Pearce Cycles 2023 Downhill Series Round 2
Once again, thanks to Matt Price for the report on Round Two of the 2023 Race Series.
Check out all of Matts photos from the race on his website: Mat Price Photography
Pearce Cycles RD2
Bringewood, Ludlow 1st 2nd July 2023
Round 2 of the Pearce Cycles Downhill series kicked off exactly how the last one finished, dry and dusty! Bringewood’s a classic venue on the UK downhill circuit. With lots of different options to change up tracks, and a quick uplift, this has always been a favourite of many riders.
The track started with a small pedal into some tight, but fast, switch-backs. Not a huge amount of line choice up here but the key looked to be carrying as much speed as you can into a small double, then straight into a road gap. It was good to see so many people making it over with ease.
Dan Haines over the road gap.
Upon landing the road gap, riders were sent into a very fast left hander with probably the biggest braking bumps on the track. A few people were avoiding by staying slightly wider on the grass but the majority were giving their teeth a good rattle by going straight through them. After that there was a series of big fast berms in the open. Again, little line choice but carrying speed was key.
The switch-backs tightened up before heading over a small tree stump/roots and then into a small double. This was the first part of the track I saw get quite loose and dusty and in my opinion was probably the slowest section.
A few more fast turns and then riders were faced with a step down into two table tops. This bit looked pretty fast and squashing the jumps was quite important as they were quite close together. Riders then hit the fire road and the half way point on the track quickly followed by a blind left drop into the next section of 2 doubles.
Luke Knight hauling off the fire road.
Now onto the bottom half of the track. The riders had a fast right hander with 3 lines, this was causing a lot of grief with widest looking the safest, but also the slowest. Then there were 2 inside lines either side of a tree stump, both requiring a slightly wider approach on the entry. During most of Saturday practice it was quite greasy until everything got a bit more rode in.
After deciding which line to take, riders were back into the trees and onto a very fast section down to the the last fire road crossing. This comprised of lots of small gap jumps and natural doubles and was only slowed up by the odd switch-back, and a few breaking bumps to keep you on your toes! The last fire road got really loose and dusty, this caught a few people out before they headed into the last part of the track.
In dust we trust.
The finish was almost in sight but no time to ease up just yet, a new small section had been cut in for the weekend and after a pretty dry few weeks it was obvious this was going to get blown out quite quickly. The three main lines developed on this corner all looked pretty good from behind the lens. There was plenty of action here over the weekend and this turned out to be where I spent most of Sunday’s race runs. Out of this section there were a few more dusty corners before dropping into a tabletop and a short sprint to the finish. Done and dusted in around 2 minutes.
Like all Pearce Cycles races this ran like clock work, I spoke to someone who managed 17 runs over the whole weekend. Value for your money and perfect organisation too. People who say DH is dead clearly haven’t been to a Pearce event before.
Fastest Men’s time of the day was Douglas Vieira who broke the 2 minute barrier with a massively impressive 1:55
The fastest Women’s time of the day was Katy Curd who did an equally impressive 2:14
Katy Curd, Elite Women winner.
A massive thank you to Pearce Cycles for such a great race, and to all of the marshals, uplift drivers, medics and sponsors that make it all possible. Without all of these people, these events wouldn't happen. See you all in September at Bucknell for more dust.