Cwmcarn NPS Downhill
On Sunday we went along to Cwmcarn, South Wales, to see the British Cycling NPS Downhill Round Two, which is basically a load of people on expensive bikes flinging themselves down a gert big track to see who can get down there fastest.
It was quite a bizarre experience, arriving and wandering through the car park, seeing faces you’ve only ever seen on the likes of Earthed 2 – Steve Peat, the Athertons, Cunny and The Don to name but a few. The new track drew quite a large crowd, both curious locals and mountain bike fans. Its got a fantastic “stadium section” at the bottom of the track with a whole series of vulture-friendly jumps and massive bermed corners.
We stood and watched at the penultimate corner for an hour or so and saw a couple of massive stacks – the sort that you can see going wrong from the moment they take off. One rider hit the tabletop at full speed and immeditately became detached from his bike – he came down like a bag of spanners, and got a massive cheer when he got up and rode the rest of the course a couple of minutes later. A bit later we may have caused one a bit further up the course. We gave a rider a massive cheer as he came around the corner into the final section. Accordingly he went huge off of the next jump – only to crash big stylee as he hit the next berm. Sorry mate!
Our very own Alex Marshall took fourth place in the open category . He was clearly gutted to have missed out on a podium. He was knocked off at the last minute by a rider who got to re-do his run. Good effort nonetheless. In the end Steve Peat took the elite category by just 0.6 seconds from Gee Atherton, with big bro Dan Atherton finishing third. In the end I think it came down to whether you did the final hip-jump or not. Gee did it, Peaty didn’t and that was all that separated them. Rachael Atherton took the elite ladies.
I’ve bunged a load of photos in The Gallery – there’s Steve Peat, Gee Atherton, Oscar Saiz and god knows who else in there.