Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Forest of Dean - MiniDH

I was a bit sceptical about this event before hand, £20 to push your bike up the hill and a couple of hundred riders on a short track just seemed like a bit of a raw deal to be honest. It turned out to be seriously good fun. The event reminded me a lot of the old Cheddar Challenge races, really chilled out and lots of new younger faces about which is exactly what the sport needs at the moment. The atmosphere was far more social than a Dragon and the short track was littered with spectators the whole way, loads of banter, cheering, jeering, Rob even coercing a cheeky smile from a few of the ladies coming down!

Short track racing is a totally different concept to your standard DH. I reckon its actually really good training. To do well you need to nail the perfect run as messing up a corner will knock you down a good 10 places in the standings. There is no cruising or having a rest its all about being flat out to the finish.

From the Swansea boys Will Soffe was on it taking 3rd in the Pro-Am. Rob Hinds made one hell of an impression in his first DH race on a proper bike coming in 7th in the Seniors. Manon Carpenter was seriously impressive in the ladies Pro-Am category coming in quicker than Fion Griffiths to take the win.

My weekend was less impressive, a comfortable 1st run came in at just over 57s, got my race head back in gear for the 2nd run which was proper hairy up until a crash halfway down leaving me in 50th overall but importantly a 100th of a second faster than FoD local Leeroy, a real character on the hill and not at all impressed that I sneaked in front of him!

It was a really good weekend, I recommend it especially to those new to DH, its a great way of getting a taster for what racings about. Chris Roberts is running a series as well as the 4x and Caersws Cup. Check out future events here MiniDH

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