Wight Mountain Downhill Team Rider James Windley
DTV Forest of Dean Round 3
The Dean Train Volunteers (DTV) series was wrapped up with round 3 at the Forest of Dean earlier this month, with riders from across the midlands and Wales heading there before the winter series kicks in. Ex-World Cup level downhill racer Rowan Sorrell attended the race, where he and his team have worked their magic over the past few months designing and building brand new tracks to sit aside the ageing trails littering the hillside.
“Wight Mountain team rider James Windley finished 27th out of 45 in the Senior category, a respectable result after three consecutive 5am starts with only 4 hours sleep the day before! 12% off the pace of the winning time in his category though!”
The track used for racing on the day was just under the 2 minute mark in length, but comprised of a flat upper section where pedalling strength and maintaining moment was key, before it dropped into some high speed berms and a slippery, mud-covered rock slab drop which caught more than a handful of riders out due to the previous week’s rain not completely drying out. Further down the course, greasy roots and compacted dirt meant choosing lines carefully but commitment was key to a quick time as this led out onto several ‘’Pietermarizburg-style’’ jumps 20ft in length with more flat sections linking them. Too slow into these and you’re over the bars if you case, too fast and you lose too much time and won’t be able to make the next jump.
Around 200 riders turned out for the event, which was great to see so many young and up-and-coming rippers keeping up with the seasoned pros before they get onto riding 26’’ wheels! The rain stayed away for the morning practice, but soon returned for the 2nd race runs of the day, making the track greasier, but riders generally improved upon their first timed runs with more luck than skill.
Pro-am Men – Ashley Maller 1:41.6
Seniors – Jonathan Weaver –1:45.4
Masters – Joe Finney – 1:47
Veterans – Rich Simpson – 1:53.3
Womens – Jess Stone – 1:53.6
Hardtails –Rowan Sorrell 1:43.8