Hardtail National Champs
Foo Fighters, the Unofficial UK DH Hardtail Champs. 12/13 July 08 Mynydd Du
Ok I might have forgotten to mention that Mynydd Du is a bit on the technical side, which gave the newbie’s one hell of a ride, somewhere in the darkness and the mud and the blood and rocks and roots was a proper race track, a man’s track brutal, savage changing every run with big rocks blowing out and ruts in the mud coming and going and making it down with the bike in one bit was not easy, I think we destroyed 3 rear brakes 1 front brake, 2 mech hangers and 3 mechs, we only had 1 flat tyre which Billy found when we got to the top for run 2, and he did get it fixed in time, I am sure in the post race clean up other damage will be found, I just found some tree stump in my mech so I reckon there will be more.
So it Happened, 14 madmen ( no girls this year although I did try to get some to enter ) stepped up to take the Jacket from last year’s Nathan Ball, who came down to hand over the jacket, to which he had added his hospital tag and a spare dropout. Would anyone get close to Lee Huskinson the man from DMR would we have enough beer to last the weekend!
So a brief run through of the track, which was wet and at times running with water. At the start drop in & sprint to the double or zip round the berm land in what is close to stairs as you bounce through the rocks and into the darkness of the dense woods, we did wonder if Derek would get this far as he has a fetish for super wide bars and the Du has some very tight gaps to slot through, so into rutted tight singletrack try to jump the 3 stumps in a row, tight rooty left ( binned it there every time ) and work your way through the big switchbacks which have some really big rocks poking out to have your front wheel, from here Jason had left the tape nice and wide so there was a lot of scope to chop corners which was a nice touch IF you could hold your line.
The next bit is worse than star wars at Rheola, off camber crisscross root section filled with mud and some tight highlines. next last year’s road gap which was not on as the track was too muddy and loose, drop in and follow the rocky rut which turns to a rooty rut then rocks again and jump into the stumps and hit the 2nd crossing, sprint it or shake off some arm pump, drop in and hit the first log drop the track is a lot firmer down here and spikes are hard work, the rocks are big & well set in the ground as you bounce into the root chute or high right for a smoother ride, rocky switchback into a log drop then another drop and on spikes try and hold your line as they squirm around on the pointed rocks and hit the last crossing, which is slightly uphill, sprint it and drop into the finish hold your line, small step then jump up over the root cluster and pedal trying to jump the bigger root clusters and drift it round the last bend and into a beer.
Seeding saw Lee Huskinson going chainless as he bent his chainring/snapped chain and didn’t have time to fix it, only took him about 3.52 to get down, so we all knew he was going to win! No major issues so me and Tim went back to base (not camping no tent). Sunday we started off by fixing up Andy’s Cove, he marshalled Saturday and mashed his gears while getting some afterhours push up practice in, so out came the workstand while he got signed in, Richy from DMR was also on hand (team comes first though) if any one got in trouble I think Tim worked on 4 bikes during the day, they aren’t that cheap (start around £80) but having a work stand really does speed up any running repairs. So we nearly missed the 1st run as Tim & Me where trying to bodge up a working brake for Oliver ( ripped out the hose ) and make a 180mm calliper fit a 185mm disc, job done sprint for the uplift and game on. Lewis Warrington had the fright of his life when the rocks ripped out his back wheel and mech and hanger, a long walk and the first DNF of the weekend, but not the last. Run 2 came round so fast, and the track was really blown out with rubble everywhere and some of the mud going tacky, maybe I should have changed tyres but then I didn’t have time for that really, this time Lewis Bateman and Derek both crashed out to a DNF when they both lost a brake.
Now I should really have some times for this, but you see I was racing and got some photos in practice and beer and sorting the prize fund and chatting with nearly everyone ( blagged some Flat pedal thunder stickers off the nice Burgtec man, as my mate Tim was running penthouse flats ) I didn’t get round to seeing any times, don’t even know my own times only that I came in 8th, so go look at www.dragondownhill.co.uk for times or www.hardtailnation.co.uk I was too busy having fun. I had a go at sorting some prizes, which is not easy but a BIG thanks goes out to this lot for making it a great do. First off Jason from the dragons for letting us Hijack the Welsh Champs (might let us do it next year, wants to know if we want a harder track?) The boys from www.cotic.co.uk for the shirts, Cy and Robbie were doing the Unofficial World Hardtail Champs at the Mega so couldn’t make it.
Matt, Lee ( champ ) and Richard from www.dmrbikes.com for the shirts, grips stickers, hats and Headstock stem, to Caroline my secret sponsor for raiding the cupboard at work ( Jaffa cakes are in the post ) the tailors know her and thank you. And Of course Billy from Dirt, I only asked for some t-shirts and stickers but Ed H nicked the lot for the Mega so Billy lifted some Box sets of Earthed for us. This meant that everyone got a goodie bag, and then we played " race plate Russian roulette" with Manon picking random plates for prizes, after all the glory of a podium place is a prize. We had a special trophy and prizes for " who dares bins" which went to Jake Mckenna, first or last still gets noted with us lot, Jake was last man down and it turned out to be his first race, so anything else should be easy after that. The main Winners are 1st Lee Huskinson with a stupid fast time?
1st Lee Huskinson dmrbikes/marzocchi/mace/nike6.0/blazingsaddlescycles and the New Unofficial Hardtail Champion.
2nd Lee Hamer extreme culture. This Lee Hamer was crowned the Official Welsh Champion as this was the Welsh Champs and Huskinson isn't Welsh.
3rd Ryan Lewis extreme culture.
We had a 100% increase in racers this year maybe next year we can be a right handful if more crossover from sussers or like racing for beer.
Ace aka Iain Woodley
Hardtail National Champs