Photos: Grip Media
Bike Park Wales has been one of the hottest locations in the UK since it opened, and it’s about to step it up a notch by holding the final round of the BDS series.
Points are tight, but Hart and Bryceland aren’t racing this weekend, so Gee has a little more room to breathe – here‘s the full start list, and below is the weather forecast:
Here’s the official press release:
Following the recent conclusion of this year’s UCI Downhill World Cup Series, with the overall series won by two Elite British riders – Josh Bryceland and Manon Carpenter, both winning the series for the first time – British Cycling’s National Downhill Mountain Bike Series is set for its own gripping conclusion this coming weekend.
One of the most hotly contested seasons between Elite MTB riders, the top five standings in the Elite Men’s Shimano National MTB Downhill Series (BDS) 2014 category are separated by just 21 points, with 70 available for the podium top spot and first in seeding.
With newly crowned World Champion Gee Atherton on 228pts, Matt Simmonds on 209pts and Gee’s teammate Marc Beaumont on 207, any one of them could potentially claim the season title. Josh Bryceland and Danny Hart are no longer racing.
Following her incredible season, the new World Cup queen and World Champion, 21 year old Manon Carpenter, has already pedalled her way to this year’s BDS Elite Women’s series title with 254pts after just four rounds, while 2013 UCi Junior World Champion Tahnee Seagrave currently holds second place on 174pts, with Jessica Greaves coming in a strong third place on 170pts. Expect Katy Curd to challenge for a podium spot at the new Bike Park Wales course, where the large jumps and berms will no doubt favour this year’s current UCI 4x World Champion.
Due to an on-going virus picked up early in the season, current BDS Champion Rachel Atherton sits in an unfamiliar sixth place in the series, having only raced two rounds, both of which she won seeding and race runs, demonstrating her determination to dominate and will no doubt give it her all to be on the podium for the final race.
British Cycling’s National MTB Downhill Series, presented by Shimano, pits riders against the clock as they descend some of the toughest track terrain in the country, with points awarded for placings at each stage, accumulating across five rounds of the series. Each rider, from Junior through to Elite level, must have qualified via regional races and numerous Junior Winners of the series have gone on to become World Cup and World Championship Winners.
British Cycling Race Director, Simon Paton, comments “The pressure on these riders will be immense on race day, as every hundredth of a second counts as the riders descend at break neck speeds down one of the most technically challenging and thrilling race tracks that Wales has to offer.”
Round Five of the BDS will take place at the relatively new, but hugely popular, Bike Park Wales, near Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, over the weekend of Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 September. Spectating and parking are both free. More details can be found here, or look for the British Downhill Series on Facebook.