Nathan Carvell reports back from Pearce Series Round 3 at Bringewood.
Pearce Series 2010 round 3 – Bringewood
Sun, dust, bugs, unbelievable!
Can you believe this? Another dry race weekend! This is just nuts, bananas, crazy! The forecast was not looking good for a dry one; rain was forecast for race day. Spikes were packed and ready for use but the rain just passed us by. Instead the rolling Shropshire hills and their weird flies were basking in the warm rays of sunshine all weekend. With all this weather spirits were once again high and everyone was well rehearsed and enjoying the fine weather.
Round three of the Pearce Series brought us back to Bringewood for the Midland Champs applying to those from postcodes in the East and West Midlands areas. Again, it was a packed out field in all categories just without the glitz and glamour of the pro-elites who were away on World Cup duty in a soggy looking Maribor, shame. As per, uplifts ran without a hitch with most hitting double figures in runs on Saturday and Sunday ran without a hitch, well almost. There was a big off in the women’s first run that delayed proceedings a little. The victim shall remain nameless but the bang on the tribal drums was a badly broken arm and the call for a spinal board. All our thoughts go out to her hope you get better soon! Stop the press/upload (or whatever they say): Just read that the injury was a ‘communitive spiral fracture to her humerus’, no other injuries but it involves a few days in hospital. The husband of the rider sent out a big thanks to all those who helped.
The Pearce crew had been hard at work making good use of the hill by combining old sections with new creating a speedy track with good flow. The track started with a choice of 3-4 lines right out of the beams, the choice line was out high to cut across the switchbacks but whether this was fastest or not was debatable, it was pants and trousers either way. Taking a wee switchyswoo through the trees you hit the first obstacle – a road gap of about a Nissan Micra, give or take a bumper. The tricky corner leading up to it and the lack of a lip on the take off meant most sucked up the gap, but those who had it in the bag most definitely had the advantage.
Landing into an off camber section you were greeted at the end with an inside outside rutted corner to slow you down a bit. Now you’re off camber the other way. This was pretty greasy most of the weekend that had your arse end the opposite direction to where you wanted to go. Here is where the fun began. The track opened up over a nice little hip, down to a stem shagging triple, then a sprint across the fire road where you then dropped down into the rocky singletrack.
You’re flat out here and with only a few tiny line choices your focus is on squeezing a much speed as possible. Rail the berm, a little right hand hip tuck, smooth over the table, cheeky little double and your back in the darkness of the woods. After the scorching brightness of the big fire in the sky the woods felt like you are the wrong way in a sleeping bag. Cast into a numbing darkness with a bit of guesswork until your eyes come back.
From here you’re pumping down through the trees, doubling up where you can. Cross the fire road, drop a gear or two, where you met your audience at ‘the sand pit’. On Saturday it started as a straight line through the imperial measurement of dust. Come race time you were faced with a well-established snaky, loamy line. There were still a few line choices though; over the stump and straight, follow the crowd and slide round and down, or out to a wide left to straighten the end out. Praise the lambs that it didn’t rain though other wise you would have been faced with a completely different affair. Now your going as fast or as slow as you please, pump, jump and double up down through the dust and trees to drop yourself into the arena over the big old signature, but seldom cleared, table to sprint for the hundredths. In fact Pearce should introduce a biggest air competition alongside the speed trap because the height some get off this jump is incredible. Over the weekend the new sections formed really well with lines developing nicely. This has to be a track for future use. It has a bit of everything including some much-welcomed rock, but we have Bala to come yet.
The results of the weekend meant a lot with the big Midlands Champion title depending on it, so it was an all guns blazing type of affair. In the women’s elites there was only one entrant with the World Cup on, which is a shame. This rider was Emma Wareham for Leisure Lakes who got a solid 2:33.69. In the men’s elite Ashley Maller took the top spot with a rapid 2:04.38 with ex-dirt rider Ralph Jones nipping at his heels with a 2:04.67. The speed trap was clocking up some decent speeds too where Emma Wareham clocked a 21.98mph for the women and Ashley Maller took it for the men’s at 25.22mph. There wasn’t much in it between the rest of the field with some of the juniors just a shade behind Ashley’s speed, but it all counts.
womens elite podium
Midlands champs podium
mens elite podium
The next round rolls over the border onto Welsh soil at Rhyd Y Felin, which roughly translates to Bala. Myself and some well natured, mature lads from the Midlands will cover this next round as I am unfortunately double-booked but I might just make the Saturday with any luck. I can assure you though that you will be in safe hands. See you there!
Full results can be found here http://www.pearcecycles.co.uk/files/pcss10_bringewood_160510_-_event_ranking.pdf
Words by Nathan Carvell www.nthncreative.co.uk
As ever, a big big thanks for the huge amount of images supplied by Turnip Towers www.turniptowers..co.uk
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Bringewood round 3 from Tinker