UK Series ’14 – Round 5

Downhill Droppin’ while it’s hot… The full Rem report from rad Round Five

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Badbury Clumps, aka ‘Little B’ in Oxfordshire has been a hot spot for Mountainboarders since time began, and it’s very easy to see why… The track is amazing!

The ATBA team had prepared the event well, sorting out the great nearby camping area and grooming the track course: strimming edges, scythe-ing nettles and putting up race-tape & signage. The weather that Saturday morning on 26th July) was warm & sunny as the Forest car park started filling up with big smiles and boards, and practise was getting going.

Mountainboard-Downhill-at-LittleB-July2014-AndyRolfeWith Dan on Rem SLR duty, I was lucky enough to have the day off from being behind the camera and got to go, well, behind the camera- although this time it was attached to my helmet to do some Follow-Cam filming, riding one of those two-wheeled Mountain Bike things. In doing so I got to see all the different lines people were taking and the techniques people were using in a whole different, and sometimes scarier, way. 

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The track’s features are built in such a way that it’s easy enough for any rider to get down it at a pace they are comfortable at. Yet at the same time, it’s also possible to rip down it at mach 10, with a few cheeky technical bits to throw you off course if you’re not careful. It’s a lot of fun for all ages and all levels.

It wasn’t a massive turn out for the Groms and Ladies Categories with only one rider in each, which is a shame because it certainly looked as though both of them were having an awesome time down the track. You could see as Fynley Davies (Groms) and Emmeline Thrower (Ladies) got to know the track and became more confident they just got faster and faster, both smashing the 1 minute mark and getting times in the low 50s.

In all honesty, it was very difficult to distinguish who was in the Seniors Category and who was in the Juniors. I’m not saying the Seniors weren’t ripping it; they were flying down the track with a lot of style… but the Juniors weren’t far behind the pace at all!

Piers Sutton found his cojones half way through the day and started improving his runs fast, knocking massive amounts of time off and getting well below the one minute mark. Will Molyneux was putting down so many solid runs with almost perfect consistency in order to try to protect his perfect season, however it was team mate Jack Dudley who clinched the top spot from him. Jack was rider of the day in my opinion; each one of his runs become smoother and faster as the day went on, and when following him down with the follow cam he definitely used some of the best lines down the track to keep speed up, especially on the bottom straight. Nice one Jack!

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The Seniors category had a special guest in the group: Ernesto Della Torre. He is more used to slidey planking on snow than he is wheelie planking on dirt, yet this didn’t stop him shredding down the track. He did have some sketchy moments throughout the day, with a couple of manual to bum slides out of the drops, yet he managed to put down some real solid runs and grab third place in the category…

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The best rider of the Seniors category was for me, however, Connor Smout. Each one of his runs was stylish and controlled, which definitely helped him put down the fastest time in the category.

The Masters category was the biggest category with 8 riders stepping up to the starting gates. DH Regulars Shane Herd and Matt Gaydon were both battling out with each other to see who could get the best 45 second time with the final result being only split seconds away from each other!  Harry Jessop flew down the track in his usual steezey and (mostly) controlled way. But it was the magical mystical Mark Peck who managed to put down the fastest time on his last run to pinch the top spot, at his first event of the 2014 season no less.

All 5 riders in the pro category manage to break the 40 second mark and put down some extremely quick times, they also looked as though they had the most fun through the central switchback half way down the track…

During one Follow Cam run Tom Donaldson managed to get his board sideways causing me to fly out of the berm in a cloud of dust. James Wanklyn managed to expertly control a slide out by performing a crazy 180 slide half way round the ‘S’ Bend and rode out the other side in switch, and Beiran Martlew managed to take the craziest inside line, practically cutting out one of the corners: true Beiran style…

Even Sir Matt of Brind was racing on purple roadies (slick tyres)… just because he can. Bieran was riding brand new T3 tyres too, which was interesting because an hour before finish he and Matt had identical times, right down to fractions of seconds! The only real difference between the tyres then was the fact that at the bottom Matt simply power-slid for miles 🙂

Despite the crazy lines, slides, tumbles, dust in your face, nettle stings, and heat, the quality of riding from the everyone was through the roof. The amount of control these riders have on these kinds of tracks is unbelievable. Matt literally left me in the dust when trying to follow him down; on one run there was simply no way of keeping up with him, but in all fairness it was the fastest run of the day!

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Once again, it was an absolute joy hanging out and riding with the ATBA-UK competition Series. You couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of people or a competition with chilled out yet bubbly atmosphere. Big thanks and well done to all the Teams & Riders, and to all those who make these events happen!

Words by Andy Rolfe

Photos by Dan Wilson: View all the stills in Cheeky Little B*st*rds’ – the full Remolition photo slideshow special

And now be a part of the action and tighten your ratchets because it’s drop time for the official ATBA vid! Go go goooo!!!

Shot by Andy Rolfe, Harry Jessop and more, edited by Simon neck.

Full Results for Round 5 at Badbury Clumps at the ATBA-UK Results page.

Thank You: * ATBA-UK * National Trust & Forestry Commission * Trampa * ATBSports *  and the lovely Farmer for camping permission 🙂

Don’t forget The ATBA-UK Youtube Channel for videos and Mountainboard Media on Facebook for more wheely-plank madness!