Over 100 competitors and well over 200 spectators were out at the Goat Farm, on the outskirts of Perth for the first round of the Peel Districts Mountain Bike Club WA State Downhill Series which went off in style! Goat Farm is a short sharp downhill track with some flat blown out corners, plenty of flow and some good rock gardens thrown in for good measure!
In 2014 Peel has brought in live timing, where riders were able to see their time displayed on a screen within seconds of passing the finish line. This made for some tense moments and excitement down at the bottom for each category. The live timing also meant the format was the same as World Cups – qualifying was used to seed the riders in each category so that the fastest went down last, hoping to sit in the hot seat. After racing was done the top 30 riders were then sent back up the hill to do one more run for the benefit of the spectators as well as bragging rights!
Practice was filled with corners getting blown out with each and every minute. There were lots of crashes – especially in the big rock garden. Tony Davies was a hot favourite for a podium in the Elite but exploded on impact. A few mysterious riders added some not entirely needed flavour to the race dressing up in tuxedos and well as seal and mice costumes!
Sam Hill was on his race bike for the first World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, in fact he flew to South Africa the next day! As you would expect, Hill gave everyone a schooling in Elite Men and was fastest in all three timed runs, with a 1:41.471 in effortless style.
Luke Ball was close behind in second with a 1:43.711 and showing his usual style airing through the rock garden where most were just trying to hold on. After a solid set of results at the Nationals, Todd Madsen pulled a third place with a 1:44.685. Todd had some of the spectators scrambling to get out of the way with his unusual line choice – using every metre of ground within the tape!
Jacob Parker came in fourth with a time of 1:45.952 – his speed through the rock garden has to be seen to be believed and is posted on the Peel facebook page, definitely worth a look! Jordan Prochyra completed the last step of the podium with a solid ride and 1:47.558. Mitch Bryant and Sam Payet got some satisfaction in their Top 30 race runs – Mitch just missed a podium spot in 6th and Sam somehow managed to scrape into the Top 30 after a huge over the bars in his race run right in front of the big crowd.
Rachel Gaskin took home the Elite Womens, unfortunately Kristie Lanigan wasn’t able to compete due to having her bike stolen. We look forward to these two fighting it out at the remaining rounds of the series.
In the Juniors Bill Carruthers was the fastest on his home turf with a time of 1:54.633. The new class of Single Crown has been created for the “Enduro” style riders to compete in a class of their own and the maiden race was won by Kose Michaelsen – 1:56.111 being not too far the bigger bikes!
Now that everyone has seen what the competition has been up to in the off season there is plenty of motivation for the next round at the start of May. The die-hard racers are going to be using Peel new club series in between races to sharpen their speed and look to jump up a step or two!
All information can be found at pdmbc.com
Jordan Prochyra – killing it with 5 broken ribsDaniel Zardins leading out Tom Anticich in practiceDave Mullins smashes through the rock gardenAlex Jaeger with a little bit of a skidAlex Jaeger crashAaron Leagas u17 winnerJordan Prochyra inside lineLuke Ball and Jacob Parker – No 1 and 2 platesMitch MonottiMichael LoganRhys Pearmine flies off the ski jump at the bottom of the trackRyan Litterick has been looking fast recentlyShaun Tomlinson had a massive crash that would have killed any normal humanTodd Madsen getting funky on a sneaky high lineLuke Ball knows how to get looseSam Hill low and smooth for the win