(via Bikesoupracing.com – Photos By @samdavies24) Bikesoup Gravity rider George Gannicott, Junior Men, takes first win of the series at Round 2 of the Halo British Downhill Series, Moelfre in Wales.
The excitement and anticipation leading up the weekend was inevitable, with great weather forecasted and over 350 riders registered to race on the infamous track at Moelfre, a natural and superfast rolling track 2.32kms long, 545meters above sea level wide open for spectators to watch the exhilarating action. The track is a mix of long fast straights, switchbacks, a fast rolling middle section that runs parallel to the road and also incorporates the jumps and berms from the 4X track built in 2010. The fastest expected time was estimated to be around 2.25.
Day 1 for practice and the sun was out for an unusually hot April, a bonus for all riders with a fast, dry and dusty track. Arran and George were running their new 2011 Marzocchi 888 RC3 Evo Ti’s and Fi’zi:k TUNDRA 2 K:IUM saddles on the unmistakable, acid green Transition TR450 frame with super strong Gravity Components.
With such a fast track, the pressure was on for all riders to be consistently quick whilst managing the technical sections and fast switchbacks of the course. And practice was FAST! The balance of having a bike that had tight solid handling but light enough to have an edge and withstand the abuse the jumps and rocks thrown at it was a hard test to endure but both Arran and George felt their race machines were the best they have ever had. The new Marzocchi 888’s were a perfect match for the TR450 frame. They also commented on the strength of Gravity Light. In particular the Chainguide absorbed everything thrown at it, with hardly any evidence of abuse. Both boys absolutely hammered it, bottoming out the bikes, they think it’s the toughest on the market and it certainly lives up to its high-impact description.
The competition was tough this weekend, with so many riders registering and the Elite field of 46 was packed with top ten world cup riders, including the return of Gee and Dan Atherton. With all the Elite riders on fire the times were expected to be really close. Arran and George both had a great day’s practice with bikes in perfect condition.
Day 2 and race day! The sun was out and even hotter and hundreds of spectators arriving for a days racing. After practice runs, Arran and George completed interviews and bike set up with the media, then, on to seeding. Arran in Elite seeded a stellar 31st, with a speed of 40.81kph and a timed run of 2.39. This is still only his 2nd race in Elite and is competing with riders in this category with years more experience. Having been used to consistently winning in previous categories the change to compete from the start again in Elite is filled with pressure but is working hard to get closer to the top.
George nailed seeding and blew all of the competition out of the way by a staggering 3.2 seconds. His speed was clocked at 42.05kph with a timed run of 2:36.644. Had George been in Elite, he would have seeded around 28th place.
With George down last as he seeded fastest, he was firing on all cylinders for that win! A rider before him crashed on his race run however which mean’t George and the other last 2 down all had to roll down the course and be taken up to restart their race run. Not what any rider wants to happen, having to re-focus for the race run again without losing momentum. George had to wait another 40minutes for the restart, but despite this he smashed apart the competition and took the win by 0.58 seconds, a timed run of 2.37 and speed clocked at 42.05kph, just 2 seconds off 3rd placed Elite rider Brendan Fairclough. Arran had a good race, placing 35th with a speed clocked at 42.30kph, and a time of 2.36, super fast but with tight timings from all Elite riders, every second counts and will be working on focus and speed in preparation for the next round.
The clocks are turned back and the cold is coming in as my New Zealand summer draws to a close. It has been a another kick ass summer down here. Massive amounts of riding, roastin the barbie, a few comps, some fiming, plenty of photo shoots and also the opening of the Queenstown gondolla which is ramping New Zealand up to be a pretty dam sweet northern hemisphere off season mountain bike destination.
I lived in Queenstown for two months and as usual it was awesome and I will be heading back next summer …
Right now I am back in my home town of Nelson and in the process of packing away all my gear and putting my bikes in bags ready to head to the northern hemisphere for another season of riding and mayhem. First stop will be Sea Otter, followed by a filming trip to southern Utah with my new frame sponsor team Diamondback, and then over to Whistler to set up base. I will head out to comps and trips from there for the rest of the season. IT SHOULD BE RADICAL!!
See you out there!
Check out what AT’s riding for 2011
Decline, May 2011 Issue: AT has been busy putting in work both on and off the bike the last couple seasons. After his widely successful Showdown and consistent riding, Gravity has dialed in a signature line up for Andrew. Shown here are Gravity’s Light stem, handlebar and seapost. The Gravity Light line is championed on being “light enough for XC but strong enough for Freeride”. One thing’s for sure, the color of the AT parts will make you look and feel faster.
Click HERE to view more details on AT’s Signature Gravity Light line of parts.
Bikesoup/Gravity racer Arran Gannicott on Sunday morning practice during round 3 of the Alpine Winter Series.
I have been on the road for the last week, I packed up all my gear after living a couple of awsome months in Queenstown. I had the best summer down there with Unit Farm jam going off, all the amazing trails and jumps to ride and also the Skyline gondola hauling my ass to the top off the hill so I can do it all over again!
It’s such a wicked place down there, it’s gonna be BIG for mountain biking in years to come I rekon! Anyways I had to get my self away from that town! It’s too good and I wanted to mix it up a bit so I talked my good mate Seb “huckman ” Kemp into coming on a mega roady thru the shaking city of Christchurch to shoot a few pics with Sam Minnel and stay with Brad Greenslade and Jo at their amazing house on the out skirts of CHCH and then on to Blenhiem, drop my van at my mate PUHAs place and then on to Wellington on the ferry to hang with the crew up there!
All in all it was a cool mission with many laughs and of course a few hiccups along the way including the wheel falling off my my van and overtaking us while sparks and peices of tarmac swirled behind us! A big thanks to Brad G for coming and saving us! Cheers mate!
Now I’m chillin in my home town of Nelson until I take off to America on April 12 for anther big season of RIDING BIKES! WHOOP!
Long Nguyen has created a photo essay giving you a deeper look into team rider Andrew Taylor’s life. Check it out by clicking HERE!