Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Team Chain Reaction Cycles PayPal rider Joe Smith won the fourth round of the British Downhill Series in Bala, North Wales, over the weekend with Mike Jones taking third. Elliott Heap crashed, breaking his collarbone.
Team Manager Nigel Page was there to bring us this report:
On what is one of the riders’ favorite tracks in the UK, this was a great race between a lot of the fastest downhill racers in the world. The track had some work done to it by Gareth Brewin, with some new big jumps and berms up on the fast top section which then led into a steep technical wooded section which threaded down the mountain into a fast tricky open tree-felled section which had some nice turns, rooty corners with a stump gap you could do in the middle of it. This then led you down to cross the final fire road into another shorter tricky wooded section which then popped you out into the flat out fast field section of with some great wide turns and into the finish arena.
Saturday practice was amazing with a fast uplift service courtesy of Pearce Cycles – it was dry, dusty and super-fast making it an amazing day on your bike. Team riders Joe Smith and Mike Jones were hauling throughout practice doing some amazingly fast gnarly lines and looking as fast as anyone on track.
Young junior rider Elliott Heap was also riding super-fast and loving the big jumps up on the top section, until he just slipped on a root and caught his front wheel on a big rut causing a crash and unfortunately ploughing his shoulder into a sharp cut off stump leading into the steep wooded section. Elliott tried a couple more runs but his shoulder got worse overnight and had to sit out the race on Sunday. We’ve since found out that Elliott’s collarbone is broken – heal soon fella.
Overnight and during Sunday morning it rained a lot, turning the track into a muddy ice rink with lots of riders’ bikes completely clogging up to a standstill.
Luckily the sun came out strong and by the time the Elite riders were off for seeding it had dried up a lot, especially in the open sections. Mike Jones and Joe Smith seeded in second and third and were set for the finals.
By the time the Elite riders were off in the finals the course had pretty much dried out – just still a little slick in the steep woods.
Mike Jones was on a fast run but a small slip on a big root in the steep woods sent him head on into a tree, causing the young Welsh ripper to lose some time, but his run was still good enough for third place in a stacked race. Amazing work again Mike, well done. A big win is coming soon.
Current World Champion and local Gee Atherton held the fastest time for most of the Elite race until Joe Smith came flying into view in the final fast corners, looking rapid. Joe crossed the line to take the win by a very impressive 2.5 second margin to take his second consecutive win in the British Downhill Series. Amazing ride mate, well done.
Thanks to all our team for a great effort and all our sponsors for the support and the best equipment.