Wednesday, 24 March 2010

BUCS 2010 - Ae Forest

The Student Champs should be the model for all other DH races. There is nothing quite like an event catering for 800 students. The DH track was really good this year, the level was suitable for all abilities with a few challenging sections to really mix up the results. Friday night saw a load of rain which lubricated the track and made the whole event a lot more interesting. In practice the final section of steep, freshly cut terrain was carnage. Riders were tumbling and crashing at every possibility through this section which lead to a massive alcohol fuelled crowd building through the day. By second runs the atmosphere was totally wired. From the top of the track the crowds could be heard showing their support for fellow riders, banter was flying, claxons and air horns were going off, the atmosphere really was nuts. As a rider it makes the event really something special and the party feeling makes spectating incredibly entertaining. Joe Bowman has put together this awesome video of the DH, check it out:

British Student Champs Downhill 2010 A.e Forest from Joe Bowman on Vimeo.

Swansea, although missing the podium for the first time in a few years posted some respectable results with Will Soffe finishing 4th and incredibly managing to finish first fun in 17th despite having smashed off his rear brake rotor right at the top of the track. Greg Hampton squeezed into the top 20 to finish in 19th place. Jack Malone made 39th after properly, and I mean properly snapping his front wheel in his first run. I got the BFe down in a 2:56 to finish in 81st place overall.

The XC followed an epic party on Saturday night and to be frank the track was a massive disappointment. The hillside had so much potential and yet they chose to route the track along fireroads and a man made tow path type thing. There was no tech climbs or descents and worst of all there was no comedy crash section to provide comedy for the DH boys. Despite this some really imaginative heckling was carried out on a couple of the switchbacks giving the XC a bit more fear factor for a lot of the riders. An impromptu rock/tyre/ravioli/pot noodle garden was also built on the start straight to keep the riders on their toes each lap. Swansea managed 3 riders in the top 30 but unfortunately that wasnt enough to secure the team podium.

Thanks to Joe Bowman to this great video of the event and James Holt for the pictures. For more info on the picture and fullsize images contact him at

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