The team made the relatively short trip across the Severn bridge into Wales for the 1st round of the New National Downhill series. After the shock departure of Si Paton and all the rumours that downhill racing is on the decline there was a lot of pressure on the organisers to get this right. Get it right they did. The atmosphere and crowd on the Sunday was reminiscent of Fort William World cup and not seen at National races for some time.
With Pearce cycles and local uplift Cwmdown doing the uplift you knew it would be good. Despite the 15 minute hike to get to the uplift and the long drive up the hill it all worked well. It allowed you time to catch up with all the riders you had not seen over the winter.
The track being used was Cwmcarn’s Y Mynydd which has recently been revamped. It’s pretty much one line down the hill then across the fire road into the motorway section and big jumps which claimed a few riders with big over the bar crashes.
Saturday practice was wet but this made the track super grippy and as the day went on it started to dry and with that the speeds increased. Most of the team managed 5 runs which didn’t sound much but it was more than enough to get to grips with the track.
Overnight it rained more but come race day Sunday it was dry; the rain makes the track run better.
Words by Jeremy – Youth Category
In my seeding I caught the rider in front causing me to slow down a fair amount of time.
3:00:394 – 19th
Come race run and my riding wasn’t how I wanted it to be making many small mistakes. I ended up 14th in my category which I was quite disappointed with. It was a good weekend on the bike and I’m looking forward to fort William next month.
Words by Joe – Grand Vets
Saturday practice went well just need to man up on the jumps but I was happy my pedalling could make up for it. Sunday practice didn’t go to plan with a slipped pedal resulted in a dead calf muscle. Waiting in the queue for seeding and another rider suggested I do the big hip line instead of going around the long way. I don’t normally change lines this late but I would see what happened when I got there. Top section was smooth and no dramas, over the jumps and decided to just go for the hip, what a difference it was so much quicker and I crossed the line in 3rd.
Race run and there was a long delay, I finally started an hour later, top section was good, I made a mistake in the woods but pedalled hard to get back up to speed. Over the jumps and crossed the line amazingly in 3rd 2 seconds quicker. Finally, after 6 years I had made podium at a national race what a feeling it was.
3:16:327- 3rd and podium.
Words by Ellen – Junior Woman
All weekend I had been really enjoying the track, especially the super speedy middle section. In my seeding run, I felt fast, got all my lines, and managed to come down the hill into 1st place which I was really excited about.
3:21.914 – 1st
My race run was delayed an hour and a half due to a lot of casualties on the hill, so I think I lost my racing mentality a little bit – I had a slightly disappointing run. The track was a lot drier than I had anticipated so I came in too fast and lost my flow a bit, but I learnt a lot and was happy to walk away with second place
3:25:409 – 2nd and podium.
Words by Josh – Junior Men
Enjoyed practice on Saturday, I would’ve liked to get more runs in because the track was sick but got my lines dialled in and felt good for Sunday. Got one practice run in before my seeding to warm up on Sunday morning. Annoyingly we had a long wait at the top before seeding so it took me some time to get into my run. It wasn’t my best run but it was clean and gave me a good idea of what I needed to do for my race run. I felt good going up for my race run and felt confident I could do well if I put down a clean one
2:50:460 – 10th.
Unfortunately, I made a lot of big mistakes in the top section which set me back then I caught up a rider in the middle section.
2:48:894 – 14th
I’m not pleased about my result but looking forward to getting on it ready for Fort William. Also, shout out to Hannah for the Ebike tows to the uplift which was miles away.
Many thanks to Welsh Gravity Enduro for an excellent race.
Many thanks to all our sponsors who have made it possible for the team to race this season with the awesome kit and components they supply.