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Reportage 2005
Dragon DH Abercarn
BC NPS Caersws
SDA Final Pitfichie
Midland Champs
Dragon Cwncarn
BC NPS Rd 5 Rheola
SDA Rd4 Dunkeld
BC NPS 4x Portreath
Zeal Irish NPS Rd 5
Moelfre BC NPS DH
... more
Reportage 2004
Horton Hill 4X Final
NPS Final Caersws
Dragon Wentwood
SDA Final Fort Bill
BC NPS #4 Coombe
Irish NPS Rd 4
Irish NPS Rd 3
Dragon 8&9 Gethin
Scottish Champs
English Champs
... more
PDF Results 2005
SDA 5 Pitfichie
SDA 4 Dunkeld
SDA Champs F Bill
SDA 3 Strathrye
NPS05 Fort William
SDA 2 Innerleithen
NPS05 Rd2 Cwmcarn
SDA Rd 1 Ae
NPS05 Rd1 Ae
WWW Round 3
WWW Round 2
WWW Round 1
PDF Results 2004
SDA Champs Inners
BC Nat Champs '04
SDA AeForest Rd3
SDA Dunkeld Rd2
SDA Moy Rd1
BC NPS Rd1 Ae
WWW Round 3
Adobe Acrobat Reader Required for Some Results

Merthyr Tydfil: the heart of the valleys or the ‘backend’ of Britain? Well that depends where your from, but I’m sure a couple of hundred people were converted this weekend! Gethin Woodland park, overlooks this melting pot of … well I guess ‘valleys culture’.

Opposite the park you can clearly see where the old dry ski slope run was in place, until it was burnt down! All weekend there were kids and old biffers alike flying up and down the woods on new/old, borrowed/stolen, motorbikes/quads you get the picture, think mad max and your pretty much there. The hills are big here and this mature track utilised some 3 mins of fast varied terrain, in fact many thought that this course was a perfect downhill run as it tested most of the vital skills in a racer, momentum was key and you had to stay off the brakes!!

Rowan Sorrell
Robert Warner
James Marples

After two weeks of the heaviest spells of rain in some time and the Olympic success of the rowing team from Boscastle in a MK 2 Transit I think we all expected this one to be a sloppy one! Luckily due to the hills armadillo like nature (crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside) it soaked up the water like a sponge and we were greeted with a dry, fast track.

So about that course, with a fast yet physical start there were big bowled out berms to pump to keep your speed through the trees, bursting out into the open over a triple bump line most doubled or manualled you were into a tight steep switchback section with some good high/low line choices and lots of natural roots and drops that could be pumped or doubled. Here you hit the halfway point and the course opens out into a high speed straight into a loose switchback. Through these and the track dropped away into a natural bombhole that could be jumped into and launched out straight into a rocky rooty fast straight.

Cross the second fire road (and the split timer!) and you hit the main spectator point as you enter a long gnarly rock garden, the rocks were all about football sized but there were fast lines through. Negotiate your way through here into some more switch backs which led to a road gap that was awkward to get the speed right for, so many pumped around, a final 90 degree left hander that dropped down a steep bank to the finish. The track was physical, rough and fast and one that you could crash on the 1st corner (Luke Marshall) or the last (Alex Stock).

Tyre choices were interesting with rolling speed important, Warner was running a semi slick on the back and by all accounts was pretty side ways through the rock garden but held it all together. I camped it up and dragged a Michelin Hot S out of the basement, red tyres, Hmmm. Kids don’t do it!

Alex Rankin had stopped by after a night out in Cardiff armed with his camera to shoot some footage, and there was an international flavour to the event as 2 entrants were from Hong Kong. The guys had been staying with Jason for the past week, they got in touch because they wanted to come and ride in the rain and the mud!?!

Dragon Downhill were running the split time software on Sunday, which added an extra element. It was great to know just how much slower you were than everyone else already at the halfway point! All Dragon races will now run splits.

Onto The racing:

Warner had a big over the bars on the steep section on Saturday and broke his wrist, not knowing this he went on to win the race and set the fastest time of the day! Also on Raw sports/Giant Jason Bayliss rode well to the Expert win but suffered Sunday due to Merthyr nocturnal activities as did Steve Jones and many others.

Local boy Aaron Jones(Team Skene) who’s house you can see from the track rode really well to 2nd expert in his purple helmet(?) or is it pink, either way Jellybean had a smile on his face sat night, you could put it down to local knowledge but we all know he’s too lazy to ride there!

Master men was a tough fought category with Steve Jones(Dirt) taking the win on Saturday from Rob Cooksley and Julian Poffley who is now selling his 3rd place trophies on e-bay as he hasn’t got any more room!!

Sunday saw Julian a happy man getting the 1st place trophy (he’ll keep that one) with Dylan Jenkins 2nd and Richard Green third.

Sat night and high on the agenda for most people was a night in the mighty Merthyr, Angus was rocking the joint as a top AC DC tribute band played out to a very appreciative and drunk group of bikers and a few shell-shocked lads got to meet the Merthyr Ladies.

I missed practice Sunday and Sat nights shenanigans as on the way home Saturday I thought it would be a good idea to try out a new step down, well I remember being in the air thinking I may be a little short next thing I know I was dragging my ass up after a big smack to the head wondering what went wrong or where I was. I turned up Sunday to try and salvage something and ended up riding to 2nd which was better than my sat result?? Still don’t understand that one.

Michael Gray (team skene) rode to the win in experts Sunday with an excellent time whilst team mate Nikki Whiles smoked the youth category and is looking better with each race.

Robert Smith Proved consistent taking 2 wins in Juvenile as did Jack Tattersall, Rob Munn, and Vanessa Quinn in their respective catagories.

Robert smith rode well to junior victory both days and everyone was pushing hard knowing that a pair of Marzocchi 888’s was up for grabs from title sponsors Windwave for the fastest combined time.

It was Dan Stanbridge that proved to be the man with most in the tank he rode to 2nd on Saturday and took fastest time of the day on Sunday to win elite men and the forks. So, not a bad weekend for him, and his second pair of the season.

All in all it was a great event and the final round is at Wentwood on the 18/19 September.

Rowan Sorrell

Full Results

Mark Weightman
Juvenile Podium
Elite Podium
 
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