The ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof downhill team took part in their first race of the season over the weekend, at the opening round of the 2011 Halo British Downhill Series in Nant Gwrtheyrn, north Wales.
Here’s Team Manager Nigel Page with his report on the weekend’s high-octane race action:
The 2011 race season kicked off with a bang this past weekend with the Halo BDS round one at Nant Gwrtheyrn. It seemed like half of the top 40 World Cup riders were there, making it a fantastic race.
This was the first race for the full team and it was great to see everyone all together on our new Nukeproof Scalps. We had a great weekend with no bike problems and all the riders made the podiums in their respective categories.
The track was really challenging for the racers. It was technical on the top section being pretty steep, rocky and rooty and there was a big pedal section at the bottom that resembled a trail centre, which showed who had been putting in the training over the winter. The terrible weather conditions added to this on race day, making it really slippery and boggy, sapping your energy on the pedaling sections.
In the Junior category, reigning National Champion – and favourite for the race Lewis Buchanan – had a disappointing run by his standards going down on the top section, but still posted a time quick enough for fourth place and a podium position, which was amazing. Lew is such a fast, talented rider and we are stoked to have him on board with the team this year.
In the Elites all three of our riders – Joe Smith, Matt Simmonds and Matti Lehikoinen – finished in the top eight in fifth, seventh and eighth respectively, gaining a place on the eight-man Elite podium.
Matt Simmonds finished in a time of 2.24, only four seconds off second with a full-on big crash on the top section, which proves how strong Matt is for this year.
All the guys rode really well and it was a great start to the season, with everyone confident and looking forward to the World Cup opener in South Africa next month.
I raced in the old men’s Master class and just about managed my first win on my new Scalp.
Thanks to our mechanics Carl and Cord for the weekend, who kept our bikes running sweet. Congratulations to GTs Marc Beaumont who smashed the Elite field by an impressive four seconds.
Thanks also to all our sponsors for all the best components available, making our job so much easier. And a big shout out to Dave and Si from Halo BDS for running a great event.
We are over at Chain Reaction Cycles this week for a team photoshoot and then an Irish National at Rostrevor, so it should be a great week.
Matt Cole / Chain Reaction Cycles Ltd.