We continue to stick our noses into the uplift vans up and down the country to find out a bit more about the riders using them.

This week it's the uplift at Antur Stiniog in North Wales.


My name is Mitch Thomas, I’m 42 (but think I’m still 22), and I'm the director of an engineering company called Site Solutions engineering, specializing in process system installations. I live in a village in North Wales called Coedpoeth just below Coed Llandegla. My downhill rig is a Giant Glory (2010) set up by Dave Garland of Stendec (Danny Hart's spanner man), slackened out to 62 deg, running 2.6 Ardent Super Tackys, (great for the wet rocks at Antur) Renthal Fat bars, Saint groupset, Hope brakes, SDG Sam Hill saddle, Hope hubs on Mavic 717 rims.

We tend to ride a wide variety of terrain from natural XC on my Santa Cruz Chameleon, trail centres up and down the country on my Orange Alpine 160, and downhill on the Giant Glory. Some of our downhill spots include Foel near Ruthin, North Wales, Molfre, Revolution Bike Park and Antur Stiniog.

The group of lads I usually ride with are a right motley crew with ranging abilities and ages from mid twenties to mid fifties (yes you Gary Volger) and Gavin 'haven't my skills improved' Taylor. Antur Stiniog is the best thing to happen to MTB in general since the opening of the trail centres, it brings the thrills and buzz of downhill to everyone no matter what you ride and you ability or lack of it. It’s a slick well-run outfit where 20 runs can be done in a full day and for the cost is a great days riding and good value.

Things with the business have been manic so there has not been the time to do a lot of my other hobbies which include weight training, scuba diving, motocross (my baby is a KTM 450 sxf) and fast road bikes, so today has been a cheeky one, telling everyone I am away quoting work but really at Antur riding. It might have been a bit hard to explain any injuries gained today as I don t generally get hurt quoting jobs normally.

Had a good day today though, only two good offs, my favourite being on the black trying to jump a whole rock garden and jumping off the track into a peat bog and the bike stopping dead and me doing a superman impression.

I think my race diet of strong coffee and golden Virginia kept me going for the day.

You know when you've had a good day on your bike when every part of your body aches the next morning and you're black and blue, but it's worth it to whip those 18yr olds all neck braced up thinking they're the next Danny Hart!

Wales has well and truly be put on the mountain bike map with the opening of Antur, making some of the best riding in the country all within a 50 mile radius, with Llandegla, Coed y Brenin, Marin Trail, Penmachno, The Climax and Antur toping things of! And if you get a chance, do an early morning blast down the ranges path at Snowdon!

Richard Atcott

Name: Richard Acott

Age: 20

Job: Mountain bike rider

Where do you live: Holywell, Flintshire

What bikes have you got? A DMR Omen proto designed for downhill racing and a DMR Bolt being tested for downhill and a DMR Omen for pump tracks.

Where do you usually ride? Local tracks I have built; Antur Stiniog/Revolution Bike Park/Llangollen/Llandegla

What do you think of Antur Stiniog? Great uplift and friendly service. Good tracks as well although can feel a bit manmade in places.

Any spills today? Nearly a few times which was quite funny.

What did you have for lunch? Sandwiches.

How come you’ve got a day off? It isn’t

How many runs have you done? 13

What tyres are you running? Kenda Nevegal.

Do you race or just have a laugh doing uplifts and stuff? Laugh and race!

How was your week, anything exciting happen? Pretty good. I finished moving several tons of hardpack for a pump track.

Anthing else we should know? Brilliant sponsors DMR Bikes/TRP/X Fusion/YBN Chains/Kenda/Battery Energy drink. And I'm testing the new TRP Quadiem downhill brakes, awesome!

Gary V

Name: Gary Volger

Age: 57

Job: retired

Where do you live: Liverpool

What bike are you running? Norco Aurum,my 1st DH bike.

Where do you usually ride? Antur Stiniog

Who do you ride with? Richard Acott & other friends

What do you think of Antur Stiniog? Love it!

Any crashes today? Not today!

What did you have for lunch? Butties

How come you’ve got a day off? Retired

How many runs have you done? 12

What tyres are you running? Minion on the front, a High Roller on the back.

Do you race or just have a laugh doing uplifts and stuff? Not raced yet

How was your week, anything exciting happen? More riding, more bike cleanin’!

Anything else we should know? I visited Antur Stiniog in July on an XC bike then bought a DH bike the next week, haven't ridden XC since! DH is addictive! Met Richard Acott British DH Champ (hard tail) at Antur, and been training two or three times a week together since. Been to Foel Gasnach, Revolution Bike Park, One Giant Leap Llangollen (today). Love the whole set up at Antur from the ease of booking, the drivers-Med’ & Nige’ are spot on, and Adrian keeps everything running smooth.

It’s a great place to start DH, and progress to a higher level. They also have loads more plans for improvement, roll on 2013!!!

To book an uplift hit up www.anturstiniog.com on the internet or give them a phone call on 01766 832214