DRAGON DOWNHILL Rd 3 RHEOLA JUNE 21/22. Words and photos by Ace “The Jacket”
The Beast is back. Rheola is not known as an easy venue, just ask Steve Peat who was claimed by the track last year. This year was no different, but all the extra winter practice days have scrubbed in and made some sections faster than before, the downside being more braking bumps in new places, and the normal accident blackspots have moved as well. Yes it was harsh weather on Saturday and Sunday morning, the trouble starts as the track drys out, and it changes from fast and wet to fast and slippery to greasy clay then getting tacky and really fast.
Tyre choice was a nightmare with every thing from full spikes to high rollers and if you have the cash to chop tyres,
well there where a few running cut down spikes.
You see a spike will slow
you up on the top section and first fireroad crossing as its mostly rubble on hardpack but be better in the greasy clay mud of the starwars section ( check the Video elsewhere on the site of the race ) said bit of the track had some of the big holes filled in at the bottom and was maybe a bit to fast now for some. It felt like most accidents happened on Sunday morning as red flags where out for both my practice runs.
If anyone knows how Louis Bullimore is can you let me know, as he binned it on the stepdown exit from starwars and nailed himself on the fireroad, and was unable to get off the track ( suspected cracked hip ) so i stayed with him until the medics could get back, which took a while as people were coming off all over the place, Now this brings me to one of the pictures, thats Monet Adams Solid/Cwmdown/Quad/Bikeprep now as you can see she is standing up and alive, ok she’s on crutchs, she binned it on the lower section on Sat morning and some of the uplift gossip was getting out of hand as the stories went from
broken legs to a broken back and worse.
Jason Carpenter must have heard
this as well, as he even announced over the speakers that she was ok but unable to race. By the time we all got back to her house she was quite happy, made up and in the middle of doing her hair, trying to break your legs is no reason not to look good ! anyway Monet should be fighting fit in time for Mynydd Du. Just because someone is carried out on a spineboard doesnt mean the worst, it means the Extreme Medics boys are ON IT and not
taking chances with anyone, could be you next time…
So wet seeding saw a few chicken out and go home, first down was the hooligans that are Hardtail and we had rain and spray at the top but a fairly clean run this soon changed to brown soup and it was hard to tell who was who at the finish as the you could no longer see any number plates, bit like last years champs really, and once again Lee Huskinson from Dmr freaked people out by seeding 23rd overall on an Exalt Hardtail with a 3.43 maybe
Steve Jones should have him round for a stab at the dirt 1.04 track ?
people where up on last years time and Sunday was going to be no different.
So after the mayhem of morning practice was over the track was drying and the later runners were getting the best of it, by run 2 the later ones got ideal conditions ( again check the video, rain on sat, sunny on sunday) with last years Champs time being beaten by Ashley Mullane who is on a misson to keep the No 1 plate and overall Elite title.
Something is also going on with HT as this race saw 3 different team riders from dmr (lee) Robbie Rickman from www.cotic.co.uk and Thomas from team www.univega.co.uk if this carries on BC might let us back into the champs again, hey you never know !
All the times are up on the dragon site www.dragondownhill.co.uk and the series rankings are up too, with 2 more races to go there is time for a shuffle in the final order, and dont forget best 4 of 5 will count.
Anyway fast blokes of the day went to these 3 and i think Marc Beaumont did it in 3.14ish last year for the National title.
1st Ashley Mullane, cove/raceface 3.10
2nd Rowan Sorrel, south wales trail centres 3.12
3rd Nikki Whiles, team skene 3.17
Fast birds went to these pocket rockets
1st Aimee Dix, mojo/orange 3.57
2nd Haby-blu Cann, cf3 team 3.59
3rd Calamaty-Jayne Cann, cf3 team/sombrio
Nutbar of the day went to Lee Huskinson dmr/marzocchi/nike 6.0/mace/blazing saddles cycles with a 3.40 on a hardtail, beating last years National Champs time of 4.14 set by Nathan Ball.
Next up is the Welsh Champs on 12/13 July and also the hijacking for the unofficial hardtail champs just in case you want to live dangerously
By Ace “The Jacket”
Dragon Downhill Rd3 Rheola