Aston Hill Mountain Bike Park
Sunday 18th March 2018
Spectators are more than welcome to come along and spectate at the downhill race on Sunday. Here is a quick outline of what to expect, where to watch and the timetable for the day.
What is Downhill Racing?
Downhill Racing is an individual time trial against the clock with riders setting a time from the start line at the top of the hill to the finish line at the bottom of the hill. All the racers are put into categories based on sex, age or ability. This ensures that the racing is fair and equal.
The format for the day is straight forward. All the riders have 2 hours to practice in the morning. Each rider will complete their first run, followed by all riders completing their second run with the fastest run time from the two timed runs used to give them their finishing position on the day.
Mountain Mania Cycles Ricochet Downhill Race
This Sunday (18th March) the 2018 Downhill Race Season gets underway for many racers with the Mountain Mania Cycles Ricochet Downhill on Aston Hill.
With last years Ricochet Downhill Race breaking all records by being one of the wettest and muddiest races in the 20 year history of Mountain Bike Racing on Aston Hill here at Firecrest MTB we have everything crossed that the weather is a little bit kinder this year.
We’ve been working hard to make the 2018 race another one to remember with some great Sponsors onboard to support the racing and some tweaks to Ricochet to keep the racing fast and flowing. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re coming along to watch the racing!
Sunday 18th March 2018
8.15am to 10.00am – Registration Open
8.45am – 10.45am – Race Practice all riders must complete a minimum of 1 full run in Practice.
11.00am – 3.30pm approx. – The Race Runs (2 Race Runs per rider, weather and light permitting)
4.00pm approx. – Prize Presentations – Product prizes for the top three in each Age Category
Categories in Mountain Bike Racing are age and ability based.
Hardtail age – 13+
Ripper Age 10-12 – Riders in the years of their 10th, 11th and 12th birthday.
Juvenile Age 13-14 – Riders in the years of their 13th or 14th birthday.
Youth – Age 15-16 – Riders in the years of their 15th or 16th birthday.
Junior – Age 17-18 – Riders in the years of their 17th and 18th birthday.
Senior – Age 19-29 – Riders in the years of their 19th to 29th birthday.
Master – Age 30-39 – Riders in the years of their 30th to 39th birthday.
Veteran – Age 40+ – Riders in the years of their 40th birthday onwards.
Ladies – 18yr and Over
Ladies – Under 18
Expert/Elite – Open to Expert and Elite Competitors only.
Ricochet is a fast and flowing roller coaster ride from top to bottom. Out of the start gate it’s hard on the pedals for the first section of track with the racers flying through the table tops jumps to carry as much speed as they could into the next section of the track. Diving down over the forest road it’s hard on the brakes as the track swings left and then right again across the second forest road. Diving down into another fast left hander, riders then have a choice of lines before heading into the contoured section. Hugging the edge of the steep Chilterns escarpment riders are doing their best to hold their nerve and speed through this section.
Sweeping left it’s into the section known a ‘Roof Roots’ where there are a number of lines to choose from with only the bravest going for the high line in the wet conditions. From here riders are shot out into another fast section before hitting the longest cambered, rooty section on Aston Hill. Commitment is key through this section and speed is your friend as it carries you across the roots and into the newest section of the track. Here three berms have riders switching between the trees before diving into another combination of left and right turns to fire riders out of the woods and over the finish line.
Ricochet has some great spectator vantage points.
The Start – It is always a good place to watch the riders launch into their race runs. The riders are focussed more on speed than style over the top jumps but if the crowd is cheering for them a few riders will turn on the style to keep them happy.
Forest Road Crossings – The two forest road crossings are critical to setting a fast time and they are great places to check out the riders as they carry their speed across the first one and then work the best line for them across the second. It’s easy to come into these corners too fast and have to hang it all out to get round them.
The Roots – Accessed by walking straight down over the hill. The Root Section is a spectators favourite. Carrying speed across the roots is an art and the quickest riders will leave you wondering how they do it.
The Berms – Continuing down the track towards the finish the section after the roots is where riders are looking to carry as much speed into the finish as possible. The race isn’t won here, but it can certainly be lost! If it’s wet grip though this section is at a premium and those that can find it will be flying – those that don’t will be slip sliding their way through!
The Finish – Riders are fired out of the woods and over the line. The atmosphere at the finish is always electric as riders compare their race run and look to see who’s set the fastest time in their category.
Spectator Viewing – Safety Information
The track will be taped on both sides. Please stay outside the tapes at all times. In some places there are taped out ‘B Zones’. Please do not spectate inside of these, they are taped out for your safety. Follow the instructions given by the Marshals at all times.
Dogs – All dogs are to be kept on a lead at all times. Please consider the safety of those competing and spectating before bringing your dog to the Event.