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Downhill

Hardline – Evans and Hell

The time has come, who's gonna take it?

Photos and Words by Dan Griffiths.

The day has arrived, riders have spent the last few days getting comfortable with features, taming individual sections and proving they have what it takes to tackle such a course.

Gee, unfortunately, had to give racing a miss due to a shoulder injury earlier in the week but was in attendance alongside his brother.

Now, the big challenge, linking everything together with one final run and getting down that hillside as fast as possible.

It’s race day.

Sunday Morning, Mr. Spider sits gracefully unaware of the events that are about to go down.
Barelli would miss out on qualification. On to Finale for 100kms in two days for the mad Frenchy!
Though it didn't rain overnight, the weather is forecast to set in around mid-day, regardless, this is Wales, the hill remains muddy and slick.
Run what you brung
The top section of the track would be missed today due to weather and riders would begin their race runs further down, just before the cannon jump.
The chilled atmosphere of morning practice, the calm before the storm.
Bernard Kerr keeping it rubber side down as he seeks out his second Hardline win.
Sunday is open to the public and for those spectating, the road gap is a no-brainer.
Those eager fans committed to the hike up get to watch the Kaos unfold.
Fayolle making easy work of the huck to flat, what a wake-up.
If the photos really don't do this place justice, Bernard's bike sorta does.
Sunday morning saw qualifying runs go down. Athy among the train, while those fast enough for the big show are announced.
Best efforts from Kaos to keep the ever-growing crowd's stoke levels high.
After lunch came race runs, fastest qualifier Adam Brayton appears keen.
Brage may not have made it through to finals but will be happy to be leaving Hardline in one piece after breaking himself here back in 2016.
This SoCal shredder had to make the tough decision to give finals a miss after taking a knock to the head in a crash up at the 'Dirty Ferns' step-down.
Seagrave was first down, nearly literally following his nose-heavy scare on the final jump.
Bondy was next through, however, a few big mistakes would put him back on Kaos, he'd go on to finish ninth.
Greenland comes into the finish in style, having cut his qualifying result in half, he ended up in fourth-place.
A mistake in the rocks before the road gap would cost him some time, yet Muddy would find himself just over 9 seconds up on Kaos, now sitting in second behind Lozza'.
The next guy to land in the hot-seat, Athy put down a stylish run, taming his own beast for a the fourth-year and finding three seconds that Laurie couldn't.
Good sportsmanship from Fayolle as he remains in good spirits despite crashing out twice on his race run. Third place in qualifying proves he could well have had what it took if he could have held it together when counted.
A tripod moment early on, along with a couple of smaller mistakes further down meant Bernard wasn't able to continue his Hardline reign and he'd have to settle for second.
Did we forget to mention this guy? Craig had been sitting keenly in the hot-seat as Fayolle and Kerr came down, now team-mate, Brayton was the only guy left at the top.
Not today, a collision with a tree, among other mistakes would cost the first-place qualifier his win.
As the champagne bottles opened, as did the heavens, fortunately, just avoiding a repeat of Lourdes earlier in the year.
Cheers, Hardline.

You can see the full results here.

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