Van Road Dual Slalom and Pumptrack Challenge party weekend with Manon Carpenter - Dirt

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Van Road Dual Slalom and Pumptrack Challenge party weekend with Manon Carpenter

Van Rd Trails Dual Slalom and Pumptrack Challenge Party weekend

After the amount of rain we have had in the last few weeks Manon’s planned weekend of racing could have been a wash out but after some solid work to get things running Saturday came round and it seems everyone had a cracking time down at the trails in Caerphilly. Here’s a few words from Manon about the race and what went down before the clocks went back.

Photos: Wayne DC

On the 25th October we held our first ever race at Van Road Trails in Caerphilly, and it was awesome! The idea was to raise funds for the insurance and maintenance of the jumps which we did, and so many great people turned up it was mainly just a great big get together of lots of lovely people.

After weeks of planning and maintenance of the tracks the morning finally came around. Throughout the whole week the weather forecast had changed from rain to sun to clouds on a daily basis and, even though we’d had our fingers crossed, heading up to the track surprise surprise it was raining! On inspection the tracks didn’t actually look too bad thanks to all the work the Van Rd crew had been putting in over the past few weeks and the sun was trying its hardest to fight through the clouds.

Start of Dual Slalom practise and it was slick! As the first few riders headed down the track there was a lot of over shooting berms and clothes getting covered in mud but it made it all the more fun and racing was going to be entertaining.

Chris Roberts from Naked Racing very kindly agreed to come and time the event for free and was in good spirits despite riders crashing and taking out his equipment! A few alterations had to be made to the finish line to make sure everything survived the race but other than that regular supplies of coffee and sweets kept him smiling.

Whilst practise for the Dual Slalom was underway Steve from Castle Bikes ran a Pumptrack Challenge to keep the kids entertained. It was awesome to see how many boys and girls turned up to have a go and everyone was enjoying themselves!

It had stopped raining during the morning and while the racing sheets were being drawn up from seeding lots of the riders chose to play on the jump lines and have a go on the Pro pumptrack challenge. Pumptrack challenge was just for fun and there were no winners or losers, but it’s amazing how competitive people will get amongst their friends. In my case this was my Dad… He chose to chase me round on my first lap but it worked in my favour and I beat his fastest time!

Next up racing was underway. Toby Parodi also kindly came down and offered his commentary skills for free, as did Kevin Radical on the DJ decks, which kept things lively and the boy really does not stop talking!

A few technical hitches but nevertheless once racing was going it was so much fun. The track varies the whole way down so one minute you’ll be in front and the next your opponent will be pulling away. There were lots of close races between all categories and everyone was grinning on the way back to the start hill!

A lot was learnt for next time but as a whole the day was a really good day and I can’t wait for us to put on another one in the springtime! Thank you to everyone who was involved; our event sponsors (Saracen, Castle Bikes, Madison Clothing, Lazer helmets, Ezo Brand, Sacred Apparel and Monster energy), Bedwas St Johns Ambulance for the first aid cover, Chris from Naked Racing for the timing and Toby and K-Rad for the entertainment , Jason Carpenter for starting Van Rd in the first place and letting us hold the party, everyone who turned up, donated and had a great time and everyone from Van Road Trails who got together and put the event on. Everyone did their bit and it’s amazing what you can do with some teamwork, cheers guys!

All results can be found on the Van Road website and if you enjoy coming to Van Road Trails all donations are very welcome to It’s a great facility that does take a lot of work to maintain so all help is much appreciated.

All that was left to do was head to Rampworld Skatepark for the after party! Where celebrations ran well into the next morning… A Sunday Roast was definitely needed come Sunday afternoon 😉


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