Shimano BDS Ae Forest Results

Atherton and Carpenter on the gas to take the first BDS of the season.

Well that’s it, the first round of the 2016 Shimano British Downhill Series done and dusted… Perhaps that isn’t the perfect terminology.

Things have been verging on muddy catastrophe all weekend, but it wouldn’t be a British crowd without a spot of bulldog spirit. While the rain came down and the course turned from mud bath to utter swamp, riders continued undeterred. And not in vain; the sun did come out finally during Sunday’s racing.

There was a class field present, and the top pros warming up for next week’s opening round of the World Cup series in Lourdes, France, won’t regret the early acclimatisation if the forecast is anything to go by.

By the close of racing, it was familiar faces standing atop many of the category podiums, but a shout should go out to Dirt/Propain/Zelvy’s latest signing, Innes Graham, who rallied it home to second place in the men’s behind Gee Atherton.

We will have a full roundup and mega photo special from Simon Nieborak and Ian Lean coming up tomorrow, but for now find the results below and enjoy a brief selection of shots from today’s racing.

Elite Men

1: Gee Atherton
2: Innes Graham
3: Matt Simmonds

Elite Women

1: Manon Carpenter
2: Tahnée Seagrave
3: Katy Curd

Full Results

Gee Atherton racing to the win.

The official word from British Cycling/BDS:

British Cycling’s National Downhill Mountain Bike Series, presented by Shimano opening round took place at a drenched Ae Forest. Battered by strong winds and heavy rain on the Friday the course took a beating from the great British weather turning it into a mud bath both up on course and in the car parks.
A newly revised course saw riders challenged right out of the starting blocks with wide open corners with ever changing lines that tested even the best riders on track. A steep rutted chute followed before the top flight riders hit such pro lines as the stump gap and the rock garden. A huge 35ft long set of doubles in the bottom section of the track drew in the crowds as did the the famous Ae Forest step down jump. The icing on the cake was the 50ft high elevator drop that tested the riders skill, strength and nerve as they descended into the finish arena at lightening speed.

Elite Women. With Rachel Atherton out with flu the event was a three horse race for Katy Curd, Tahnee Seagrave and Manon Carpenter. With Katy beating Tahnee last year here at Ae the pressure was on. All three hit all the pro lines except for the stump gap with Curd looking strong on the big jumps. Tahnee put in a solid run to beat Katy but it just wasn’t enough to beat Manon who took a clean win by over six seconds.

Elite Men. Steve Peat missed the podium with a sixth place finish to delight the Scottish fans. Marc Beaumont who was fastest in practice on Saturday managed a fifth place finish on board his Saracen Myst. Dirt Magazines Phil Atwill proved his worth today with his unique and fluid riding style to mix it up with the big boys and manage fourth place. Matt Simmonds scored third place after leading at the split which was just after the rock garden. Innes Graham who won seeding here last year but let the pressure get to him put his marker down to by nearly beating Gee Atherton to the win to make second place. Gee Atherton on board his new Trek bike showed pure class after being a second down on the split to come back stronger in the lower sections of the course to take the win by three tenths of a second.

Congratulations Innes Graham (2nd) and Phil Atwill (4th) for a superb first outing of 2016 for Dirt/Propain/Zelvy.
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