The Halo British Downhill series rolled into Glencoe this weekend for the 3rd round of the 2011 series. With Showers and high winds forecast this was always promising to be a testing event.
Despite regular hailstorms making both riding and watching unpleasant and causing minor delays in the chairlift service to the top, Saturday’s practice session passed by without any major events.
However, increasing winds on Sunday morning resulted in the chairlift being stopped and so, rather unfortunately the race had to be cancelled.
Riders cresting the brow of the steepest section of the tough durham course (click for more photos)
The 2011 Halfords Tour Series city centre criteriums kicked off in Durham yesterday (24th May). Despite the occasional heavy shower during the afternoon both the relay race for local schools and the main Elite criterium event took place in dry conditions. Given the nature of the testing course and the numerous cobbles sections including the major climb this was extremely fortunate for the riders. Nonetheless I overheard a number or riders describing the course as ‘scary’ after completing the event! The most testing feature of the course being an almost right-angled bend with a cobbled exit, marking the end of a fast descent and the start of the tortuous cobbles climb back up to the finish straight. This corner was the scene or many a near-miss during the Elite event.
After just over an hour of racing Australian rider Zak Dempster (RaphaCondorSharp) emerged victorious, showing his class leading the pack up the final cobbled climb and outgunning everyone else by sprinting from the head of the pack to take the win. Zak also lead the Rapha Condor Sharp team top of the team ranking with 2 of his team-mates also finishing high in the field.
Zak’s Win was made all the more impressive by the fact he punctured twice during the event, having to walk up main climb, back to the pit area at the end of the finish straight twice in short succession. This would be easy were it not for the fact he was wearing cycling shoes which, as any cyclist will know, are notoriously difficult to walk on flat surfaces in let alone up a cobbled climb!
Zak Dempster walks up the long, steep cobbled climb for the 2nd time in the space of 10 minutes (click for more photos)
for full results visit the event website at http://www.tourseries.co.uk
Just to get you all warmed up for this year’s World Cup Downhill and 4X rounds in Fort William at the beginning of June (4th, 5th and 6th) Here’s some more photos from last year’s event that I didn’t get round to editing.
This year marks the 10th Birthday of the Fort William MTB World Cup Event. Following on from last year’s successful theme of ‘downhill rock’n’roll’ this year’s event is entitled ‘Downhill Superheroes’ and looks to be another massive success.
For many fellow togs (including myself) the annual procession up to the highlands will turn into an extended road trip this year as the Halo British Downhill Series Rolls into Glencoe Mountain Resort the weekend before. With a number of international riders such as former world champions and multiple world cup winners Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat, Sabrina Jonnier and Tracey Moseley down to ride, this looks to be one of the best rounds yet of this massively successful series.
Needless to say I’ll be up there with my assistant photographer, Gillian (yes, we’re going up in the world!) for both events so if you can’t make it to the highlands then look out for photo updates here.
Hope to see you all there!
For more info click on the posters below:
I spotted these ducks sat on a wall overlooking the riverside path along the river Coquet in Warkworth, Northumberland and thought it would make a really nice picture.