British National Champs 2017 – Photo Fix

The 2017 National Championships was held at the infamous classic race venue that is commonly known as ‘Bala’ but is really no where near Bala but just down the road from Llangynnog, a stones throw away from last years champs venue; Revolution Bike Park.
And what a weekend it was! The UK is privileged to have some of the worlds best riders, not only in Elite but I’d bet that in most Cat’s here, they’d stack up well against there own in the world.
This place has hosted National Champs back in 2007. Brownie’s track was used then too, but instead of dodging in between the trees this time round riders were gapping over the same track’s tree’s stumps!

Adam Brayton on the attack! With Craig ‘seven’ Evans (10 points for guessing what the seven stands for) now in full freeride mode it was up to him to fly the Hope flag this weekend. 5th for him. Brayton’s packed his bags and caught a flight straight out to Whistler on the Monday after the race.
Not one person had a bad word to say about the track this weekend. It’s got everything a classic British track demands- speed, jumps, roots, rocks, and some nice mud to boot. The weather was very indecisive all weekend – rain one minute blasting sunshine next; Louis Meade managed to bring out his tints for a run while the sun was shining.Danny Hart looked so confident all weekend. You could hear everyone talking about what line he took, or the insane speed he rode through that section. Will Hart keeping things low and fast.  National Champs is a weird one for all the Expert riders as Expert and Elite Cat’s are thrown into the same one. Will would have placed 2nd in Expert. But he loves mixing it up with the big boys- 23rd for him. Matt Walker framed nicely through a bit of welsh hedgerow.  Simon Paton; the BDS organiser for the last decade, switched roles and raced himself. The little man is no slog on a bike either. After the last BDS was cancelled we decided to interview him about the current state of British Downhill racing, and the future of our sport. Keep your eyes peeled to for the exclusive interview later on this week.There was some fierce competition for style points on this step up all weekend, Louis Meade gets our vote with this sick tyre grab whilst also managing to throw the horns, (not that were biased in any way here…) “What the f*ck are you doing up there?”

Your 2017 Junior National Champion Matt Walker. This kid is on fire! His winning time would have put him 4th in Elite!

Emyr Davies got his balls caught up in his tyre and then  hit a tree, he then “rode like a squirrel on crack” to make some time back to finish 15th.Were not sure if this move was intentional? Peaty choosing to bend a pole with his foot rather than smash his hand- or just foot out flat out and got too close to a pole? Either way the man is still fast!

 Tahnee Seagrave lost 4 seconds in the first split which is just over a minute long.  She pretty much managed the same time on the bottom split as Rachel showing that she is on form, maybe something happened up there? Maybe Rach is stronger on the faster stuff up top? 2nd place for her.

 Rachel Atherton. She’s done it once again! British National Champion. 3.4 seconds up – Machine. Mike Jones Had a crash first practice run Sunday morning and rolled his ankle pretty bad. He was seen limping through the pits but he soldiered on to 14th place. Berty Smith always looks stylish and is well accustomed to the ground here in Bala. The finish field this year was extremely fast, with only a slight left right kink, riders were clocking well over the 30mph mark.Danny Hart- composed, focused and about 15 seconds of flat out speed left to the finish line. It was nail biting stuff at the line. 3rd place for him only 0.5 back off the win and 0.2 back off 2nd.

 Charlie Hatton 2nd- WTF! – what can you say! 1st out of Junior in Elite, and he’s getting consistent top 20 results at world cups and within a cat’s whisker of winning Senior Champs Jersey on his first go! 0.2 off the win. Big, big things to come as he grows older and wiser.Your 2017 Senior National Champion Greg Williamson. A well deserved tap on the back for him, it certainly ain’t easy winning this race and its even harder to go back to back 2 years in a row. What a performance from the young Scotsman.

Senior Men Results
1. Greg Williamson // 2:50.02
2. Charlie Hatton // 2:50.25
3. Danny Hart // 2:50.47
4. Jack Reading // 2:51.56
5. Adam Brayton // 2:52.27

Senior Women Results
1. Rachel Atherton // 3:11.61
2. Tahnée Seagrave // 3:16.04
3. Manon Carpenter // 3:25.74
4. Elena Melton // 3:43.68
5. Aston Tutt // 3:48.19

Junior Men Results
1. Matt Walker // 2:51.45
2. Joe Breeden // 2:53.50
3. Kade Edwards // 2:53.58
4. Henry Kerr // 2:58.57
5. Kaos Seagrave // 3:00.27

Junior Women Results

1. Maya Atkinson // 3:58.25
2. Rosy Monaghan // 4:05.48
3. Sumayyah Green // 4:26.82

Words- Emyr Davies

Photos- Johnny Baggs

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