2004 Midlands Champs
John Finney dominated to Masters to maintain his total lead as Midlands, Scottish and NPS top ranked Master! James Hughes (YETI Europe) won Expert while Elite was won by Dave Smith (Pearce).
UPDATED: pics and more words added - 6/8/2004.
The Eastridge course remains mainly unchanged from the last time I rode here, two years ago. Which was the same as the year before! The old saying 'why change a good thing' holds true as far as I am concerned.
Dry weather meant the track was super quick. An uplift day on Saturday gave some riders a chance to dial the lines and also meant the race line was ridden in. Times of sub-2 looked on the offing in the pre-uplift speculation.
Dave Pearce did his usual expert job of manning the tractors and organised faultless uplifts throughout the day. Despite queues getting big (inevitable due to the short course), they never got long thanks to frequent tractors, all kitted with excellent bike racks.
A rooty sprint from the start scuppered a few (including me) as lurking stumps hooked pedals and stopped you in your tracks. A few corners with multiple line choices led past the new rock garden to the small drop-off to gully.
Pinning the high line shot riders into the fast section. With the back end kicking out on the roots, the road crossing fast aproached. Dropping off, the track tightened up and the heavily padded trees gave due warning!
The next section was a rollercoaster ride of swooping bends through the trees. Straying off the racing line was dodgy as the loose dirt washed out easily - and the trees were waiting for you!
Finally, a step-down (see bottom pic) shot you into some cranked-over high speed action through the open off-camber field to the finish. Dspite the absense of the big jumps in the field, we still saw some pretty exciting drifting going on in the final rush to the line.
Slogging through the muggy heat of practise, the start of racing was a welcome respite and chance to cool down. I managed 5 runs of praccy!!!
As soon as racing started, it was clear that the 2 minute barrier was not going to last long. Riders flew down the hill but with the short track and tight times, one mistake and it could all be over!
Alex Stock roosting the dust in the trees
James Hughes (YETI Europe) on his way to the Expert win
Second run times were close to first. Time gained from more practise was evened out by the heat and a cut up track. Despite this, John Finney from Glossop nailed Masters on his first run, with SuperFly coming close - but not close enough - on the second despite John leaving the door open with a big stack. 3rd to Steve Parr with Jamie Armitage from High Peak Cycles in 4th place.
James Hughes (YETI Europe) also pinned his first run and it stuck so he took the Expert win while Elite was dominated by Dave Smith who's 1:36.713 was fastest of the day by over a second on this tightly matched course.
Results are on the superseries.net website.
Saturday night chillin' before the race - beer, BBQ and camp fire.
Mark Weightman on the monster Brooklyn
The stepdown into bottom field
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[ NPS 4x Round 1, UK Bike Park, Dorset ] - posted on 22nd May 2009 by Phil.
[ Pearce Cycles DH Rd1 - Bringewood ] - posted on 16th May 2009 by Nick Emerson.
[ British University College Sports Mountain Bike Championships ] - posted on 14th April 2009 by Jim Norton.
[ Pearce Summer Series - Hopton ] - posted on 7th October 2008 by Nick Emerson.
[ Pra Loup Masters Worlds report ] - posted on 4th September 2008 by Phil.
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