Descent World – Scottish Mountain Biking | Film Production | Photos | Adventure Stories

Northern Championships Kielder Forest

Using a black graded xc trail for a downhill race was not our first choice, but I think most would agree it turned out well. Yes it was not the most technical of tracks but it did give a good sense of speed and to ride an easy track fast will always be hard.

The track started with a pedal around a bermed right then left before squashing a jump onto the shoot down to the fire road. Pedal along and off the fire road as long as you could, on to a long right which could be cut half way to straighten the corner. The track steepened towards a table top with a braking bump landing, before a right berm with a big hole in the front of it and this again could be cut. Tight left through some tight trees then back on the pedals to pump some stutter bumps and pull your bike over a odd feeling small table, Pedal again before cutting the next left tight on a new line avoiding a mech smashing rock and squash your bike over the small rock drop. On the pedals for a long left picking up speed over another table top, then speed onto a rhythm section first hop up onto a rock slab, then off onto a lower slab, then bosh through the rest with a squash onto a down slope spitting you out with speed.

chris_reynolds

Chris Reynolds

Next up was a right left right chicane which had tight cuts and felt fast with a good pedal in the middle. Off the brakes over another table before hitting the brakes to take the next right which had three options, original middle hitting and bouncing off the berm or skirting the outside left dropping down onto the berm or a tight right cut which had a big rock to avoid on the exit.
The next turns were fast and to carry speed was crucial before the hill started to flatten. The next straight was pedally heading to a left which started out flat but by Sunday afternoon was a rutted single line with braking bumps and the odd puddle for good measure. Very hard to hit flat out! Over two tables before a high speed chicane,out onto the fire road again. This is where the track gets flat and fitness was key and having heart to keep the pedals going crucial. Off a small drop right but don’t over jump or risk landing on soggy grass verge killing the speed you’ve worked so hard for. Pre jump the next drop before rolling a rock garden and hit the next right berm. Next up try to control a sideways moment over a hump with a pedal before the next left berm. Pass the chavs. Pedal over a set of doubles and try not to end up in the soft grass or gully on the left which I found impossible. Basically the next series of corners and jumps down to the finish line were built with hard tails in mind and  to carry any speed on the big bikes was a hard task and ended up being a slog to the line. To hear riders puffing and panting getting the job done was encouraging and confirmed that the race and title was worth the effort, well done.

mark_weightman

Mark Weightman

Uplifts started slow but soon got going once the riders had spread out.  I managed eight runs Saturday missing at least one.

Saturdays weather was a mixed bag of bright sunshine and heavy rain showers and by the end of practice the track was generally beaten up, with holes in berms and down slopes of table tops.
Sunday brought a bright cold day with a low sun which hampered sight on the first practice but improved later in the morning.

The track gave no clues. What was the best machine for the job? it was definitely down to personal preference.
Most ran downhill rigs, but there was a good show of mid travel machines. Steven Turnbull showed everyone how to punish a hard tail and Liam Little punished his dh rig beyond its limit.

adam_holleyman

Adam Holleyman

If you check the results the majority of riders who did well, were riders who do well on technical tracks also. Fast riders are fast riders no matter what the track. The gap between the winners and the mid table riders was very tight and I guess that’s down to the track being tame. On this track the half seconds were hard to find and even easier to loose.

It was good to see some of last years regulars back. Welcome back James Tagimuri and the Ashbridge’s.

Big thanks to the boys from South Wales and Isle of Wight for travelling north. Good effort!

I am certain the track was not everyone’s taste and it made a change to hear riders complain about the track being too easy. I guess if we have learnt anything from this season it’s the limit of what is too easy and too hard. If we can get next years to balance somewhere in the middle we will be onto a winner. See you in 2011

The series podiums with the top notch prizes from Hope were also held so you can imagine it was a complicated affair. I have done my best to simplify things below.

wayne_smith

Wayne Smith

Your Northern Champions are:
Juvenile
1st     Jack Hodgkinson        2:05.86    Northern Champion
2nd    Andrew Dorritt        2:07.00
3rd     William Hugill        2:16.68
Youth
1st    Matthew Downes        1:58.83    Northern Champion
2nd     Ryan Potter            1:59.69
3rd    Matty Leggett        2:00.22
Junior
1st     Joe Young            1:53.03    Northern Champion
2nd     Josh Lewis            1:53.84
3rd    Matty Stuttard        1:54.29
Senior
1st     Simon Stuttard        1:49.79(ftd)     Northern Champion
2nd     Kurtis Knowles        1:52.72
3rd     Chris Foster            1:53.08
Master
1st    Russ Harland        1:51.99    Northern Champion
2nd    James Dalleywater        1:57.88
3rd    Wayne Smith            1:59.80
Veteran
1st    Gerald Hodgkinson        1:57.21    Northern Champion
2nd    James Tagimuri        2:06.14
3rd     Michael Strangeways    2:15.18
Senior Women
1st    Angela Coats        2:10.88    Northern Champion
2nd    Esther Sands        2:22.18
3rd    Gina Robertson        2:32.53
Elite/Expert
1st    Liam Little            1:53.28    Northern Champion
2nd    Tom Kelly            1:54.70
3rd    Nick Turner            1:54.88

Race winners:
Juvenile
1st     Jack Hodgkinson        2:05.86
2nd    Andrew Dorritt        2:07.00
3rd     William Hugill        2:16.68
Youth
1st    Morgan Gulland        1:53.90
2nd     Cameron Kilgour        1:57.61
3rd    Matthew Downes        1:58.83
Junior
1st     Mitch Ingley            1:53.03
2nd     Joe Young            1:53.03
3rd    Josh Lewis            1:53.84
Senior
1st     Simon Stuttard        1:49.79    (fastest time of the day)
2nd     Kurtis Knowles        1:52.72
3rd     Chris Foster            1:53.08
Master
1st    Russ Harland        1:51.99
2nd    James Dalleywater        1:57.88
3rd    Mark Weightman        1:58.18
Veteran
1st    Gerald Hodgkinson        1:57.21
2nd    James Tagimuri        2:06.14
3rd     Alan Turnbull            2:15.12
Senior Women
1st    Angela Coats        2:10.88
2nd    Esther Sands        2:22.18
3rd    Gina Robertson        2:32.53
Elite/Expert
1st    Adam Holleyman        1:51.07
2nd    Emyr Davies            1:51.36
3rd    Peter Williams         1:51.45

For full results check www.northerndownhill.co.uk hopefully up!?
Or definitely up on www.rootsandrain.co.uk

Big thanks too:

Forestry Commission North East who allowed us to use the hillside, we hope this is the start of down hilling at Kielder, which has so much potential.

Carl, his family and mates who pulled the event together.

Trevor, John and all marshals, even the chavs.

Sponsors Hope, Switchbacks and Ride Central.

Rich Easton for his photos check his website for more www.moto-photo.co.uk

Team CHR headcam

[nggallery id=59]


4 comments on “Northern Championships Kielder Forest

  1. Prizes for champs podium only.
    I can assure you all we had been given by sponsors was handed out!
    I think this is common practice at the SDA Scottish champs also.
    If anyone has any ideas on sponsorship any help would be greatly appreciated .

Leave a Reply

New to site? Create an Account


Log in

Forgot password?

Already registered? Log in


Register

Forgot password?