The Downhill National Championships is all or nothing, do or die, one winner…
From Dirt Issue 134 – April 2013
Words by Mike Rose. Photos by Andy Lloyd.
It is not the week in, week out, chip, chip chipping of a race series…everything boils down to who is the fastest on this one run on the day. The category winners then get the honour of wearing the highly coveted British National Champion’s red, white and blue race jersey, a gold medal (in colour anyway) and the title for life. It is a time when the fresh faced Youth and Junior riders can rub shoulders with their heroes in the Elite classes as they pose for photos. This can also be a time when wildcard riders can appear – riders are prepared to lay it on the line, balls to the wall, take risks. Sometimes older and wiser experienced riders come ‘out of retirement’ for a ‘one day only’ blast at the Master’s, Vet’s or even Grand Vet’s titles (usually when the venue is local and well known to them). And it takes all sorts. Not quite ‘the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker’, but there is a good cross section of society here: the schoolboy, the plumbing and heating engineer, etc.
Now that the problem of pro riders and the national jersey has been sorted out (a long story), it is once again a very credible title for an Elite rider to win, so the standard is high. There was still some controversy surrounding titles though. Both John Cobb (Vet Men 45–49) and Richard Cunynghame (Master Men 30–34) won their respective categories, but apparently there is no jersey available in those two age groups, only in the Master overall (30–39) and Vet overall (40–49). Annoying. But why say that they are National Champs but not give them a jersey? One for the officials to sort out.
So Moelfre (on the Welsh border) on a hot, sunny and windy day in back in July 2012, it was a perfect day for racing, with a great turn–out from the British downhill world. As we gear up for the 2013 race season these are your 2012 Downhill National Champions.>>