Racing at Penshurst Off Road Cycling
, known as PORC, was going to be close, thanks to a fast track, fast riders and a great turn out for Round 3. Spring time in the UK is really kicking in and local riders were drawn to a fast, straight and dusty track for Round 3 of the PORC 2013 Downhill Race Series. The trail crew had been working hard to bring riders a no holds barred race line full of drops, berms, doubles, senders and rocks. With spectators in for a treat, the riders were blessed with a sunny day and a good vibe at PORC. For many riders, the weekend was a break from upcoming exams in school and college and for others, a break from the daily grind of work.
Mike Joseph had his work cut out creating a new race line that could beat Round 2's run which was technically challenging and full of bike park style features that had everyone grinning from ear to ear, from Elites to Ripper category riders. The racing line started from the improved starting ramp. No longer having to worry if you'll lose your footing down the gaps in the old ramp, the new ramp now bedded down after a few races meant everyone could compose themselves for their run without having to worry about getting up to the starting line! The line went over the main table along the small fire road, over a double, past the Whisper Bikes gazebo where a lot of the spectators were hanging out thanks to Jors and his hospitality and South African banter.
Once over a small step up where a lot of riders found themselves endo-ing out of and with a few pedal strokes, riders were treated to what should be marked on an OS Map as being a 'View Point'. With Penshurst Place
in the distance, nestled in between the rolling hills of the Kent countryside, riders didn't have much time to be a tourist and instead had to focus on which drop to take.
Choice and speed was important. This feature wasn't taking any prisoners and a few riders suffered from the temptation of going big and landing in the sandy dirt whilst trying to take the berm straight after. Get yourself on the right spot early on and you were set up for the switchback berms. Any hesitation in body weight distribution during the transition between the berms and you were flat of your face thanks to the sandy zone.
After a small drop, riders were treated to the first technical section. Close quarter riding between the bike and the shrubbery was the order of the day. One wrong move and the roots and rocks were waiting to take their revenge on riders and their bikes, with shrubbery acting as make-shift padding as and when riders struggled to find their optimum racing line. The technical section was clocking up the crashes for many riders whilst other riders simply jumped through the feature without their tyres touching rock or root.
The berm was an important feature of the race as riders had to get their positioning right for the big drop. A chicken line was used by some but not most. With so many races in the South East, riders are able to progress quickly and it was evident at today's race with riders as young nine gapping jumps down the racing line in the fastest section.
From there on in, it was a straight line to the finish line. With big senders one after the other riders found their speed and pushed on to the end, through a wooded section and then on to the last gap jump of the course.
- 1st Josh Lowe (Senior Men) 0:40.04, 2nd Si Parsons(Senior Men) 0:40.14, 3rd Oli Evans (Youth Men) 0:40.23
- Senior Men
- 1st Josh Lowe 0:40.04, 2nd Si Parsons 0:40.14, 3rd Ant Jones 0:40.96
- Master Men
- 1st Jay Shaw 0:42.14, 2nd Tomas Kupstys 0:42.59, 3rd Gary North 0:42.88
- Veteran Men
- 1st Stacey Hudson 0:42.38, 2nd Paul Bennett 0:44.90, 3rd Joe Killner 0:45.21
- 1st Tracey Butler 1:08.16, 2nd Farah Ahmed 1:14.61
- Junior Men
- 1st Macaulay Friend 0:41.52, 2nd Matt Cooper 0:42.13, 3rd Jack Klimowicz 0:42.39
- Youth Men
- 1st Oli Evans 0:40.23, 2nd Rhys Jenner 0:41.80, 3rd Chris Klaichan 0:43.97
- Juvenile Men
- 1st Robert Thomas 0:44.63, 2nd Riley Jenner 0:45.22, 3rd Oli Crosdill 0:45.35
- Young Ripper
- 1st Aaron Bennett 0:58.53, 2nd Cameron Ross 0:58.71, 3rd Kian Foulds 1:02.58
- 1st Paul Burford 0:42.67, 2nd Gavin Duke 0:42.92, 3rd Jed Stanton 0:43.22
Thanks to the sponsors: Hope
, Whisper Bikes
, Downhill Freeriders
, Juice Lubes
, Monster Energy
, Mucky Nutz
, Drift Cycles
, Moose Cycles
, Lidino Graphics, High 5 Sports Nutrition
and Mikrotime Sports Systems