Bike Radar Saturday report within including Duel Slalom from the likes of Lopes and Atherton, Dirt Jumping from Sam Pilgrim, trials from Aston and much more….
Wow, what a weekend! I was asked to write a report on the BikeRadarLive show and I thought 'yeah, sounds cool', but then I looked at the show program…..
I will do my best to cover some of the highlights but you're gonna have to bear with me because everywhere I went, something was going off.
I arrived on a blisteringly hot Saturday and noticed a lot of sore heads. It seems Friday night really went off with a bang. Big top drinking antics with journo's and pro's getting their fill of beer.
Looking at the programme you could either attend the central big top for countless, fascinating seminars or scope out the Dirt Jump practice, Dual Eliminator practice and various shows including the Animal Relentless tour.
The seminars featured such greats as Graham Obree (washing machine wrecker), F1 star and serious cyclist Mark Webber, the legend that is Hans Rey and our beloved Peaty. There were also handy seminars on bike set up, tall tales from worldly travelers and bike skills courtesy of Chris Ball. The big top was filling up every hour by cyclists from all disciplines gleaning extra information to take back with them. I was pre-occupied with my own seminar in the late afternoon and had quite a few nervous visits to the can.
I first went to the Dirt Jump and climbed up the ladder to watch these guys roll in, at this height I could really feel the sort of wind that they will be dealing with, all credit to them, they were going big considering! The first jump was real long, almost racey and had a tricky side wind, this then hipped slightly left into a tail wind induced multi set.
We had Lance McDermott, Sam Pilgrim, Jamie Goldman and Sam Reynolds to name but a few up there. They were all covered in scabs and dust, the floor at the top was sticky with every brand of energy drink going. The incentive for this event was a big prize purse for the numero uno set at £5000. There were a few guys such as both the Sam's who had, and were using, their full trick arsenal. I was told that very few could 720, most could front flip, all could back flip. With such a diverse trick-set, the winner was gonna be smackingly obvious when their final run was up on Sunday, providing they used them all.
On to the Animal Relentless tour with Blake Samson, Sam Pilgrim and Martyn Ashton. The show was trials interlaced with fun box and quarter pipe action. Martyn pretty much used every piece of equipment and was amazing to watch with back(breaking)flips, long hops and massively high hops. He even forgot to do up his front wheel as it kept falling out just as he was about to hop down a ladder. He even forgot the next day! The jump display by Sam and Blake was eye popping too. They went so high! Looking up at someone 12ft above you whilst upside down and no handed kinda burns in to your mind and is something I will treasure for a long time. Cheers Animal Relentless.
Next up was the Dual Eliminator practice. The track was unusual for the UK as it was running a dual format with a huuuuuuuuge superX jump at the start, not too bad for some, but the run up to this jump had a sizeable roller and it was this that sucked up the immense speed from the gate and down the ramp.
The wind was picking up throughout the day and those who attempted the jump fell victim to both it's roller entry and its length. Big name pros were casing the landing, or even landing into the back slope. All day we heard the familiar 'dunk' noise as hardtails stopped dead on top of the landing. Highlights were powerhouses like Brian Lopes jumping it like it wasn't there, Danny Hart whipping it and Lewis Lacey dropping the back down and picking it up perfect for the down slope. Super smooth.
There was also a tricky double / double set catching people out too where the first had to be sucked up real good (in the strong side wind) for the second which was now receiving quite a few nose bonks!
The evenings final events saw everybody qualify and we were in for a late night. UK pros really brought their 'A' game to compete with world Pros. Those of note were Jordan 'Flash' Gould hunting down Minaar on his second run, he was like a dog chasing a bone after casing the first jump a little and brought everything to the table, he was on it! Minaar got away from him though but only just.
Bonkers moves from Danny Hart as he landed on Tom Dowie, which I believe was an overtaking move gone wrong, oops. And Scott Beaumont moved a giant rig by smacking his hip into it, he was hungry for the win against Romain Saladini. Romain eventually took the 3rd place in front of Scott in 4th.
The final was between Brian Lopes and Gee Atherton and what a treat it was. Gee opted to wear his full face now and he meant business, he won both races (they had to race on both sides of the track to make it even) and the crowd went nuts. It was just a mass of flashes, cheers and floodlit dust.
Saturday evening was finished with The Tipping Point by Clay Porter. An awesome film and may have answered the criticisms of F1rst. A review will be up soon.
Lastly back to the hotel to rid myself of dust, sun cream and sweat. Awesome.
You can find results from the Eliminator Dual Slalom here www.nps4x.com
Photos by Dave Franciosy
Words – Neil Cousins