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Ulysse Delsaux crowns himself 2018 ELITE 2 champion

 

The 2018 ELITE 2 season is in the books and Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) is the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 2 Division champion. The Frenchman finished third in the second Circuit Zolder Final, just behind his main opponent Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang), who came just short in the championship battle but brought home the Rookie Cup. Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) won the race in dominant fashion in front of his home crowd.
Entering the last race of the season, Delsaux had keep a close eye on Venturi, who was only 8 points behind him. Venturi overtook early but only managed to finish second, so the RDV Competition driver could control his own destiny and bring home the first title of his career.
The ELITE 2 championship represents a unique achievement for Delsaux, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome early in his life and found in racing a way to express himself. The 21-year-old grew incredibly both as a driver and as a young man in his five years in Euro NASCAR and bringing RDV Competition their very first NASCAR drivers title further adds to Ulysse’s excitement.
“It’s unbelievable”, said Delsaux after winning the 2018 ELITE 2 championship. “Before the race I was really stressed. I tried to control my emotions and focus just on the race like always in this amazing season. Many, many thanks to my team: they were incredible, they all did a great job. Also thanks to my family and fans who are always supporting me. I really don’t have the words right now!”
Dumarey, who put up a dominant performance at his hometrack, was able to lead the race flag-to-flag, winning his second race of the season. The Belgian had a technical issue in the first Final but managed to come back to the track and post the fastest lap of the race to start from the pole in Final 2. That proved to be key in today’s strong performance.
“Yesterday was disappointing because of the problem we had,” said the Belgian, who turned 32 two days ago. “But we came back and grabbed the win today. I’m really happy. This weekend we were the quickest and we wanted the win so bad because of the bad luck we had during the whole season. My wife and my little kid are watching at home and cheering for me. The team did a great job and we are happy to win here in front of our home crowd.”
Venturi, who finished second in the race, came up short in the championship by just 6 points. But the 17-year old Frenchman won the Rookie Cup and will get a chance to race in NASCAR in the USA. He defeated Nicholas Risitano (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry), who completed the 2018 Rookie Cup podium.
Seventeenth under the checkered flag, Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang) won the Legend Trophy for a record third consecutive time, setting a new record. There has never been a driver in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to win any title or trophy three times in a row. He beat Francesco Parli (#31 Race Art Technology / Blu Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro) and Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry), who closed the Legend Trophy top-3.
Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) won the close battle for the 2018 Lady Cup by finishing 21th, just ahead of Arianna Casoli. At the end of a tense, season-long battle, just 3 points separated the two contenders.
Coming from the very back of the field, Canadian driver Jean-François Dumoulin (#04 Spectra Premium – RDV Competition Toyota Camry) climbed up to 15th in his second ever NWES race as part of the first drivers exchange between two NASCAR International Series.
The ELITE 2 Division of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return in 2019 and next season’s schedule will be revealed in the upcoming weeks. Delsaux will now head to Charlotte for the traditional prize giving ceremony at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.
ELITE 2 FINAL 2 RESULTS
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Winners!! Rachel and Kade both bring home the rainbow stripes!! Race Report: UCI World Championships 2018


It was an absolutely awesome day in Lenzerheide with World Championships wins for both Rach and Kade and a 3rdplace podium for Mille! What a storming finale to the season!

Finals day dawned hot. The track was the driest it has been all week and conditions were “pretty much perfect”. Lenzerheide is renowned for being tricky and loose with big drops, huge roots, tree stumps and rock gardens – there would be plenty to keep both riders and crowds entertained!

Practise and Qualifying


Both practise and quals were pretty rowdy! Our Atherton Academy rider Mille  ( riding for Norway) had a huge practice crash, she landed on top of her close friend Paula Zibasa and had to watch Paula helicoptered off the hill. Come quals she had a bit of a shaky start, stalling four times in the top section, but in the bottom section she was on fire, closing to just 12 seconds behind Vali Holl to go into 2nd.

In the Junior Mens’s race Kade was delighted with a Quals win 8 seconds clear of the field and for the Women’s Elites Rach edged out Tahnee Seagrave who crossed the line 0.66 back. Myriam Nicole was DQ’ed for going outside of a pole.
There were certainly no foregone conclusions going into Sunday!

Finals

First up was Mille. She had a strong start but a crash after the third corner cost her valuable time. Mille said “I had a good start and after my crash was a really good run too so yeah I’m happy to be on the podium but sad at the same time!”

And then there was Kade.

 We first met a 13 year old Kade when came to an Experience day with his dad and he’s been part of the team since he joined the Atherton Academy in 2014. We’ve believed in him every minute of the way so the entire team were stoked to see his huge potential realized today with a World Championships win in his last ever ride as a Junior. – and by a massive 4.4 seconds!

Kade said “Massive thanks to everybody who has had my back  - this season has been tough but today blows everything out of the water!”
 
In the Women’s race Myriam Nicole put quals misfortune behind her with a scorching run to take the lead by over 5 seconds.

 Then just the top three qualifiers were left on course.

Tracey Hannah didn’t make any major mistakes but didn’t quite get in to contention with Pompon , then Tahnee came out flying – 1.2 seconds up by the second split, she rode a little more conservatively in the middle sections, through the site of her qualifications crash , she was 0.2 back by split 4 crossing into  the hotseat by just 0.6.

Could Rachel better her closest rival and neighbour to take her 5th Elite gold medal and 6thWorld Championship?

Yes she could! Rachel was on fire! Going 3 seconds up by split 1 and 6 seconds clear by split 2, her intentions were very clear! She was 8.5 seconds up by split 3 in a total league of her own and she kept on the attack all the way to the line, crossing 9.98 seconds clear of the field!

Rachel said “I’m stoked!!  This was the Worlds run so I knew that I had to throw everything at it, I knew it would have to be special, all the way down I thought I was going to crash! Tahnee and PomPon have been pushing me so hard all season, I was watching them all weekend thinking “ I’m going to have to push on… I’m buzzing!”

Gee was devastated not to have been selected for the Men’s team for the first time in his career – despite a storming return to form that saw him finish 9th in the World Cup overall so he was on indispensable line-spotting duties this weekend and come the Men’s Finals the team yelled for our ex team-mate and Atherton Academy star Martin Maes! The race was super tight with less than a second between the top four and Maes-dog’s 2nd place podium was a small consolation. Congratulations  to Loic Super-Bruni on the win!

Finals results

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.15.73
2 Tahnee Seagrave +9.98
3  Myriam Nicole +10.67
4 Marine Cabirou ++15.96
5 Tracey Hannah +20.72

Junior Men
1 Kade Edwards  GBR 3.03.22
2 Kye Ahern AUS +4.4
3 Elliot James CAN 5.43
4 Thibault Daprela FR 5.811
5  Henry Kerr GBR 5.815

Junior Women
1 Vali Holl  AUT 3.39.72
2 Anna Newkirk USA +10.88
3 Mille Johnset  NOR + 16.69
4 Nastasia Gimenez FRA+17.29
5 Paula Zibasa  LAT +22.7

Elite Men
1        Loic Bruni  FRA 2.5.11
2        Martin Maes BEL 2.55.32 + 0.21
3        Danny Hart GBR 255.41 + 0.3
4        Loris Vergier FR 2.55.86 + 0.75
5        5  Aaron Gwin USA 2.56.45 + 1.3

Quals Results

Junior Women
1 Vali Holl 3.59.02
2 Mille Johnset  + 12.32
3 Anna Newkirk +14.7
4 Mathilde Bernard +21.97
5 Paula Zibasa +35.433

Junior Men
1 Kade Edwards 3.11.17
2 Patrick Butler +8.2
3 Kye Ahern +9.94
4 Thibault Daprela   10.61
 5 Giacomo Masiero +12.12

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.38.07
2 Tahnee Seagrave +0.66
3 Tracey Hannah  +5.44
4 Cecile Ravanel  +9.70
5 Marine Cabirou +12.01

Elite Men
1 Brook Macdonald 3.03.20
2 Loris Vergier ).6)
3 Connor Fearon +1.78
4 Martin Maes GT Factory Racing  +1.84
5  Aaron Gwin + 2.18


First place for Rach, Second for Gee,Third for the juniors & Team of the Day at La Bresse!! Race Report: UCI World Cup 2018 Round 7



Today was one for the archives with a spectacular win for Rachel and a nail-biting second for Gee that shows he’s right back where he should be. The juniors both podiumed in third, Charlie put yesterday’s qualification tension behind him with  solid 29th place and we were team of the day – 2nd in the tem overall.



Racing from La Bresse today was savage.  The course is the shortest on the circuit this year but the first rainy race of the season was absolutely brutal! Luckily the team’s training in the harsh Welsh environment stood them in massively good stead!

First up was Mille who said “ it was good, I wasn’t taking any risks after yesterday’s crash , keeping control, but I was just happy to be racing and getting down safe!”


She finishes the season 5th overall.

Then Kade, first qualifier yesterday took another third place and finishes his final season as a junior in third overall.

Then it was time for the Women’s Elites.

In “one of the hardest races” of her career;  through fog, rain, and standing water Rachel  laid down the power to take her 37th World Cup win. It was her 3rd win of the 2018 season and enough for her 6th World Cup Overall title – more than any other female rider in the history of the sport.

Rachel had qualified second to Tahnee Seagrave and she knew that today’s race would require something extra special. She said “I tried to think strategically – maybe I should have played safe and focused on the overall – I needed to come 4th or maybe 5th today to clinch the title but as soon as I’m in the start-gate I just want to race! Tahnee had such an epic run in qualis that I knew I’d have to go full blast!



Rachel was aggressive from the start, extending her lead every split to cross the line 11.66 seconds clear of the field. Only Tahnee Seagrave was left on course.

Tahnee fought valiantly but crossed the line 0.6 seconds back leaving Rachel to claim the spoils.

Charlie improved hugely on yesterday's quals to finish a solid 29th.


Could it be a fairytale ending for the team?  Gee had qualified first but the new rules meant that he started well down the field. When he came on track our friend and Atherton Academy graduate the Enduro star Martin Maes was in the hotseat after an absolutely spectacular run.


Gee went into the green by split 1, he dabbed a foot but extended by split 2 to 1.77 seconds clear, then he lost a little time and slip-slided through to the finish 1.39 back on Maes. It was a pattern that would be repeated all afternoon.

The team  held their breath as rider after rider failed to get in touch with either Martin Maes or Gee,  second place today for Gee and into the top 10 of the overall rankings at number nine.

Gee said "Massive congrats to my brother Martin Maes for that win, so stoked to finish the World Cup season on full charge!"

Junior Women
1 Vali Holl 2.56.14
2  Paula Zibasa Sram Young Guns Racing 3.13.71 +17.56
3 Mille Johnset 3.14.62 +18.47
Junior Men
1 Thibault Daprela  Commencal/Vallnord 2.34.29
2 Henry Kerr Propain Dirt Sixpack 2.35.01 +0.72
3 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 2.35.04 +0.7

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 2.51.42
2 Tahnee Seagrave Transition bikes/Muc-off 2.52.05 +0.63
3 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.03.08 +11.66
4 Tracey Hannah  Polygon UR 3.03.45 +12.03
5 Katy Curd 3.06.53 +15.11
Elite Men
1 Martin Maes GT Factory Racing 2.26.84
2 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing 2.28.23 + 1.39
3 Brook Macdonald MS Mondraker team 2.29.96 +3.12
4 Remi Thirion Commencal/Vallnord 2.30.62 + 3.78
5 Bernard Kerr Pivot Factory Racing 2.31.0 4.16

Rachel Atherton wins at La Bresse! That’s a record-breaking 6 World Cup Overalls! Race Report: UCI World Cup 2018 Round 7


In “one of the hardest races of (her) career” through fog, rain, driving water and a short but SAVAGE track at la Bresse in Northern France UK rider Rachel Atherton has taken her 37thWorld Cup win,  her 3rd of the 2018 season and enough for her 6th World Cup Overall title – more than any other female rider in the history of the sport.

Rachel had qualified second to fellow Brit Tahnee Seagrave and knew that todays race would require something extra special. She said “ I tried to think strategically – maybe I should have played safe and focused on the overall – I needed to come 4th or maybe 5thtoday to clinch the title but as soon as you are in the start-gate I jut want to race! Tahnee had such an epic run in qualifiers that I knew Id have to go full blast!

Rachel was aggressive from the start going into pole position by split 1 and extending her lead every split after that to cross the line 11.66 seconds clear of the field. Only Seagrave her close neighbour in the Welsh borders  and close rival throughout this entire season was left on course.

Tahnee fought valiantly but crossed the line 0.6 seconds back  leaving Rachel to claim the spoils.

Elite Women
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 2.51.42
2 Tahnee Seagrave Transition bikes/Muc-off 2.52.05 +0.63
3 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.03.08 +11.66
4 Tracey Hannah  Polygon UR 3.03.45 +12.03
5 Katy Curd 3.06.53 +15.11


Silverline Bike Security Advice




According to crime statistics, more than 376,000 bicycles are stolen each year, which works out at about one every 90 seconds. There is some evidence that bike thefts overall have steadily decreased from a 2011 high of 515,000.
But - while opportunistic theft of low-value, unlocked bikes remains by far the most common offence - the number of high-value bicycles being stolen is increasing. That worrying trend has been attributed, at least in part, to the rise in popularity of ride-tracking apps such as Strava, Relive and CycleMaps.
Police believe that technology-savvy thieves are using information cyclists share on the internet to locate houses where expensive bikes are being stored.
More than half of all cycle thefts in the UK occur in and around the victim’s home, in places like gardens, passageways and in outbuildings such as sheds and garages.
Silverline, proud partners of this year’s Prudential RideLondon series and one of the biggest and best-loved tool brands, offers these top tips for securing your bike effectively:
  • Check the privacy settings on both ride-tracking apps and social media accounts. Change the settings so that, if you still want to share your ride statistics online, only friends and connections can see your starting and finishing position.
     
    For extra security, consider randomising your start position, switching the app on 100 metres or so away from home to confuse the data.
     
  • Use an appropriate lock. If you are leaving your bicycle outside or in an outbuilding, make sure you use a high-quality lock which can’t be easily broken. Chains can be easily snipped so, if your bike is high in value, spend a little extra on a U-Lock. Bike locks are graded ‘Sold Secure’ gold, silver and bronze. Silverline’s High Security Bicycle U-Lock, made from ultra-hardened steel, has been graded gold, offering the highest level of security. View the range here http://www.silverlinetools.com/en-GB/Products/Bike%20Tools/Bike%20Security
  • For further peace of mind, Silverline also sells dummy security cameras which are a cheap and effective way to make would-be burglars think again. View the link here http://www.silverlinetools.com/en-GB/Products/Security/Electronic%20Security/614458
As the number of £1,000-plus bicycles in the UK increases, it’s sadly inevitable that there will be thefts. It is impossible to completely safeguard against theft of any sort, but the risk can be minimised by following these easy, inexpensive steps.



Race report, World Cup Round 1, Losinj


Podiums for Mille, Kade and Rachel as tricky conditions take their toll
A physical, short and intense track provided a wild finals day at Losinj. Weeks of sunshine had turned it to dust and the rubber left behind after every run made the rocks increasingly slippery. As a result, the event ended with a mix of results for the riders. All happily showed off their pace, but nobody really found their flow across Losinj’s sharp rocks.

However, the team can celebrate a podium for Mille Johnset. In her first ever Junior race, our Atherton Academy star took third place, with Valentina Holl coming out on top.

Mille said: “I had a swollen ankle all weekend, then I crashed in practice, so I was even more nervous for finals. I couldn’t bend my knee properly, but I [thought]: ‘Here goes!’

“It was a bit of messy run; I almost crashed again after where I came off in practice. There was a really small drop where I nearly went OTB but I managed to recover ‒ it was pretty ragged from then on. I wasn’t happy with the run, but I’m really happy with third place!”

Team director Dan Brown added: “[I’m] Happy for Mille today. It’s great that there is so much competition in the Junior Women’s [Section] this year, she’s going to have some work to do!”

Women’s Junior Finals Results 
 


1 Valentina Holl 2.50.09
2 Nastasia Gimenez 3.02.61 [+12.52]
3 Mille Johnset 3.06.71 [+16.77]
4 Paula Zibasa (SRAM Young Guns Racing) 3.07.41 [+17.32]

5 Anna Newkirk 3.12.21 [+22.12]

 
Meanwhile, in the Junior Men’s Section, Academy graduate Kade Edwards also earned himself a podium spot, fighting hard to take second place. There was some great racing between the top three. It looks like there is going to be an exciting season ahead for all of the juniors.

First qualifier Kade was left disappointed with his run, however. A mistake at the top cost him a lot of speed, but it’s worth remembering he’s been back on the big bike for just two weeks.

Kade said: “Stoked to be on good pace but gutted not to put the right run together today.”
Men’s Junior Finals Results

1 Thibaut Daprela (Commencal/Vallnord) 2.25.17
2 Kade Edwards (Trek Factory Racing DH) 2.26.82 [+1.64]
3 Kye A’Hern (Canyon Factory Downhill Team) 2.28.65 [+3.47]
4 Lucas Cruz 2.30.78 [+5.61]

5 Matteo Iniguez 2.32.58 [+7.40]

 
By the time the top five women came on track Cecile Ravanel was in charge: Five seconds clear of the field and poised to take her first ever World Cup podium. Tahnee Seagrave, who was disappointed with her qualifying run, put in a very aggressive performance to push Ravanel all the way, making up two seconds by the first split.

Seagrave lost a little pace through the drops but recovered in the final sprint to go fastest. This made her the first to beat Rachel’s qualifying time as she clocked 2.44.48 with four riders left on the course.


Marine Cabirou then slotted into second, while Myriam Nicole, who was down 0.5s at the first split, rode a very clean next section to take the lead by split two. Extending her advantage to 3.4s by split three, Nicole crossed the line to take the lead, finishing in 2.40.70 – seven seconds faster than Rachel’s winning qualifier. The pressure was on!

Tracey Hannah, who rode sore after a crash this week, didn’t quite get into contention before a big crash in the lower section put her out of the running.

Finally, Rachel was on course. Up by 0.6s at split one, she looked smooth through split two – but not as smooth as ‘Pom Pom’ across the sharp rocks. One-and-a-half seconds down, Rachel lost more time and was trailing by three seconds at split three. She was fastest again in the bottom pedal but it wasn’t enough to win, leaving her in second.

Rachel said: “[I’m] disappointed with my run today. [I] struggled to find any flow or carry speed, but that’s the comeback race done.”
Women’s Elite Finals Results

1 Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Vallnord) 2.40.70

2 Rachel Atherton (Trek Factory Racing DH) 2.44.26 [+3.55]

3 Tahnee Seagrave (Transition Bikes/Muc-Off Factory Racing) 2.44.48 [+3.77]
4 Marine Cabirou (Voulvoul Racing) 2.45.93 [+5.22]

5 Cecile Ravanel 2.48.41 [+7.71]

Finally, Charlie Hatton, who qualified in 34th, also struggled today. He explained: “[I’m] happy to get through this weekend without injury or a mechanical [issue] and [I’m] looking forward to Fort William to make amends.” He came home in eighth, 0.3s faster than his qualifying time, which was enough secure him 38th.

Gee, meanwhile, had qualified 22nd. As Rachel did he rode a quick top section, taking the lead by 0.1s at split one, but like Rachel he couldn’t sustain that lead through the top of the rocks. Down by about 1.5s at split two, he made up a little time through splits three and four, crossing the line into 3rd, in 2.25.27, which left him 19that the end.

Gee said: “Well that was a wild one! Stoked to be through the weekend in one piece and with a solid place to build from.”
Men’s Elite Finals Results
1 Aaron Gwin (The YT Mob) 2.19.19

2 Luca Shaw (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 2.19.99 [+0.79]

3 Lucas Dean (Intense Factory Racing) 2.20.32 [+1.13]
4 Sam Blenkinsop (Norco Factory Racing) 2.21.10. [+1.91]
5 Dakotah Norton (Unior/Devinci Factory Racing) 2.21.82  [+2.62]

 

Other results
19 Gee Atherton (Trek Factory Racing DH) 2.25.27 [+6.08]
38 Charlie Hatton (Trek Factory Racing DH) 2.29.01 [+9.81]

 

Silverline Tools announced as Official Tool Partner of Prudential RideLondon


Silverline Tools announced as Official Tool Partner of Prudential RideLondon
Silverline Tools, Europe’s fastest-growing tool brand, is now the Official Tool Partner of Prudential RideLondon.

The leading brand, with a reputation for great value and wide range of products, will be a welcome addition to the Prudential RideLondon sponsor family. While Silverline are long-term sponsors of downhill racing world championship team Trek Factory Racing and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup event in Fort William, it will be the tool brand’s first involvement in road cycling and a mass participation sports event.

Silverline Tools and Prudential RideLondon will work together to support all participants in the build up to, and during, the weekend event. This will include supporting:


Hugh Brasher, Prudential RideLondon Event Director said:

“We are delighted to welcome such a recognised brand into the Prudential RideLondon family. As an event organiser, we are constantly striving to make the participant experience truly memorable. Part of this is providing our riders with useful and engaging information and support before, during and after the event. Silverline Tools has a history of providing people with the right tools for the job. Making their expertise and experience available will give our riders the best chance of finishing on the day with knowledge and skills to take away.”

Rob Henry, Silverline Brand Manager said:

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Prudential RideLondon. As a brand that likes to connect with a wide and diverse audience, we love getting involved with big events like this. For Silverline, the event is more than just about cycling; it’s about getting out there and doing it - doing it yourself! It’s a fantastic opportunity, attracting keen cycling enthusiasts and families alike, and all while raising money for good causes. Bike tools are only a small part of our range of over 5000 tools and we think the event will be a great platform for raising awareness of the Silverline brand. We’re looking forward to supporting all riders on their journey to the Finish Line on the Mall in July!”

About Prudential RideLondon
Prudential RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling with more than 100,000 riders expected to participate in different events for all ages and abilities over the weekend of 28-29 July 2018.

Prudential RideLondon features two UCI WorldTour events: the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic for men and the Prudential RideLondon Classique for women. These two races are the richest one day races on the pro cycling calendar. Find out more at www.prudentialriderondon.co.uk

Prudential RideLondon was developed by the Mayor of London, Transport for London and London & Partners in partnership with Surrey County Council and is sponsored by Prudential. The event is managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership.

About Silverline Tools
Established in 1978, Silverline is a leading industry manufacturer and supplier of more than 5,000 hand and power tools across the UK and Europe. Offering great value, unbeatable guarantees and a massive range of award-winning products, Silverline Tools are ideal for the home, garden and workshop.  As official Tool Partner to Prudential RideLondon, the Silverline events team will be on hand at The Cycling Show and Green Park during the event. For more information about Silverline Tools visit www.silverlinetools.com


6 top tips for a winter-proof house

Craig's top tips for a winter-proof house!


1. Gas Safety 
It pays to be prepared and perhaps the most important thing to consider now is what happens when you turn your heating on after months of having the system switched off!

Gas safety is absolutely essential, so before you fire up the boiler, you really need to get it checked by a qualified and registered engineer. First, you need to make sure it will work when you need it – nobody wants to be replacing their boiler in the winter! Also you need to be checking for carbon monoxide release.

It's a good idea to fit a carbon monoxide detector and make sure it's working regularly. As well as this, if you haven't had your gas appliances and flues checked for a while, now's the time to do it.

Whilst checking your flues, you might want to look at any air vents or even your chimney (if you have one) to make sure nothing has grown over and is causing a blockage. Finally, when you fire up your boiler, make sure the gas flame turns blue. If it doesn't, shut the boiler down immediately and call an engineer. 

2. Radiator Maintenance 
Of course, your heating system's efficiency is not just about the boiler, so take time out to check all of your radiators. Do they leak? Do they have air in them and need bleeding? Follow our easy guide for bleeding radiators:



3. Flood Risk and Water Damage 
Another way of preparing your home for the winter is to minimise the risk of floods and water damage when the rain and snow arrive! Gutters and drains are always susceptible to blockage by leaves or other debris, and if you get a spell of heavy rain or snow for lengthy periods you could be in trouble. Our lock rods are great for cleaning your down pipes, gutters and even chimneys! One more thing, is your guttering strong enough to take the weight of potential snow sitting there for days? If you're unsure, you should look at replacing it! 

We have a range of winter essentials available to help with flooding and water damage including sand bags, water pumps, torches and various covers as well as much, much more! Check out our website and get tooled up for winter!

4. Roof 
Firstly, you need to make sure that all of the tiles are in place and that lead flashings around your chimney are in good condition. Make sure there are no gaps anywhere that could let in water or allow the wind to get underneath! On the subject of chimneys, it's always good practice to have it swept before you start up a fire since there can be debris, old birds' nests and all sorts of things causing an unsafe blockage. If you need a dry place to store your logs for your fire this winter, have you thought about building your own log store? We have a simple video showing you how:


Of course, you should always arrange for an experienced roofer to climb up and check your tiles - never think you'll just nip up there yourself! That said, you can nip into the loft and check the roof from inside. Assuming your loft is boarded and you have light in there, find a safe position away from the loft entrance, switch off the lights and check for daylight coming in. There will always be small amounts of light coming through, you are checking for major gaps! Whatever you do, be sure to switch the light back on before moving away from your secure position.

If you don't have your loft boarded already, now is the time to consider doing so. Insulation has been shown to make a big difference to the size of energy bills, with some households saving over £200 a year!

5. Lighting Efficiency 

Speaking of energy and bills, now the days are shorter you will be using your lights for much longer periods, it's a good time to go around and check your light bulbs! Do you still have the old-style energy-sapping bulbs? Fitting energy-saving bulbs can make a huge difference to your electricity bill, while also help you to play your part in saving the planet. 

6. Draughts
You may have welcomed a bit of a breeze coursing through your home in the warm summer months, but when the cold sets in you will want to get rid of any drafts that drift into your home through leaky door seals or windows. 

Most people have double-glazing but you'd be surprised where draughts can sneak in! No house is fully sealed and everywhere that there is a void in it's structure - including letterboxes,anywhere holes have been created for passing pipes or cables through, and even cat flaps - there is the potential for a draught. Even inner doors can be a problem, so even though it may seem a little old-fashioned, the humble and trusty draught excluder across the bottom of a door can make all the difference! 




Trek Factory Racing signs Charlie Hatton and announces three new partnerships for 2018

The Trek Factory Racing team are pleased to welcome an Elite rider with enormous potential – 19 year old Brit Charlie Hatton. 

Charlie’s 2017 was packed with great performances; two National wins, the overall British Downhill Series title and three World Cup top 20 results, the highlight 11th place at the World Cup Finals where he was just tenths of seconds off the top ten. 

Team Director Dan Brown said “ We’ve been keeping a close eye on Charlie since he was a Youth rider and his performance last year was one of the breakthroughs of the 2017 season. It’s exciting to be heading into the season with such a strong roster”.

Charlie Hatton “I’m stoked to be joining one of the very best teams out there. Growing up I used to always see the team on films and now it’s crazy to think I’ll be riding with them, I can’t wait for the season to kick off.” 

Charlie will join Gee, Rachel and Junior Kade Edwards on board the Trek Sessions as the team sets its sights on regaining the title of “World’s Fastest Downhill team” which they held for both 2012 and 2013. 

Kade said “I can’t wait to go racing.  Last year’s podiums were Ok, a start, but I want to win… it’s gunna be a hell of a year with some good people.”

Gee Atherton said “Having Charlie on board with us is going to be awesome, we’ve already got to know him pretty well and I think he’ll be a massive asset to the team. Personally I’m coming in the strongest I have for some years, not having to rehab this past off season has allowed me much more bike time which means I’m feeling super comfortable on the Session”

Eldest sibling Dan Atherton will continue to hold a pivotal role guiding the team.  Dan will concentrate on progressing mountain-biking in the UK through his work on Dyfi Bike Park, designing the fifth Red Bull Hardline and mentoring the Atherton Academy which continues to support young riders including Mille Johnset and Luke Williamson. 

 There are some significant changes to the team’s equipment line up for 2018 with Endura supplying apparel, Hope Technology moving up to be the key component supplier and Renthal supplying bars, grips and stems. 

Dan Atherton said “My life is all about pushing boundaries, whether it's a day on the mountain digging or a day on the bikes. With Endura on board it's good to know I have a company behind me that is willing to push as hard as I am. We are all stoked to be working with a company whose products can stand up to our lifestyle! “

Pamela Barclay, Endura’s Brand Director said “Dan, Gee and Rachel offer something more and embody the Endura mantra of Renegade Progress. Sometimes, you have a hunch that a group of people share your outlook on life, and we’ve always liked the way that they go racing: with commitment and dedication, but an unmistakable sense of fun. It already feels like a good fit.”

On the bike, Barnoldswick based Hope Technologies become lead component partner, they will supply everything from headsets to hubs and brakes to seatposts. 

Rachel Atherton “First day on my new bike and it feels amazing, I’m not renowned for liking change but when I jumped on the bike yesterday for the first time since breaking my collarbone I felt totally at home, the set up feels really square, and attacking which I love, I cant wait to take it to the races.”

Head Technician Joe Krejbich said “We’ve run Hope for many seasons but for 2018 that relationship has deepened so that we are finally representing them in true fashion! It goes without saying that they have a fantastic reputation of making great bombproof products.”

Rachael Walker of Hope Technologies said “Hope have worked with the Athertons for a long time, since 2012, with the supply of seat clamps and headsets. Now that partnership will expand to brakes, drivetrain components, carbon seat posts and hubs. The Athertons have been at the peak of our sport for so long, achieving what many other teams and riders can only aspire to. To build on our relationship with Atherton Racing seems like a natural step. Having some of the best riders in the world using what we feel are some of the best components produced can only mean there are some exciting times ahead.”

Renthal will provide bars, grips and stems, while chain devices will come from MRP and seats from Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB). 

Ian Collins, Renthal’s Cycle Product Manager said “We’re super excited to collaborate with Trek Factory Racing DH and the Athertons. Renthal chooses to work with the very best riders in the World and Trek Factory Racing DH has two distinct facets which we can draw from. Gee, Rach and Dan are legends of the sport, all still at the top of their game. Their depth of knowledge and racing experience is vital. Added to this, Kade Edwards and Charlie Hatton are young, exciting, up and coming riders, who are the next talent to push the sport forwards. This is a great combination for Renthal to continue to develop cutting edge product with ultimate reliability.”

In other partnership news, long term supporters Silverline Tools, Red Bull, Oakley. Fox, Muc-Off and Bell also remain in the mix. 
Look out for further news very shortly.

All Images credit: Moonhead Media 
and Endura



Euro NASCAR Takes The Next Step

NASCAR Presents New Logo Aligned With NASCAR’s New Brand Identity And Exciting 2018 Season

Already one of the best touring car series in Europe, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is taking the next step by introducing new evolutions for 2018 to come even closer to its American model, beginning with the launch of a new logo and the official 2018 season trailer. 

Fresh off a partnership extension between Team FJ, NASCAR and Whelen Engineering that confirmed the official European NASCAR championship through 2014 and in perfect continuity with the new NASCAR brand identity unveiled in 2017, NWES presented today a logo that features distinctive traits inspired by the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

“We are incredibly proud to represent NASCAR and to carry with us 70 years of legendary racing history, as well as to promote the Whelen brand across Europe,” said NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO, Jerome Galpin. “The NASCAR’s authentic, innovative and very unique racing style attracts more and more people every day from all over the world. NWES is just at the beginning of its history but we can easily attest its great appeal on European fans. NASCAR is a dominant sport in North America and has everything to follow the same path in Europe. This new brand identity is just the beginning! We can’t wait for the new season to start!”

With its action-packed imagery, the new teaser is the perfect introduction to a season that promises to be more exciting than ever. The 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will begin in Valencia, Spain on April 13-14 and will visit five more countries – Italy, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium  – bringing spectacular NASCAR door-to-door racing and American-themed family entertainment across the continent.



2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Calendar

The 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar was unveiled on 10/11 and features 12 rounds in six American-themed NASCAR GP on the best European tracks cementing Euro NASCAR’s position among the best touring car series outside North America.

Built in continuity with a very successful 2017 season, which saw more than 60 top level drivers representing 21 countries on the grid to battle door to door for the NWES crown and delight hundreds of thousands of fans with the best racing in Europe, the 2018 Euro NASCAR schedule will include 6 different countries: Spain, Italy, Great Britain, France, Germany and Benelux.

A key change is the creation of a new international event that will take place in Tours, France where drivers from all over the world will compete to measure their skills against American guest-stars in the Oval World Challenge. The second major evolution is a new venue for the Semi Finals that will be hosted by the legendary Hockenheimring in Germany, building on the success of the first American Fan Fest.

“We are really proud to offer European fans, teams, drivers and partners this very well-balanced calendar, a great mix between some of the most iconic names in Motorsports – Hockenheim, Brands Hatch, Valencia and Zolder – and emerging high-action short tracks such as Tours and Franciacorta. We all share a common vision to make every NASCAR GP a unique fan experience and provide great family fun on and around the track. In just a few years, the NWES events have emerged as some of the best and most attractive in Europe. Pure racing and great fun are in our DNA and we will keep pushing this way!” said NWES President / CEO Jerome Galpin.

Spain and the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo will once again open the season on April 14-15 with the fourth edition of the Valencia NASCAR Fest, an event that has quickly become a classic in the NWES calendar.

On May 19-20 the Euro NASCAR will head to Brescia for the second event of the season at the Autodromo di Franciacorta. The Italian track’s compact layout provides the fans with a spectacular view and action-packed races.

A new King Of Brands Hatch will be crowned at the historic Indy Circuit in the context of the hugely popular American SpeedFest on June 9-10. One of the most coveted events in the calendar, the British festival is the longest running NWES event and will reach the sixth edition in 2018.

On June 30 and July 1 the city of Tours in France will host the new Oval World Challenge. The sole NASCAR oval race outside of North America will bring tons of excitement to the European fans. A unique prize and a special format for the event will be presented in the upcoming weeks.

For the first time in the Series history, Germany will host the Semi Finals on September 15-16 at Hockenheimring and represent a turning point in the season for the drivers chasing the European NASCAR title by awarding double points.

On October 20-21 the NWES season will once again reach its culmination in Belgium at Circuit Zolder, with the challenging 4 Km track hosting the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Finals for the fourth consecutive year in front a huge crowd.

Well spread on the map, the 2018 NWES calendar will offer every race fan an opportunity to enjoy the unrivalled atmosphere of a NASCAR GP and grant drivers a variety of racing experiences: from the high speeds of Hockenheim or Zolder to the bumper-to-bumper action of Brands Hatch and  Oval Tours. Only the best of the best will be the 2018 Euro NASCAR champion. Save the dates race fans!

Click here for more info! 

Red Bull Hardline

Red Bull Hardline 


Sunday dawned bright – to the massive relief of course creator Dan and all of the riders!

The initial field was slightly reduced by injuries, illness and riders making the call not to ride so Darren Berrecloth, Bruce Klein, Charlie Hatton, Gareth Brewin, Yoann Barelli, Sam Reynolds and Gee were all watching from the comfort of the Red Bull teepee.

Gee said:“ I’m so gutted not to be able to race, if there was anyway that I could ride I’d do it – but I came down hard on my shoulder during practice yesterday and its going to need some time off the bike.”

So 13 riders lined up for the qualifying run, a bigger Finals field than ever before. Because the course is mega open at the top and the winds were increasingly strong the decision was taken  to start just before the cannon. This cuts out a very wet technical section and gives a long straight run to the cannon with a flag to help the riders judge the wind. –but it does mean that the riders are straight into one of the gnarliest jumps on the course.  

Graeme Mudd was the first to go up for his qualifying run, he said: “That was pretty chilled, I just tried to be consistent, didn’t push too hard and did the jumps as fast as I could. “

2nd rider Oscar Harnstrom went over the bars when he landed on a root just after the step up but 3rd rider Bernard Kerr went into the hotseat in 2.29.66. Craig Evans put in a stylish ride to go into 2nd 2.33 – enough for an eventual 4th.

Then Dan was on course, Dan’s riding is always super smooth but even he was forced to dab a foot and pick his way through several sections crossing into 3rd.

Dan said “ I was scared at the top ,  everyone is scared. This is definitely the hardest year – the fact that we had to move the start proves that.

This year there would just be 10 qualifiers out of 13 riders so tension mounted as the last 4 riders came on track.

Al Bond crossed into 8th place, would it be enough? Brage Vestavik stalled on the rocks losing valuable time and crossed into 10th, but Kaos Seagrave bettered him by 9 seconds, Dave McMillan couldn’t do enough finishing a heartbreaking 11th and then final rider Alexander Fayolle roared into 3rd

Finals

First off was Kaos Seagrave – he looked very comfortable and stylish all the way down to the road gap, the course had clearly dried out since the morning’s qualifications. The bottom section saw him make a few minor mistakes, he landed nose heavy over the Final jump but stayed on board for 2.45.40. 

Al Bond was next, he rode smoothly until he made a big mistake just before the road gap. Unsettled, he pulled up in the next rocks to regain his composure before the road gap  - nevertheless he was less than 5 seconds back – 2.49.99 – enough for 9th today.

Laurie Greenland had the start of light rain on his run, he had a big stall but recovered well 2.36.26.
Then came the first of our Trek Factory Racing riders, Muddy started fast, 1.55 at the split, he looked relative smooth all the way – 2.36.73  and crossed into 2nd!

Our former team mate Taylor Vernon was next, he was caught out a little bit on the slippery ricks but still pushed on looking super quick and active on the bike, he went down in the technical section crossing the line 10 seconds back 2.45.96. 

And then the creator of Hardline was on course. Dan was super smooth all the way, he was up at the split, flowing down the mountain to take the hotseat by 2 seconds, but he said himself as he crossed the line that in this fast company it wouldn’t be enough.

Alexandre Fayolle crashed out here in practice last year – he has been fearless this year but he lost the front on a slippery root and went down, his concentration broken he went down again, finishing the race just for the enjoyment of the crowd.

Then there were two – 2016 Hardline winner Bernard Kerr started big but soon got into trouble in the technical section, he became unseated and had to run after his bike.  He regained his composure, and  started to make amends, looking fast, but another mistake a couple of feet down before the road gap cost him some time eventually crossing into 2ndplace.

After his run Bernard said: “ It was like ice up there, the difference from even half an hour ago was ridiculous.”

Would Dan be able to hold onto 3rdplace for the second time in the history of the race? Adam Brayton lost a foot through the first  technical section, the crowd gasped as he made another mistake before the split but he was still 0.6 up at the split  - he went down just before the road gap. Craig Evans took the win.

Results

1 Craig Evans 2.31.29
2 Bernard Kerr 2.33.30
3 Dan Atherton 2.33.73
6 Graeme Mudd 2.36.73


Jerry De Weerdt To Make American NASCAR Debut

Fresh off his second Legend Trophy title in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Jerry De Weerdt will become the 16th NWES driver to compete in NASCAR in the US today by making his debut in the final race of the K&N Pro Series West at Kern County Raceway Park, California. 

Success in the European NASCAR series translates into the best opportunities to race in the United States and racing on Bakerfield's half-mile oval will represent De Weerdt another step towards fulfilling his dream of competing at Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 


The Belgian will count on the experience he gained in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to quickly adapt to the #14 Braxx Motors Ford Fusion fielded by Patriot Motorsports and owned by Jesse Iwuji. The goal for the weekend is to log miles and learn as much as possible in the highly competitive K&N Pro Series West. 

"I've been thinking about racing in the US for a while and finally here we are thanks to NASCAR, NWES and Joe Balash (NASCAR International Liaison)," said De Weerdt, who earned 3 top-10 finishes in four races this year in the Euro NASCAR oval racing weekend at Raceway Venray. 

"The track looks a little bit like Venray but has less banking and is wider so I think I can find a good feeling. The race also fits well with our schedule because we closed the European season last month. It will take some time to adjust to a new car, but it's great to be able to enter such a competitive race already knowing what to expect thanks to our experience in NWES and I would be happy to stay out of trouble, finish the race and try to move forward."


De Weerdt's 2017 season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has been extremely positive. Braxx Racing's team owner won his second consecutive Legend Trophy title in the Elite 2 Division with the 10th place in the final points standings and finished 14th in points in Elite 1. His Braxx Racing team also grabbed its first NASCAR win in the Elite 1 Division with Marc Goossens and the #90 Ford Mustang in the Circuit Zolder Finals, testifying the team's continuous progress.

"It's been such a great year and with a fantastic Finals weekend we proved we're a winning team, so this race in the US is the perfect ending for our season," concluded De Weerdt. "We are building our new headquarters in Belgium and we'll also put together a new car for Marc so we'll have a lot of work ahead of us in the offseason but we can't wait to be back on track. I hope Marc can be with us for the full season in 2018 and battle for the NWES title and we are also looking for an ELITE 2 driver to race alongside him."

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Red Bull Foxhunt

Gee smashes through the ranks into 9th place at Red Bull Foxhunt, Rostrevor Ireland

450 riders descended on Rostrevor in the Mourne Mountains over the weekend for one of the craziest mass start races ever seen – this year riders had to avoid not one Fox but three Foxes! Fast ones at that with double World Champion Gee leading out the fox-pack joined by current World Champ Loic Bruni and last year’s winner Colin Ross!

At 3.5 miles long it was also plenty physical! Gee said: "The level of testosterone at the top of that hill was immense, everyone was roaring! We even had the Dire Wolves from Game of Thrones up there!"

Gee placed 9th, ahead of 395 other riders. Colin Ross placed 17th and Loic Bruni, the third Fox, was 18th. Kelan Grant the 24 year old Irish Enduro champion from Omagh clinched the win after opening up a gap in the top climb.

Results

I Kelan Grant 6.47.57

2 James McFerron 7.10.76 +23.19

3 Conor Bate 7.20.75 +33.18

9 Gee Atherton 7.44.81 +57.245

17 Colin Ross 8.31.247 1.43.67

18 Loic Bruni      8.31.247 + 1.44.00

The Fourth Female Red Bull Foxhunt

The 2017 Red Bull Foxhunt was seriously muddy!  250 women flocked to Machynlleth in Wales for an awesome weekend that felt more like a festival than a race. The atmosphere at Foxhunt is famously supportive, never more needed than at this year’s event where conditions made the riding difficult.

Katy Winton did an absolutely top job as the fox while Rachel was on hand with loads of tips and encouragement and Trek Factory Racing mechanics Sam and Joe fixed, tweaked and advised for hundreds of riders who dropped by for a chat and a helping hand.  

Practice was hilarious, queues for the B lines erupting into laughter and qualifying was tough with some riders choosing not to ride again after the arduous morning, about 170 riders took the uplift to the top. 

Rachel said: “ Everybody here can do this, even in the mud, its just having the confidence to have a go.”  

So in the final reckoning 190 women took to the mass start grid, Fox Katy was wild, overtaking all but 20 of the riders in some impossible situations, Atherton Academy’s Mille smashed it into 1st and Atherton Racing’s Gill was happy to survive in 163rd– despite some serious heckling and several crashes!

Mille said: “Woohoo that was super mega fun! So stoked to take the win at the Red Bull Foxhunt and to hang out with all these awesome women!” 


Results

1 Mille Johnset Atherton Academy 3.50
2 Rosy Monagahan  4.23 +33s
3 Claire Bennett 4.25 +35s
21 Katy Winton 5.41 + 1.51 

Photo credits: Red Bull Content Pool / Olaf Pignataro / Romina Amato 

British Sailing Team News: Saxton and Dabson win first foiling Nacra 17 world title

Saxton and Dabson win first foiling Nacra 17 world title

Ben Saxton and Katie Dabson have claimed gold at the first ever foiling Nacra 17 World Championship which grew to a close in dramatic fashion at La Grande Mote, France on Sunday (10th September). 

The mixed multihull duo are the second British Sailing Team crew to be crowned World Champions in the space of a week, with Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell winning the 49er world title in Portugal last weekend. 

And Saxton and Dabson are the only second set of names ever to grace the Nacra 17 World Champions roll of honour, with France's Billy Besson - Marie Riou the only previous titleholders in four previous editions since the class's introduction in 2013 in its pre-foiling era.

"It's unbelievable. It;s every dream come true!" said Rio Olympian Saxton after the medal race.

"I've never been an Olympic classes World Champion before. Well done to Katie, and thanks to our coaches Hugh and Derek and to National Lottery funding from back at home. It's awesome!"

Saxton and Dabson went in to the final day of competition wearing the yellow leaders' jerseys, but with two fleet races still to go to determine qualifiers for the top ten medal race positions, there could be no let up, with Saxton admitting that successes of his British 49er colleagues last week spurring him on. 

He laughed: "I thought if Dylan and Stu can do it and James and Fynn got a medal as well then I thought I'd better buck my ideas up!" 

Saxton and Dabson picked up 10,11 from their two final fleet races to book their place in the medal showdown in second place, but with the top three crews from Italy, Britain and Spain effectively all level-pegging in the chase for gold.

After a short delay, the medal race got underway in gusty and shifty 20 knot conditions, with drama unfolding as early as the first mark with a collision between the series-leading Italian crew of Ruggero Tita-Caterina Banti and the second Spanish boat of Iker Martinez-Olga Maslivets resulting in the Spaniard’s rig collapsing and neither boat able to finish the race.

The Italian crew were out of contention for gold, but it was far from over for Saxton and Dabson, who had Spain’s Fernando Echavarri-Tara Pacheco breathing down their necks in the Championship chase.

Saxton and Dabson crossed the finish line in second place behind Germany’s Paul Kohlhoff-Alica Stuhlemmer but narrowly ahead of the Spanish team, and it was enough to hand them the victory in what was only their third regatta together.

“We had two races this morning and they didn’t go completely as we’d have liked them,” Dabson explained.

“We’d have quite liked to have a bit more of a gap but we went into the medal race pretty much with whoever won the medal race out of the top three would have won, so we had a little bit on, but we kept our cool and raced our boat. We knew what we had to do and we went out and did it.”

“We had about every emotion going,” Saxton added. “We didn’t have a great start so we were playing catch up and got back in to it down the first run. Fernando and Tara then overtook us going up the second beat and we went for it down the last run and we got them."

John Gimson and Anna Burnet also made the cut for the final medal race, finishing sixth overall, with Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface finishing 16th, Chris Rashley-Laura Marimon 18th and Rupert White-Kirstie Urwin 25th.


At Hungary's Lake Balaton earlier on Sunday, however, there was disappointment for Ed Wright in his quest for a second World Championship title at the Finn Gold Cup.

Bournemouth's Wright sailed a solid week amid testing conditions and two days lost to lack of wind, to qualify for the medal race in the silver medal position.


But a sixth place in the ten-boat medal final race meant Wright narrowly missed out on the podium spots, finishing on equal points with the Netherlands’ Nick Heiner but missing out on the bronze on count back.


Sweden’s Max Salminen took gold, with silver going to France’s Jonathan Lobert.

“It’s been a very eventful regatta,” Wright surmised. “I started off very well but then managed to get myself a bad result in the second race which was kind of a noose around my neck the whole week.  


“It was very difficult to try and be extreme at all, and here it definitely pays to be extreme because sides of the course come in and if you’re not there then you kind of get left behind.”


He continued: “I think I managed pretty well to go into the medal race in silver medal position and actually I thought it might be time for another Gold Cup win.  I felt good and my speed was good as well.  I just got a bit unlucky on the start. I wasn’t really that punchy.” 

“Heiner got away and if he won the race I needed to be pretty high up – fifth and I was sixth so it was pretty close.  It’s impressive that the whole top four finished within three points of each other. It was very good, close racing and it’s just a shame that I was the unlucky one.”

The British Sailing Team’s Henry Wetherell concluded the event in 12th, Ben Cornish was 21st, Pete McCoy 41st and Hector Simpson 46th.


Image: Ben Saxton and Katie Dabson  Credit: Didier Hillaire  



Race Report – World Champs 2017: Top 20 for Gee

World Champs 2017: Top 20 for Gee!

Cairns dealt the most brutal blows to the Trek Factory contingent of the British Cycling Team this weekend with both Rachel Atherton and Kade Edwards injured during Friday's timed training day, Rachel sustained a broken collarbone when she clipped a bank in the top turns and went OTB and Kade went down hard on the big jumps knocking himself unconscious. Both withdrew from the Finals on medical advice. 

Rachel said: "Absolutely devastated doesn't even come close. I was having so much fun on track, attacking, loving the speed. I felt like my old self for the first time in months but a broken collarbone puts an end to me defending my World Champs title. Thanks so much to Mick and Tracey Hannah for getting me up and walking me to safety."

Kade said: "I had a big crash on a fast bit, landed on my head and was out for at least 10 seconds so the doctors say I can't race. I feel pretty bad right now but I'll live to fight another day. Good luck to all the boys."

In the Junior Men's race the British team reigned supreme with 1st, 2nd and 5th places going to Matt Walkers, Joe Breeden and Kaos Seagrave.

In the Junior Women's race, GB's Maya Atkinson was 11th in 4.53.44.

Then then women were on track  - and with the reigning World Champ cruelly sidelined there was everything to play for - and drama levels were high. All of the British hopes were now pinned on Tahnee Seagrave but they were dashed as our remaining female elite rider pushed a little too hard and crashed out - ending up in 10th place. 

Local heroine Tracey Hannah looked sure to take the hot seat until she washed out on a high inside line, she lay stunned for a couple of seconds before scrambling back onto the bike, perhaps long enough to lose her the race. Tracy finished 2nd but a timing complication meant that Myriam Nicole was promoted after the race with Tracey moving into 3rd. Pompon had made no mistakes but was recorded 4.7 seconds off the pace by the first split. A review of the back up timing placed her just 0.097 back from the winner Miranda Miller (Canada) who stepped outside of the general chaos with a fast and consistent run. 

World Champs has a slightly different format in that seeding is dictated by current standings. Gee's 9th place in timed training put him at the forefront of the British squad and he was feeling confident as he headed up the hill. By the time of the Men's race the course was getting even looser with lots of riders stumbling in the corners - the Aussie riders relished the dry, dusty conditions, dominating the results table with 4 out of the top 6 places! Sam Hill was first down the mountain and seemed to take up residence in the hot seat! 

Gee has a solid run and crossed into second place, 3.37 back from Sam, enough for 18th on the day, Gee said: "I'm stoked. After the injury (a hip dislocation at Fort William) I'm delighted to be here and my goal was for top 20 this weekend. Thanks to Trek, Fox, all the sponsors and team GB for the support and of course my right hand man Polish Pete!" 



Results 

Elite Men

1 Loïc Bruni (FRA) 3:26.656
2 Mick Hannah (AUS) 3:26.995
3 Aaron Gwin (USA) 3:28.623
4 Jack Moir (AUS) 3:29.257
5 Troy Brosnan (AUS) 3:29.649
18 Gee Atherton (GBR) 3.35.715

Elite Women 

1 Miranda Miller (CAN) 4:10.245
2 Myriam Nicole (FRA) 4:10.342
3 Tracey Hannah (AUS) 4:12.230
4 Eleonora Farina (FRA) 4:15.168
5 Danielle Beecroft (AUS) 4:19.361

Junior Men 

1 Matt Walker (GBR) 3:37.788
2 Joe Breeden (GBR) 3:41.244
3 Max Hartenstern (GER) 3:41.774
4 Sylvain Cougoureux (FRA) 3:42.154
5 Kaos Seagrave (GBR) 3:42.758

Junior Women 

1 Melanie Chappaz (FRA) 4:28.617
2 Shania Rawson (NZL) 4:31.318
3 Flora Lesoin (FRA) 4:35.552
4 Beatrice Migliorini (ITA) 4:38.098

5 Ellie Smith (AUS) 4:43.581 

Trek Factory Racing Downhill: Val di Sole The 2017 World Cup Series is in the books

Race Report : World Cup 2017 Round 7- Val di Sole The 2017 World Cup Series is in the books. 

Val di Sole is steep and it's rough, it's super tough on bikes and riders with roots, rocks, bomb holes and loose slippery corners all taking their toll. 

There was the constant threat of storms but this weekend at least the weather was king - all racers had good conditions with the deluge holding off until 30 minutes after the men's race.

In the qualifications run our junior rider Kade Edwards fell foul of one of the Black Snake's slippery corners when he washed out in a turn between the first and seconds splits and went down hard. Unhurt, he went into the finals run fully prepped and confident of a result. 

In his own words, Kade "came out of the start gate a mess". Off the pace from the start, he made up some ground in the mid sections but then a crash put paid to his hopes for a great result. 

Kade finished 10th and sits in 5th place in the overall standings - the highest ranked first year rider and a solid first season on the Factory team.

In the Women's race, Rachel was still riding at less than 100%, unable to fully trust her shoulder on this extraordinarily technical track. Rachel was enjoying her racing as she'd promised, finding lots of chances to chat to fans and hang out with her fellow racers but she couldn't match the top girls for pace with Tahnee Seagrave taking her third World Cup of the season while Rachel was pleased to come down in tact. Finishing in 4th place and sitting 4th place overall in the standings - not bad going with Fort William and Leogang missing from her score sheet. 

In the Men's race Muddy had qualified 48th and was looking forward to improving on that by some margin in the Finals race. He was riding strongly all weekend and hoped to continue his form from Mont St Anne but in another hideous piece of luck he contracted a stomach bug. The team worried he hadn't been able to keep any food down and wouldn't have the reserves required for such a brutal race run but at first it appeared things were going our boy's way, until he got hooked up in a turn after the 3rd split and went over the bars. 


67th today and 59th overall, not where he wanted to be after his first season as a pro rider. Muddy said: the stomach bug struck me hard. I struggled to eat anything today leaving me with no energy. I can't believe the season is over - I'm already thinking about how to prepare for 2018, I know I'll keep striving for the results I know are there for me". 

Next, Gee was on course. It's been a tough season for him following his hip dislocation at Fort William, realistically he's still not at full fitness and was unlikely to feature highly over the weekend. Having won two World Cups previously here, he was determined to push on and enjoy the return of some of his Val di Sole pace. 

Gee finished 24th and 43rd in the overall rankings having missed 3 rounds this season. Gee said "it's not the greatest World Cup Series but  I'm getting stronger every race and there's still everything to play for the at World Champs". 

Race Report: UCI World Cup 2017 Round 6: Mont St Anne, Canada

Rachel and Kade podium with 5th places and Gee and Muddy ride awesome runs in wet conditions for 17th and 40th place.

Mont St Anne is a World Cup Classic, it's long, brutal and this year it's more rocky than it has ever been before. Rain in the last few days had left the course pretty slippery but all eyes were to the skies as thunderstorms rolled into Mont St Anne today with 100% likelihood of rain forecast - when would the storm him and who would suffer the consequences?

First up as ever were the juniors - and it stayed dry for them! Finn Iles had qualified down in ninth so perhaps unsurprisingly he was in the hot seat with Joe Breeden in 2nd and Nikolas Nesteroff in third when fourth qualifier Kade came on track. What could our rising star bring to today's race?

Kade didn't have a confident start, 4 seconds back by the first split but that was to be the least of it, a mistake in the woods saw him with his hands off the bars losing more valuable time and near the bottom he smashed hard into a rock partially detaching a pedal and rendering it useless for the rest of the run. 

Kade's good friend Kaos Seagrave had qualified in third but was way back in 15th today, Sylvian Cougoureux slotted into 2nd pushing Kade back into 5th and then only first place qualifier Matt Walker was left on track. Trouble in the bottom section (rumours of a puncture) ended Walker's weekend and Kade's 5th stood. 

In the women's race 6th qualifier Emilie Siegenthaler roared into the hot seat by 12 seconds just before the top 5 came on course, then the action got pretty wild! Marine Cabirou had trouble and was way off the pace then 4th qualifier Tahnee Seagrave was on track. Tahnee attacked all the way holding nothing back and it paid huge dividends, into the hotseat 12.75 seconds clear of Siegenthaler. Could Rachel match her?

Rachel started more steadily than usual and was slightly down by split 1, 2.5 down by split 2 and then disaster struck. She got completely sideways in the rocks and it was nothing short of a miracle that she managed to hold on and stay within the tapes as she veered to the side of the course. 6.1 seconds back by split 3, she had a few more sketchy moments and was 9.5 down on Seagrave by split 4, crossing the line in 3rd place. 

Tracey Hannah had a good fast run, but a flat right at the end of the course probably stole her 2nd place from her. Myriam Pompon didn't have a great start, losing her pedals out of the start hut but she composed herself and put together a good run - enough for 2nd place. 

Rachel said: "Congratulations to Tahnee and to Pompon, Tracey and Emilie. It's been a wild weekend. Only physio Fi Lundie's sterling work enabled me to hold on out there today!"

In the Men's race, Gee had qualified 31st, still nursing his hip he put together another solid run despite slippery conditions to finish 4.24.77 - just 8 seconds off his dry qualifying run and eventually good enough for 17th place. 

Muddy had qualified in 13th and was super-excited that at last he felt he was finding his flow, but shortly before his Finals run the storm arrived in earnest and looked likely to put paid to the entire top 20's chances. Muddy was one of the first to ride the storm and the driving rain put paid to his quest for a top ten result. He rode with the confidence of a successful week's riding behind him but he crossed in 4.29.83 (18 seconds back on his qualifying time), enough for 40th. Muddy said: "That was the wildest run of my life! I'm extremely happy with how I approached this weekend. I was calm, relaxed and shredding! Pity Mother Nature had other ideas for me! Crazy that this is my best result of the season though!"





National Championships 2017 Rhyd y Felin

Rachel takes National Championships for the 6th consecutive year and it's podiums for all this weekend with 3rd places for Kade and Luke.

The pits felt quiet with Gee resting his shoulder and repping the team at Trek World in Germany, Mille riding Norwegian National Champs and Muddy over in Australia. 

So it was all down to Luke in Youth, Kade in Juniors and Rachel in the senior women on a glorious afternoon in Rhyd y Felin. 

Seeding went well despite a track that was "like a bog" at the top. Tight wooded sections, berms, roots and a stump gap that's caused at least five flats kept the challenge level high. 

First up was Luke in the Youths. 2nd seed Luke said: "The track was pretty tacky, I had a couple of small mistakes but I'll know what to do for Finals".

Kade wasn't that stoked on his seeding run saying "it was just alright", but he was still the highest ranked first year junior - just over 3 seconds behind leader Matt Walker and 3rd overall. 

In women's seeding Rachel went 2.7 seconds clear of Tahnee Seagrave in 3.17.32.

By the time the Youth Men came on track for Finals the track was drying out well and feeling good. 3rd seed Jamie Edmondson put in a scorching run bettering the seeding times by almost 5 seconds. Luke couldn't quite match his pace but first seed Morgan Tyrell brought the goods to take the win in 3.09.92.

Luke said "the track was in better condition, I just took it too easy, way too average for a National Champs - it's horrible when you cross the line and you just want to go and do it again, pushing harder." 

The Junior Men's Finals was lit. Kade had seeded 3rd and the team were super excited when he roared into the finish arena 3 seconds faster  than the top seen and with the fastest time of the day so far. He went into the hotseat 5 seconds clear of the field in 2.53.58 

The excitement was short lived, on the next run Joe Breeden beat him by 0.5 seconds and the run after that Matt Walker stormed into the top spot; 2.51.45, 2 seconds up on Kade. 

Kade was disappointed, though it was a fantastic showing from the first year Junior. He said: "The run was good apart from one turn, I gapped it off the road, overcooked it and came to a stop."

In the women's race Manon Carpenter was in the hotseat when Tahnee bested her by 9 seconds. Her 3.16 was 1.3 seconds faster than Rachel's seeding time. Could Rachel bring enough to take her 6th consecutive National Championships? She did it, finishing 3.11.61 - over 4 seconds clear of the field to take her 6th consecutive National Championships. 

Rachel said: "That was mint! Everything that a British track should be with great conditions and loads of right turns. Tahnee pushes me so hard, I remember being here (2 years ago) and I won Elites and Tahnee won Juniors and now look! All the young girl riders should be inspired by that!"

The Men's race was won by Greg Williamson for the second year running.

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Race Report: UCI World Cup 2017 Round 5: Lenzerheide.

Friday night in Lenzerheide saw some big thunderstorms which left the track pretty slippery for practice this morning, Kade had a small practice crash because of it, but it dried out pretty fast and all in all the riders welcomed the extra moisture which would help the track hold together (a little!) better as the day progressed – it still got pretty blown out and once again there were plenty of crashes as the added moisture made the track run “horribly fast!”
Kade was first up for the team. He’d been looking forward to racing and putting right his disappointing quals run but perhaps a little unnerved by his crash in the top section yesterday and this morning’s spill he didn’t quite hit the pace required. A crash in the bottom section just a few corners from the end of the course put paid to this weekend’s hopes – and knocked him back in the rankings from 3rd to 5th.
Kade said: “The run was chilled but the surface here is super slippery, especially in the last couple of turns – I didn’t quite go in to them right and it punished me and put me down! I wasn’t that keen on the track and was pretty frustrated all week. Onward and upwards to MSA”
Next up were the Women. Marine Cabirou was in the hotseat when the top 5 qualifiers came on track. Tahnee Seagrave went storming into hot seat in 3.32.62, bettering Cabirou by 1.5 secs but her stay in the top spot was fleeting as next rider Emilie Siegenthaler blazed ahead of her by a convincing 3.3 seconds with Tracy Hannah next on track.
Tracy slotted into 2nd, 2.15 back from Emilie, would Myriam have what it takes? She did! 2.38 seconds clear and into the hotseat. Only Rachel was left on track but despite her brave show in quals she was still suffering after that shoulder dislocation – a brave attempt just 0.5 seconds off the win and into second place!
Rachel said: “ Thanks so much to the whole crew for getting me here , that was a team effort for sure,  getting my bike dialed, my body patched and my mind in a good place! What a mental track, horrible, so fast, its all a blur!” 
By the time the Men came on track even the most manicured turns were full of holes.
Gee had promised the team he’d take it easy and concentrate on staying on his bike rather than risk further damage to his hip – even so he managed 3.06.25  - enough for a top 30 spot. Muddy bettered his quals run by over 4 seconds 3.07.61  - enough for 41st  but not at all where he wanted to be on this track.
Muddy said “ It’s a weird feeling to get my best finish of the season so far and be the most disappointed! I was confident today, I thought I’d be in for a good race but I bobbled a couple of turns in the first split and struggled to pull it back – goal was top 30, or 10 secs off the win  - 10.57 I got  - massive respect to Geeman – he got it!”
The Brits made a very strong showing with 15th qualifier Phil Atwill and 13th qualifier Laurie Greenland taking turns in the hot seat  until he was deposed by Danny Hart, so it was a Brit 1,2,3 until 3rdplace qualifier Greg Minaar was on course. Ahead by 0.07 by split 1 he extended that lead to 0.7 at split 2 and 1.5 seconds at splits 3 and 4  - fastest by almost 2 seconds with just two riders left on course. Last week’s victor Troy Brosnan was in the red for the first 3 splits but not by much, by split 4 he was into the green by 0.09 and the crowd were wild but he couldn’t quite match Minaar’s sector 10 performance, crossing into second by 0.16. 
Only Aaron Gwin remained on course. He accelerated all the way down the track, in the green all the way leading by 1.5 seconds by split 4 when he had a flat and his race ended in disaster! 









Race Results
Junior Men
1 Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 3.09.743
2 Joe Breeden Intense Racing UK 3.10.87 +1.134
3 Sylvain Cougoureux 3.13.80 +4.06
4 Moritz Ribarich NS-Bikes Factory Racing 3.16.14 +6.39
5  Nicolas Nesteroff Intense Factory Racing 3.16.46 +6.72
15  Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 3.24.49 +14.75
  
Women’s  Elite 
1 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.26.89
2 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.27.40 + 0.51
3 Emilie Siegenthaler Pivot Factory Racing 3.29.27 +2.38
4 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 3.31.42
5 Tahnee Seagrave Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Racing 3.32.62 +5.73

Men’s Elite
1 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 2.57.04
2 Troy Brosnan Canyon Factory Racing 2.57.20 +0.16
3 Danny Hart MS Mondraker Team 2.58.87 1.82
4 Laurie Greenland MS Mondraker Team 2.59.98 +2.9
5 Phil Atwill Propain Dirt Zelvy 3.00.83 + 3.7
30 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.06.25 +9.21
41 Graeme Mudd Trek Factory Racing DH 3.07.61 + 10.57 


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World Cup 2017 Round 3: Leogang, Junior Kade Edwards takes his first World Cup Podium

World Cup 2017 Round 3: Leogang, Junior Kade Edwards takes his first World Cup Podium 

Huge celebrations for our Junior rider Kade Edwards today who took his first ever World Cup podium but disappointment for Muddy who crashed out twice in his Finals run. And of course with Gee and Rachel both sidelined there was a noticeable gap in the team.

Leogang was hot and dusty, and after practice in the morning Kade said that the track was so blown out it was like a different track than the one he had ridden in yesterday’s qualifications. Kade said: “ the track was dusty and red hot, I was sweating in the start gate! Being Kade he cheerfully admitted that there were a few sketchy moments during his Finals run, “but that’s me! The run was amazing” he said. 

In the women’s race our North Wales neighbour Tahnee Seagrave took her first ever World Cup win. The team have known Tahnee since she was “about 9 years old and sending these massive jumps.” Congratulations!


Then the men were on track. Muddy had qualified 41st and was feeling confident as he headed into Sundays Finals but he made a mistake and then was pushing hard, eager to make up lost time when he clipped his pedal on a root in the second last turn and “hit the deck". He got sent off into the banners and lost a lot of time. Muddy said: “ I think I wanted it too much today, I really felt good, in my head anyway which blocked out all my banged up body parts from Fort William and practice here.”

The race got really exciting when Bernard Kerr took the hot-seat after a scorching top section – enough for 5th and his first ever World Cup podium. 6th qualifier Mick Hannah was making up a lot of time on the motorway but a puncture put paid to his thoughts of podium. Loris Vergier had a pretty sketchy run but still went 3 seconds faster than Kerr. With Loic Bruni out, injured Troy Brosnan was next on track, he crossed into second with only Minaar and Gwin left on track. Minaar crossed into second but it was Aaron Gwin’s race for the the third consecutive year!

Results
Junior Men
1 Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 3.15.47
2 Matt Walker Madison Saracen Factory Team 3.17.86 +2.39
3 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 3.20.45 +4.98
4 Kaos Seagrave Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Racing 3.20.65 +5.17
5 Harry Parsons 3.22.81 +7.34

Women’s Elite
 1 Tahnee Seagrave Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Racing 3.36.08
2 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 3.36.77 +0.69
3 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.38.58 +2.5
4 Manon Carpenter Radon Factory Downhill team 3.39.02 +2.94
5 Emilie Siegenthaler Pivot Factory Racing 3.44.13 +8.05

Men’s Elite
1 Aaron Gwin The YT Mob 3.06.95
2 Loris Vergier Santa Cruz Syndicate 3.08.39 +1.43
3 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 3.09.64 +2.68
4 Troy Brosnan Canyon Factory Racing DH 3.10.24 +3.28
5 Bernard Kerr Pivot Factory Racing 3.11.47 +4.35
75 Graeme Mudd Trek Factory Racing DH 3.35.41 +28.45

Images: Sven Martin

UCI Downhill World Cup Round 2: Fort William, Race Report

World Cup Round 2: Fort William, Race Report: Rachel’s Amazing Run of World Cup Victories Ends in Injury, Kade Narrowly Misses Podium.

Fort William race day  - the big one! Of all the World Cup rounds it seems that here is where the heart is, the home crowds making every run a special occasion for the team!
Race day dawned sunny but lots of rain over night meant that the track was boggy with exposed roots waiting on every turn.

Rachel would be chasing her 15thconsecutive World Cup win – 17th global victory if you include the World Champs but the atmosphere was relaxed with plenty of family and friends joining us in the pits.

It was a strange day for the Trek Factory Racing team with both Men’s Elite riders out of the running so all eyes were on Rachel and Kade.

But it was to get stranger still, Rachel crashed out in her practice run, she dropped off the end of the north-shore in the woods, hit a rut and slammed down on her left side dislocating her shoulder. She was taken off to the hospital for precautionary X-rays while the team waited anxiously.

But then the Men’s Juniors hit the track.

8th place qualifier Joe Breeden was in the hot seat with a time of 5.02.85 when Kade came on track.

Kade was up a massive 2.6 seconds by split 1 but a big OTB in the woods meant that he lost the advantage – down 1.9 by split 2, still second quickest by 2.5 at split 3, he was closing the gap with a mature and composed remainder of his run, just 1.1 second down by split 4 he powered to the finish to take the hot seat just 0.1 second ahead of Joe Breeden.

Kade knew that it wouldn’t be enough, Finn Iles was next on course, 6.5 up by split 2,  7.5 by split 4, he crossed 7 seconds up on Kade to take the hot seat.  But on the very next run Matt Walker smashed his time by another 5 seconds. All eyes were on Sylvain Cougoureux. The French rider was 2 seconds down at split 1, then 8 seconds down at split 2, the Trek Factory Racing team held their breath – would he deprive Kade of his first ever World Cup podium? He did, making up some time to cross in 4.59 for third.

Kade said “I’ve been riding here for 5 years and today I rode the top section better than I’ve ever ridden it  (he was up 2.6 seconds) but then came the woods, I nailed the first section but there were massive holes everywhere, I knew that I’d have to dab so I safety unclipped then sure enough got stuck in a hole! My right shoulder struck a tree, the bike flipped and I got all tangled up in it. I reckon I lost 10 seconds easy, then I pushed on down the bottom, it was a good run after that but I’m pretty fed up to miss the podium.

Team Director Dan Brown said: “We’re pleased with the boy, it showed real character to get composure back after that off, its only a matter of time before the results come.”

The women’s race was looming and still no news from the hospital. Riders were already on track when Rachel appeared with her arm in a sling – she’ll have further tests tomorrow to confirm the dislocation and treatment plan.

So Rach watched the top women with her teammates and family from the roof of the GoPro truck. It was a grueling race with crash after crash, fellow Brits Tahne Seagrave and Manon Carpenter both fell foul of the boggy woods, Tahnee came off her bike 3 times, rag dolling through the mud and Manon ran with her bike through a huge stretch of the wooded section – still enough for 4th on the day.

Polygon UR’s Tracey Hannah took the win in 5.39.298  hugely helped by staying on her bike all the way through the woods!  She scooted through, dabbing all the way to maintain enough speed for the win!

Rachel said: “ Obviously I’m gutted not to ride for the Fort William fans and to have picked up an injury this early in the season but its been a great winning streak and it had to end at some point, this is where it began and two years later this is where it ended. Huge congratulations to Tracy for a great ride – I’m glad I didn’t have to do it!”

The Men’s race was no less dramatic! 8th qualifier Remi Thirion was in the hot seat when Danny Hart crashed out in the woods, even Aaron Gwin was dabbing all the way through the wood section – it didn’t stop him taking the hot seat but he was soon deposed by Australian Jack Moir. Rain that had threatened the last half dozen riders was pretty hard by now, only Loris Vergier and Greg Minaar were left on track. Loris came off in the woods and suddenly it was all down to Greg Minaar, could he win at Fort William yet again and make this 20 World Cup wins? He was 0.3 up by split 1, 2.99 by split 2 and the crowd were going totally crazy. Up 3.38 by split 3, 2.8 by split 4, Greg absolutely smashed it, crossing the line in 4.40.344 to be buried in a huge pile of his team-mates rushing to congratulate him.

Results

Junior Men

1 Matt Walker  Madison Saracen Factory Team 4.50.155
2. Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 4.55.162 +5.007
3 Sylvain Cougoureux Les Gets Intense Team 4.59.007 +8.85
4 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 5.02.757 +12.602
5 Joe Breeden Intense Racing  UK 5.02.855 +12.700

Women’s  Elite  

1 Tracy Hannah Polygon UR 5.39.298
2 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 5.49.543 +10.245
3 Emilie Siegenthaler Pivot Factory Racing 5.53.108 +13.810
4 Manon Carpenter Radon Factory Downhill team 5.55.299 +16.001
5 Morgane Charre Bergamont Factory Team 6.05.146 +25.848


Men’s Elite

1 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.40.344
2 Jack Moir Intense Factory Racing 4.43.323 +2.979
3 Aaron Gwin The YT Mob 4.44.143 +3.799
4 Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas  Giant Factory Off Road team 4.44.834 +4.490
5 Remi Thirion Commencal/Vallnord 4.45.020 +4.676



Race Report: British Downhill Series Round 2: Fort William – Mille 1st, Luke 3rd and Muddy 6th but Gee crashes out badly

This weekend at Fort William proved a real mixed bag for the team with big crashes for Gee, Kade and Luke but also some strong results – a win for Mille, a 3rd place for Luke and a 6th for Graeme Mudd.

The weekend’s course is 90% identical to the World Cup track but there are some changes in the woods section, and the big road gap is kept exclusively for the World Cup. Dry weather leading up to practice left the track extremely loose so the riders welcomed the overnight rain to help the track settle.

Gee seeded first in the Men’s Elite proving that he is firmly back on the pace this season but tragedy swiftly followed as he crashed out in his Finals run with a massive OTB at the top of the course. As we write this report Gee is in the hospital awaiting X-ray results.

Kade also seeded strongly, in second place for the Junior Men but went down hard in his Finals run when he clipped a pedal and went over the bars. He’s “a bit concussed” but he’s going to be fine.

Rachel didn’t race, satisfied with four days of smashing out runs but her Atherton Academy protégée Mille Johnset did us all proud with wins in both seeding (5.35) and Finals (5.50) She was 3.94 seconds clear of Valentina Holl. Mille said “ My race run felt so good, I felt in total control and really confident, 15 seconds faster than my qualifying time. The whole weekend has been so much fun.”

And in the end it was a good weekend for our youngest Atherton Academy rider Luke Williamson who also crashed hard in practice. He grazed his side and hurt his wrist but he showed the kind of guts that make him a great fit for the team, strapping his wrist and seeding 3rd on Sunday morning. A good race run saw him 3rd in Finals for Youth at his first Fort William race.

Muddy’s previous best result here was in 2016 as a privateer when he finished 24th in the BDS so he was pleased to seed 4th in 4.43. He said “ It has been mega dry and slippery for practise, it always catches you out when you come to Fort William, you never remember how fast and rough it is! I’m glad it rained, it’s good to experience both wet and dry before the World Cup! Come Finals he went a full five seconds faster (4.38) enough for 6th place and to feel stoked with the progress that he and mechanic Sam had made between them.
Results

Youth Men 

1. Thibaut Daprela LaPierre / Gravity Racing / 4.52.744
2. Jamie Edmondson / FMD Racing/Transition Factory Racing / 5.03.432 + 0.10.68
3. Luke Williamson / Atherton Academy / 5.06.284 + 0.13.54

Youth Women

1. Mille Johnset / Atherton Academy / 5.35.253
2. Valentina Holl / SRAM Racing / 5.39.202 + 0.03.94
3. Maya Atkinson / Rose Biks Facotry Racing / 6.36.331 + 1.01.07

Junior Men 

1. Finn Iles / Specialized Gravity Racing / 4.40.401
2. Joe Breeden / Intense Racing UK / 4.47.553 + 0.07.15
3. Kaos Seagrave / FMD Factory Racing / Transition Bikes / 4.48.84 + 0.08.44

Elite Women 

1. Manon Carpenter / Radon / 5.07.514
2. Tahnee Seagrave / FMD Racing / Transition Factory Racing / 5.08.565 + 0.01.05
3. Lucy Drees / RAD Orange Factory Racing / 6.09.370 + 1.01.85

Elite Men 

1. Danny Hart / MS Mondraker / 4.31.807
2. Loic Bruni / Specialized Gravity Racing / 4.33.487 + 0.01.68
3. Greg Williamson / Cube Global Squad / 4.36.092 + 0.04.28
4. Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas / Giant Factory Off Road Team / 4.36.510 + 0.04.70
5. Adam Brayton / Hope Technology / 4.37.495 + 0.05.68
6. Graeme Mudd / Trek Factory Racing / 4.38.292 + 0.06.48

Pictures: Dan Hearn