Round 3 of the Pearce Cycles 2010 race series took place a Bringewood near Ludlow. The weather was warm and generally sunny on Saturday morning with just the top section of the track still a little damp. The track for this round was the old nationals track, turning right off the start hill, with two interesting corners in the top section before crossing the fire road and then down the long (now tree-less) straight before another mainly new section in the bottom woods. This had a steep section, some what reminiscent of race at Kidland Forest a few ago, then the trademark stretch limo of a table before the finish.
Within the first few hours the ruts got cut in and the faster more skilled lines emerged, this was especially true on the corners near the top and at the steep section at the bottom. The jump above the fire road gave some good action, I even saw quite a good suicide no-hander (unfortunately while I was getting my camera out – d’oh). There were only a few hold ups through out the day with the Pearce crew keeping things moving and the uplifts giving riders plenty of runs.
This time Irwin and I were camping with the rest of the lads – no Travel Lodge luxury this round. It was excellent weather for a barbecue, but unfortunately someone at Tescos had disguised a hand warmer as a barbecue so we waited ages for everything to cook. Luckily we had a camping stove so once we’d transfer some grub to that and we were cooking with gas (quite literally). The evening’s entertainment consisted of a track walk, in depth analysis of whether Brendawg really did jump from the fire road and land in the first woop at Round 1, Matt’s birthday cake, a quiz around the fire and watching Dogman digging a hole with a small machete and waiting for him to accidentally cut something off.
After a reasonable nights sleep, although not as good as a Travel Lodge, we awoke to find that mist had descended, but the forecast rain hadn’t materialised. This was good, for the most part, but had it rained it would have made for great footage on the steep corner on the top section. The uplift started early and I headed up for some flash photography in the woods and was impressed by the height some riders where getting off such a small roller.
Things soon warmed up as the sun came through and I got to the top, quite knackered, ready for the first race runs and trying to plan my filming and pictures to get the Monkeyspoon team and friends as well as the fastest riders and the, quite small, elite field in the best sections. I was shocked to discovery the organisers had not synchronised their watches before this operation resulting in races runs starting 3 minutes before 11:00! 😯 😉
As the temperature rose in the open section so did the speed of the riders, pumping and pedalling their way down the long straight. I got some good long shots of mates coming down, although I could have done with binoculars for spotting them dropping in 200m away. One thing I didn’t notice at the time but later spotted on the footage was the heat distortion of the air when filming down the straight.
For the second race runs I got to the bottom section in time to see the fast guys flying through the steep sections and dust ponds on the last corner in the woods. A lot of the bottom section was about pumping at high speed and with precision, and all this after 2 minutes of full on riding.
Ashley Maller won the Elite with 2:04.38 and Kurtis Knowles won Senior with 2:08.62. Out of Irwin, Josh (Hay), Nat and Tom, Tom beat Nat by 3 seconds, Irwin came closer back to form; 2 seconds behind Nat, with Josh, not quite upping his performance as much as the others, 0.7 of second behind Irwin. Roots and Rain analysis.
All in all it was another greater race weekend; Dave Pearce rolled another fat one.
Hopton Castle located north of Ludlow was the venue for the second round of the Pearce cycles downhill series. After a dry week leading into the weekend the track was extremely dry. The track used started from the none trig point start, heading straight into a fresh tech wood section. Before hitting the open section, which had the speed trap on it during race runs. The track took the left hand fork towards the bottom of the open section, twisting down passing over two fire roads before the step down to high speed berm.
The uplift queue was kept short all weekend, meaning most riders could get 10+ runs in on Saturday and 3 on Sunday morning before race runs began.
The open section of the track which covers a large part of the hill was running extremely quickly, making it an ideal spot for a speed trap, and Jeff to film! Pearce said that they didn’t use the speed trap at the first round as there wasn’t anywhere suitable on the bringewood track. It made for a great addition to the timing ending the age old argument between riders of who was going to fastest (on that section anyway). With a prize available for the quickest time through the trap on race day everyone was pushing hard. After the result of round one I was looking to build on it but come race day I record what felt like two of the slowest runs I had ridden all weekend. I blame it on the long wait it in the sun between end of practice and my first race run!!
After the star studded first round the elites were a little bit thinner of the ground. With Matt Simmonds taking the first place in Elites, he also recored the fastest speed trap of the day at 44.40 KH.
Round three is less than a week away, see you there.
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