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Reportage 2005
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Dragon Downhill Rounds 10 and 11
Saturday and Sunday the 18th and 19th of September
Wentwood, just off J4 of the M4 near Newport, South Wales.

This really was back to the "Old Skool" with the old fire road favourite parking, teetering on a wet and soggy verge in the countryside. It almost reminded me of ‘92 trying to find Fantazia at Castle Donnington but I digress..

The weather was not kind to us on Saturday with a damp start turning into a downpour 1/2 way through practice. Not only did the wet get wetter (how many never bought wets, Gummy your a fool) not to mention mud tyres! Shame Maxxis don't do swamp things for lorries as the uplift had to move up a leg burning 7 mins long fire road walk from the bottom of the track. This was an absolute killer when you imagine your fully water proofed up in your "Boil in a bag" costume with a Bronx/Compton/Inglewood styled saggy arse, messy.

I would like to forget but won't in a hurry the 5mins walk to the top of the course, never mind, it was worth it for what was about to appear..

This was my 1st time at Wentwood and how nice to ride an unfamiliar track, no pre walk just blind is the way to go. Apparently the week before on the uplift day the track was a dry minter..

The course was a heavily carved out piece of mechanical engineering, worthy of Isambard Brunel or whatever his name was? Even in the appalling wet and muddy conditions of the track, bike and rider flowed down this superb steep hill, almost Abercarn fashion.. The top bit was corner after corner, short intermittent straights, bang into chiseled out berms and ruts under the cover of the woods.

The middle section was open and more twists and turns on the greasy ground. A big crowd gathered of "Goat climbing spectators" on the road jump. Not the biggest gap, some 15ft away and 4-5ft down but a bitch of a sloppy run up to it. The experienced jumped it well in practice, the wet and watery mud didn't slow you down too much. Come race and a flash of sunshine every 10mins and we were all in trouble there, coming up to it felt like you riding giving a backie! As soon as you lifted off you knew it weren't happening. 0.5 secs later and all limbs extended, "THUD" and you felt 10G running through your joints like a lightening bolt. I'm sure my bikes now an inch longer (shouldn't say that, it's for sale on the FORUM along with a load of old sheds...

Paul Angus

Next up was the real fun, a super steep section that in the dry would of been awesome. This weekend we were treated to slop and slime and the biggest, dirtiest magnet pull you in styled ruts. Did everyone crash down here? I think so, some pretty spectacular, some pretty foolish, some pretty entertaining in front of the finish line. Thanks to Adam Wilmott, Craig Sheffield, Tom Aston (straight into the big puddle 2nd run and he would of beaten Brendan’s time) and Ashley Mullane for entertaining us..

Ross Searle felt the wrath of the BC Commissaire due to a lack of a bar ends. After being warned in practice and after his 1st run. If it hadn't of been replaced it would of been a DQ. You have been warned kids...

Split times at the main cross roads meant you could time check the competition and your mates to see who was fastest up top or down bottom. That was thanks to Carpenters Mom and his eldest daughter Elsa whilst Lynette ran the start with Manon, the Welsh like to keep it in the family I hear?

If anyone has any paid track building work that needs doing, anywhere in the World then drop Jason a mail on

The first score to settle was the juniors series title and Tom Deacon was awarded the 1st, unfortunately Matt Simmonds actually won after a mathematical mistake was admitted...

Saturday nights chainless race never appeared, the hill was steep enough even with the mud, the weather had taken its toll on us weary athletes and we were all looking for that hot bath!

Greg Pickles

Brendan Fairclough signed on at 10:30 and fooled us all, Marzocchi / Windwave had donated a pair of prized 888 forks to the masses, well those racing to play the raffle and name the fastest rider of the weekend from both days. Most voted for Ashley Mullane, he stacked it 1st run on the last corner, fool! Fairclough had 2 practice runs and smoked everyone (Nikki Whiles wasn't that far behind). Mullane put Brendan’s name on his slip and took the raffled forks whilst Brendan won a pair for a proper weekends work!

Sunday was dry but the lure of the newly modified Hornton Hill 4x track and the final to its Summer Series as sponsored by Descent-World saw me leave the Welsh to it. Expect that report shortly...

A quick message from Jase - Race Director:- "I'm committed to making Dragon DH the best DH series in the UK, we need your help to make that happen, vote with your feet and recommend others do too, if you want it come and bring friends, if you don't stay away and I’ll get the message. Here's hoping I see you in 2005".

All results and series standings go to

Marzocchi Dragon Downhill 2004 Series Winners

Hard tail - Andrew Cooper

Juvenile - Joseph Smith

Youth Male - Nikki Whiles

Youth Female - Aimee Dix

Junior - Matthew Simmonds

Master - Steve Goode

Veteran - Rob Munn

Ladies - Caroline Mackinlay

Senior - Jack Tattersall

Expert - Rowan Sorrel

Elite - Dan Stanbridge

Many thanks to all the Dragon downhill Sponsors who helped us stay on a hill and giving you something to read..

Marzocchi, Nokian, Clayton Cars-BMW (Bristol), Titec, FSA, Mountain Cycles, DIRT Magazine, Keewee, Butefill Carpets, Hope and Goldtec.

Say a goodbye to Gareth Hopkins who has finally washed his Team Skene race kit for the very last time. I'm not sure who we'll miss more, him of his ex Liz, she was eye candy boys...

Keep your diaries free on Saturday 30th October for Aston Hills "In-Descent Exposure" Night time downhill race.

We’re at Caersws for the last DH National so keep it ere for the lowdown as well as the Vanessa "World Champion" Quin interview.

Death to Disco Slippers.


Luke Marshall
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