Manon Carpenter and Joe Smith clinched the elite 2015 British Cycling MTB Downhill Series titles at the final round in Antur Stiniog, North Wales at the weekend, at an event that also saw a special Legends event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of downhill legend Jason McRoy’s death.
Madison Saracen Factory Team’s Manon Carpenter took the series in style with her fourth win of the season, the Welshwoman over nine seconds ahead of Rose Vaujany’s Katy Curd and Saddleback Ltd’s Jess Greaves.
The result left the 2014 world champion with a lofty 1190 points, with Curd series runner up on 930. Tahnee Seagrave, who claimed fourth on the day, was third overall just ahead of Greaves.
It was Carpenter’s Madison Saracen teammate Matt Simmonds who took the win in the elite men’s category, 1.8 seconds ahead of Chain Reaction Cycles/PayPal’s Mike Jones, with Marc Beaumont third. But Simmonds’ win wasn’t enough to overcome Joe Smith, who took the series with 920 points to Simmonds’ 838.
Neil Stewart (FMD Racing) was the junior men’s victor, 1.2 seconds ahead of Jacob Dickson with Chain Reaction Cycles/PayPal’s Elliot Heap completing the podium. Second for Dickson was enough however to bag him the series win ahead of Steve Peat Syndicate’s Frazer McCubbing.
Meanwhile One Giant Leap’s Rosy Monaghan took the win in the junior women’s category, almost six seconds faster than We Love Mountain’s Gemma Taylor, with Highland Bikes’ Rona Strivens taking third and with it the overall series win.
Away from the battle for series supremacy, the weekend highlight was for many the chance to see downhill legends including Steve Peat, Will Longden and Rob Warner in action in the ‘Legends’ race, in honour of Jason McRoy, who died 20 years ago in a tragic motorcycle accident on the Woodhead Pass.
In the end Warner had to settle for second best behind Lee Bertram, the top rider-turned-commentator having to brave a beer/champagne shower courtesy of fellow legends towards the end of his run.