him in the top 10.
Brendan got into the mix and put down a good time edging out the CRC team Matti and Joe to take 3rd third.
Slugger finished down the rankings in 6th which must have been disappointing considering he was 2nd here last year.
In the end it came down to be a battle between Gee and Peaty last riders down. With Gee just edging out Steve by 1/2 a second. Close racing just how we like it.
Highest placed Burgtec rider was Josh Bryceland coming in 7th. Sam Dale finished 13th, Scott Mears 20th and Harry Heath 22nd
1 Gee Atherton 2:23.154
2 Steve Peat 2:23.664 diff 0.510s
3 Bendan Fairclough 2:25.692 diff 2.538s
4 Matti Lehikoinen 2:26.006 diff 2.852s
5 Joe Smith 2:26.431 diff 3.277s
6 Marc Beaumont 2:27.053 diff 3.899s
7 Josh Bryceland 2:27.768 diff 4.614s
8 Adam Brayton 2:28.161 diff 5.007s
9 Dan Atherton 2.28.343 diff 5.189s
9 Ben Cathro 2.28.343 diff 5.189s
Its shaping up to be a good season and we are looking forward to heading up to Glencoe for the 3rd round. See you there Scotland!