Team CRC/Nukeproof rider Matt Simmonds sealed the overall title at the final round of the British Downhill Series over the weekend in Llangollen, North Wales, in a close-fought race.
Matt went into the Llangollen round leading the Series ahead of team mate Joe Smith in second, Adam Brayton third with Steve Peat and Josh Bryceland in fourth and fifth, respectively.
With five out of six rounds counting for the overall title it was down to Matt Simmonds, Joe Smith and Adam Brayton to take the title. Matt was missing from the final round as he’s racing at the Trans Provence enduro in France with team mate Matti Lehikoinen. Matt has had five good results and so chose to drop the last round.
“With some quick calculations we worked out that if Joe Smith won the seeding run and the final he would beat Matt by one point, 289 points to 288. Adam Brayton needed to finish top three and he could also win the title, so it was going down to the wire and making for a really exciting race,” said Team Manager Nigel Page.
Joe Smith pummels his way through the roots and mud. (© Jacob Gibbins)
The track at Llangollen was hard – steep, technical and blown out with huge ruts by Sunday’s racing, making it even more exciting as it was really easy to crash when pushing hard.
Adam Brayton flew down the hill in seeding to go into the lead with only Joe to come. Amazingly Joe came down to post a time of two minutes, seven seconds and the fastest timed run of the whole weekend! So it really did come down to the wire. Joe needed to win the final and Adam needed to finish in the top two for either to take the title away from Matt Simmonds.
Nigel roosts through a corner in one of the more sheltered areas of the course. (© Jacob Gibbins)
2011 National Champion and ex-team rider Ruaridh Cunningham came down to go into the lead in the pouring rain. The track had become super slippery and muddy as the heavens opened about one hour before the Elite finals. With only Adam Brayton and Joe Smith to come, Ruaridh was still in the hot seat.
“Adam went down on the top section of the track pushing for the win, ending his chances with only Joe to come! Joe gave it his all riding like a man possessed in the mud but also went down big time. Twice! Joe still pinned it to the bottom absolutely covered in mud but that was that! You have to pin it to win it as they say and well done to both Adam Brayton and Joe Smith for going for it, holding nothing back making it a really exciting race for us all watching.
Al Bond sends the Nukeproof Pulse over a drop-off. (© Jacob Gibbins)
Our other team rider Al Bond took fourth for the day, with a really fast first split time, but then got his shorts caught on his seat on the lower part of the track slipping his pedals and losing the two seconds he was up! Just another bit of bad luck Al seems to have had all season long. But well done Al for a podium place. Well done to Ruaridh for taking the win on the day and also to Ollie Burton for his first Elite podium in second.
Matt has had a great season, placing ninth at the Fort William World Cup, 16th overall in the World Cup and now the British Downhill Series champion! This is a great result for Matt, Team ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof and also for the Nukeproof Pulse downhill bike, which will be available to the public to buy in January 2013. Great stuff Matt, well done on behalf of the whole team.
Joe Smith and Nigel Page take a breather. (© Jacob Gibbins)
Joe Smith also ended up third overall in the Series along with 19th overall in the World Cup and his career best result of seventh at the Fort William round of the World Cup,” Nigel commented.
Pagey goes airborne on the Pulse. (© Jacob Gibbins)
Nigel himself took the win in the Vets class and the Series title overall: “It was a great result for the team with lots of Masters and Vets looking at getting a Nukeproof Pulse for next season. I think it’s going to be a pretty popular bike for 2013 with all the success the team has had this season with them.
The Veteran podium – Nigel Page 1st; John Cobb 2nd; Darren Howarth 3rd; Pete Little 4th. (© Jacob Gibbins)
Thanks to all our team riders, mechanics, sponsors and everyone at Chain Reaction Cycles who make our team possible,” Nigel added.
Lewis Buchanan had to sit out of the final round as he’s still recovering from his appendix operation, so we all wish him the best for his recovery.