Report – Team Aston Hill at Pearce Cycles Round 6 – Bucknell

aston hill

Last race of the season for the team was the final round of the Pearce Series at Bucknell. The team headed up on Friday and walked the track. Bucknell is short compared to other rounds but nonetheless, it’s still challenging with its big ski jump and sniper roots.

The track was damp but in an almost perfect condition. The main man Dave Pearce had conjured up a surprise in the final field section. Instead of the long sweeping bend into the hip jump, he had created a slalom style section. This would test the riders especially if it rained.

The track was running well but the roots in the middle woods were very greasy and caught many a rider out. The key was to maintain a straight line with speed and relax, easier said than done as riders were throwing down some awesome shapes as they rode the roots out. The team was starting to find their lines but then the weather changed. The rain came and set in for the whole day.

The track was now wet but so grippy. Although everyone was covered in wet sloppy mud they were all having fun.

As the day finished the fun began, riders going home for the evening churned up the field and it wasn’t long until vans and cars needed towing out. First, a little tractor was on hand but this soon got stuck. A second tractor was brought in followed by a full-size beast which made light work of the recovery.

The field was now wrecked and Dave and his team worked hard on a plan for Sunday morning. Nothing is too much trouble for the Pearce team and this is one of the many reasons why their series is so popular.

Sunday morning the rain had subsided and the track was now starting to get claggy. The main track was ok but it was the field section where the problems and crowd entertainment was to be had.

Words by Ellen
Bucknell was running well Saturday morning, a few slippery roots here and there but the Michelin tyres were working well to combat sliding around. Soon though the rain came in. The track was very muddy but surprisingly was riding much better and my last few practice runs were really fast.

On Sunday, the track had turned really claggy because there hadn’t been any rain. My first race run was clean, but I didn’t feel fast at all, coming down the hill in 3rd.

On the second run I was riding much faster and smoother, however, I crashed in the woods, still improving on my first time by two seconds. I held onto 3rd place despite being slightly off-pace and the track was super fun all weekend even with the changing conditions.

Run 1: 2:51:219 (3rd)
Run 2: 2:49.310 (3rd)

Words by Meghan
First race run wasn’t the best, I had a lot of fun on track all weekend and knew I could’ve had a good result. I had a clean top section until the woods where I made a lot of mistakes which were very costly, and I came down sitting in 5th.

My second race run I dialled the top section hitting it faster than before, and got all my lines until I had a big over the bars in the massive rooty section where I then found it hard to get going again. I pushed on down and got a good run from there until the last corner where my front wheel washed out and I ended up sliding across the line on the floor. Still stoked with finishing 5th as I went a second quicker on my second run with two crashes, which showed I am still up to pace.

Came into this weekend confident and excited to race. Had fun in practice in the dry and in the wet, and felt good for Sunday. The track was slippery on Sunday morning then began to get sticky for race runs. My first run was smooth until I crashed after the step down because I landed too far left and tried turning on all the mud

The track got slower on the second run and I couldn’t get into it. I had loads of sketchy moments and didn’t relax all the way down. Nearly crashing at the line, I came in 6th in the end.

Run 1: 2:27:462 (12th)
Run 2: 2:21.179 (6th)

Many thanks to @Pearce-Cycles for another excellent race series.

The team will now be working hard throughout the offseason and will be back in 2018 with a new member of the team which will be announced very soon

We would like to thank to all our sponsors who have made it possible for the team to race this season with the awesome kit and components they supply and look forward to working with you all in 2018.

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