Race Report: Northern Downhill Series Rd 1 - Kidland Forest
The Northern Downhill Series kicked off in Kidland Forest and here's the race report complete with a Danny Hart helmet cam...
On May 5th 2013 racing came back to Kidland Forest and the name of the game was gradient. There are a handful of tracks built by Northern Downhill lurking in the Alwinton valley and their purpose is to help you shed altitude as fast as possible. Riders have demanded that the steepest and gnarliest line possible be extracted from any given hill and the NDH have delivered.
Over to Carl Davison, NDH main man and race organiser...
NDH1 2013! It seemed to be a long time coming. Especially since this was originally meant to be round 2. NDH1 was cancelled due to snow.
2012 was a difficult year and 2013 appeared to have started in the same way. We certainly feel the pain of the guys at the WDMBA. However, over the May bank holiday weekend everything came together. Perfect weather, perfect uplift road and great bunch of competitors all lined up to make a huge relief for me and a pretty sick weekends riding for everyone else.
Now NDH run a pretty low key set of races. We were originally inspired by a lack of variety in our local area having learned to ride at the excellent Descend Hamsterley. We started travelling far and wide riding and racing our bikes. Descend having provided us with an awesome training area to hone our skills ready for the challenges the rest of the world could provide us. Our inspiration for the NDH race series was Jason Carpenter’s Dragon downhill. Technical tracks plenty of Uplift and making riding the priority rather than car park posing!
After many months and hours of negotiations Kidland was to be our first venue and after a year away it felt new and exciting once again.
The track itself is nicely bedded down now providing fast riding even in the wet but with some tasty braking bumps to test even the best when it’s dry and fast. This weekend it certainly was dry and fast especially after some slight change in the tracks layout up top. Normally any changes resulting in less technical riding are severely frowned upon by NDH’s technical loving veteran Shaun Kelly. For the first time I can remember he actually approved of these changes which speed up the track immensely. I won't bore you with a track description as you can check it out first hand by viewing Danny Hart’s on board footage from Saturday practice...
For an NDH event the Elite field was stacked with 7 Elites including World Championship winning Danny Hart. I think finally the word has spread around the UK of the quality and technical standard of the NDH built tracks. NDH is proud that these guys come to us to ride and test themselves against some of the most technically challenging tracks in the country.
The most talked about point of the weekend had to be Danny Hart missing out on the win to a hard charging Jack Reading. Jack was super pleased to see this winters training at RoostDH paying off. Beating one of the world’s best riders will surely help build Jacks momentum for the coming World Cup races. Here are the elite men's results...
And the full results can be found here.
I’d just like to say a massive thanks to everyone that entered, the marshals and the core NDH crew made up of my Mam, Aunty, Brother, Natalie, Phil, Shaun, Ali and Craig who without their hard work and free time NDH could not run. Also, huge thanks to Oneal, Richie @ Tig, RoostDH and Riders Refuge for their help and support
Photos & Intro: Tom Harrison