British Downhill Series Final Course and Race Preview

12 September 2017  |  

The HSBC UK National Downhill Series Presented by GT Bicycles rolls into Hopton on Saturday and Sunday the 16th and 17th of September.

The venue itself is just two fields down from the famous 11th century Hopton Castle which became notorious during the Civil War between Parliament and King Charles I. Hopton is located between Knighton and Craven Arms, near Ludlow in Shropshire. We have to look back as far as 18 years ago to 1999 for the last time a National was held a Hopton and it was Tracy Moseley who won the Elite Women with Rich Warner (Rob's younger brother) who won the Elite Men's category. The tried and trusted BDS Team have been working closely with Dave Pearce of Pearce Cycles regards a number of track improvements and general track maintenance to give the series the send off it deserves. Practice is all day Saturday from 09:30 to 18:00 with practice Sunday morning 08:30 to 11:00 followed by Seeding Runs starting at 11:15 and Race Runs around 14:15. The last rider down should be around 17:00 with podiums commencing straight after. 

Parking and camping are free for everyone, with a spectator fee of £5 per person on the door for those aged 16 or over with those aged 15 or under entering for free.


With Hopton being the series final, the riders near the top of the results will be fighting hard to retain their positions or go even higher up the final rankings. The best four out of five rounds count to racers can drop their worst round from the overall with seeding carrying 50 points for the win and race runs carrying 200 points for the top spot. Check out below to see where the series final standings will be won or lost.

Schwalbe Elite Men

Hatton is the 1st year rookie surprising everyone with his step up from Junior to Elite and leads out BDS regular and last round winner (at Llangollen) Mr. Gas to Flat by only 49 points so it could be anyone's game. Last years series winner Simmonds sits safely in third place whilst Reading on his custom Geomotron will certainly defend his fourth place as Hart will not be making an appearance.

1st Charlie HATTON Intense Racing UK 647
2nd Adam BRAYTON Hope Technology 598
3rd Matt SIMMONDS Madison Saracen Factory Team 526
4th Jack READING One Vision Global Racing 488
5th Danny HART MS Mondraker 422

Schwalbe Elite Women

Seagrave has this one in the bag without even crossing the start line as will Sandler securing 2nd place knowing that Carpenter is now retired.

1st Tahnée SEAGRAVE FMD Racing 810
2nd Veronique SANDLER 525  
3rd Manon CARPENTER Radon / Radon Factory DH Racing 440
4th Aston TUTT Madison Saracen Development Team 404
5th Meg WHYTE Creation Cycles/FoxHead/Hope/Transition Bikes UK 395 


Fabric Expert Men

The man of the moment is Cockburn, this guy is going for Brayton's title when it comes to recklessness on a bike. The guy is dangerous yet still a pleasure to watch as he goes through the motions.

1st Luke COCKBURN Dole Racing 722
2nd Kieran DAVIES CRANKBROTHERS/ClifBar/Crank Brothers/Decade/Mudhugger/Plushhillcycles 506
3rd Will HART Independent Bike Co/ 450
4th Nils WILLIAMS CGM Fitness/CGMFitness/StevePeatSyndicate 445
5th Kris GEMMELL Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 436

DMR Juveniles

So on paper Luffman has this one sealed as long as he stays on. National Champion Smith will be looking to go better than being bridesmaid at the last two BDS rounds. Then we have Irelands O'Callaghan who threw a spanner in the works and won the last round at Llangollen.

1st Dennis LUFFMAN Bad Ass Bikes 810
2nd Connor SMITH NX2 624
3rd Oisin O'CALLAGHAN CUBE IRL/Cube Ireland/Trailrider 532
4th Logan WILCOX Danny Hart's Descend Bike Park 520
5th Dowie EVANS / Hot Pursuit Cycles 498


Funn Youth Men

National Champion Tyrell makes a welcome return. Let me commend him on taking time out of the racing calendar to rest up after banging his head real hard whilst out in Austria in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis at the very start of August. Edmondson is ruling this category so far and looks like he just can't be caught.

1st Jamie EDMONDSON FMD Racing/Transition Bikes/Transition Factory Racing 900
2nd Luke WILLIAMSON Atherton Academy 732
3rd James ELLIOTT Madison Saracen Development Team 563
4th Chris CUMMING Nukeproof 525
5th Morgan TYRRELL 510

Spank Junior Men

I still can't get over that high-speed jump to manual that can be viewed on Facebook from Breeden. Expect a late charge from Walker for the series title if he gets a great result here as he can drop his bad round at Fort William where a mechanical took him out of the points chase. Who will win the race this weekend? I have absolutely no idea, the quality in this top five is something special and a testament to the BDS breeding ground of future World Cup racers.

1st Joe BREEDEN Intense Racing UK 832
2nd Matthew WALKER Madison Saracen Factory Team 754 *Current UCi World Champion.
3rd Henry KERR Dirt Magazine/Propain Dirt Zelvy 539
4th Kade EDWARDS Trek Factory Racing 455
5th Joe PARFITT FMD Racing 444


Shimano Senior Men

Matthews made the welcome return this year after losing his spleen at Innerleithen on the final road crossing a number of years back. He'll need to bring his 'A Game' to the series final as it's neck and neck with only 25 points between him, McBain and and Anderson. Farrow is sitting on top of the tree with an 87 point lead.

1st Kyle FARROW 635
2nd Scott RICHARDSON StevePeatSyndicate 547
3rd Billy MATTHEWS NWMTB/Nort West Mountain Bike Centre 440
5th James ANDERSON MDS Bikes 405

Dainese Master Men

Neal leads Batey out by 49 points, is that a comfortable lead? Not in downhill, it isn't as anything can happen and it's not over until the fat lady sings.

1st Mark NEAL Loose Riders Northeast 697
2nd Richard BATEY CycleBarn/DN1 628
3rd Michael VICKERS StevePeatSyndicate 593
4th Jason SHILL Keswick Bikes 567
5th Peter WALTON Loose Riders Northeast 519


NS Bikes Veteran Men

National Champion Titley has been in a close battle all season with Hughes and Mark 'The Claw' Weightman. Hughes called me up today asking me to change the last jump, is that a sign of weakness or nerves as he goes into the last round?

1st Andrew TITLEY Intense Racing UK 740
2nd Mark WEIGHTMAN Leisure Lakes 707  
3rd Stuart HUGHES Pinned TV/Transtion Bikes 610
4th Bill YOUNG Team Foosh 412  
5th Kris LORD 405

Grand Veteran Men

Now, these coffin dodgers should know better at their age. The creeks and groans are not from the bikes, they are from the joints and bones of these 50 year old legends on course with some of them on their second or even third mid-life crisis! Ex Power Boat European and World Champion Little almost takes a clean sweep so far, can he hang on and go for the dream season points wise? We will know come Sunday afternoon.

1st Pete LITTLE Pedalabikeaway/Sprung 900
2nd Paul LE MAITRE 675  
3rd Richard BINNS Revolution Bikepark 560  
4th Steve FELSTEAD Global Bike DH Race Team 495  
5th Mark TAYLOR NX2 264


Dexshell Open Women

The Open Womens category boasts all ages from Seniors, Masters and Veteran racers taking to the start gate. Sloan leads this one out with a commanding lead over seasoned veteran Hanley with a safety buffer of 202 points.

1st Abbie SLOAN Team Empire Cycles 865
2nd Lindsay HANLEY Tredz 683  
3rd Ellie DEWDNEY Moore Large O'neal Race Team 635
4th Mikayla PARTON West Highland Wheelers 460
5th Emily DEASON Team Creation Cycles 90

Rachel Atherton Junior Women

Expect a late challenge to current leader Atkinson from Norwegian Johnset who has only competed in three BDS events so far this year.

1st Maya ATKINSON Hammoon/Kore components/Rose Bikes Factory Racing 703
2nd Mille JOHNSET Atherton Academy 650
3rd Ellen FLEWITT Aston Hill MTB Club/Team Aston Hill 615  
4th Meghan HARRIS Team Aston Hill 539  
5th Megan JAMES T-MO Racing/T-Mo 500

And if you didn't already know, this will be the last ever BDS after 11 years solid service as I hang up my British Cycling course tape and radio to move onto pastures new with the likes of the Malverns Festival in June 2018. So come along and give the riders your support and the series a big send off. I look forward to seeing you all trackside as i'll be inside the tapes! Si Paton - Event Director.

Photos: Yasmeen Green - The Hills Are Alive

Trails in Article

Hopton Wood Downhill Trail

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