Congrats to Mal and Skilly
Brookdale plantation in the north of the island played host to the final race of the Manx Mountain Bike clubs Downhill calendar. The new track constructed over the winter months was set for its first race with gaps, step downs, fast flowing and tight twisty sections to keep the riders on their toes, added to the fact of the previous nights rain conditions were far from ideal. Chris Madigan was the first down the track and the first rider to test the new digital timing system being used for this race. He set a cracking time of 3:20.47 which turned out to be untouchable for all riders during the first run. Closest rider to that time was near veteran rider Johnny Galbraith clocking 3:40.37, showing that age is no barrier. Lee Marshall followed down in third and Sean ‘The Machine’ Kelly in fourth with times of 3:50.62 and 4:09.73 respectively.
Junior Series winner and favourite Tom Skillicorn headed off the Junior field and unsurprisingly set the fastest time with 3:37.29, a time that would have beat all of the senior riders apart from Madigan. Local riders Scott Harding (3:54.49) and Callum Milne (3:55.33) came in second and third. David Radcliffe, hoping to capitalize on the absence of Mark Tuson, crashed out and had to retire due to brake problems, thus letting Tom Lord take fourth.
The weather that had threatened all morning closed in for the second run, sending down a constant stream of drizzle that made the already tricky roots on the track even more hazardous. Several riders were not able to take part in the second run, most noticeably Madigan and Galbriath. Madigan was unable to continue after discomfort from a hand injury sustained a couple of weeks before the event and Galbraith qpting out due to the worsening weather conditions. This then gave an opportunity to the rest of the senior field to put in an attempt for the win. Unfortunately none of the seniors could better a time of Madigan’s or Galbraith’s.
Only person to significantly improve on his time was weekend warrior Russ Samson who flew down to set a time of 3:50.34 and took third from Marshall who was unable to better his first run. Douglas pub local Dave Kennington improved on his first run with a time of 3:53.43 but couldn’t better the time of rival co-series organiser Lee Marshall. The weather brightened up for the juniors but none of the field were able to better their first run times bar Tom Lord who improved by four seconds. Bob Olerenshaw came home in fifth, giving him his highest ranking of the year. This then crowned Chris Madigan and Tom Skillicorn National Champions, a repeat of the point series overall standings that consisted of the five previous races.
A big thanks must go out to all the marshals, helpers, time keepers and spectators that made it out regardless of the conditions, not just for this race but for the whole season. Without these helpers we wouldn’t be racing, so once again thanks for your time and patience and I really hope you enjoyed the racing. There’s now a good six month break for all you riders to hone your skills and have some fun, as the series re-commences in the spring.