In recent times there has been an explosion of pump tracks springing up across the country, so NakedRacing head honcho Chris Roberts decided to use them for one of the most accessible types of racing possible. Supported by DMR bikes, the pump track challenge premiered last year, and is going from strength to strength. The format is simple – no pedalling, one seeding run and then three race runs, fastest overall time wins.
For only £10 entry this is the cheapest racing going, and it’s very professionally organised with full laser timing systems, marked out tracks, commissaries to spot those cheeky bitch cranks, and a £400 prize pot for the Elite’s (and some awesome prizes from Lezyne for the rippers and open categories).
So, round two of the 2012 series took place yesterday at a new track at Bishops Tachbrook in Warwickshire. With four corners and two long straights containing all manner of rollers, doubles, step-ups and step-downs, it’s all about keeping smooth and maintaining your flow around the sub 20 second track.
Although the weather looked pretty abysmal and there was a national downhill race going on at the same time, some big names still came down to have a crack at the £250 top prize. The winner of the Bristol round of the challenge in 2011 – Ben Baker – was back on form, as were local pinners Nathan Parsons and Matt Sills, oh, and The Tom Gethin, to name but a few. In fact, although the weather chucked it down about an hour before the race, and a thunderstorm kicked off 5 minutes after the last run, there was some glorious sunshine in between presenting a great opportunity to work on my dodgy kneepad tan lines.
The racing was super tight all day, with merely hundredths of a second sorting out the men from the boys. At one point Gethin looked good for at least second place, but then Sills, Baker and Parsons all found that little bit extra to push him just outside the top three. It was the third corner – a tight 180 degree left hander – that was where this race was won and lost. Watch the video below and you can see eventually winner Nathan Parsons steamrollering it, edging out Ben Baker by the narrowest of narrow margins! Local boy Matt Sills finally broke his curse of consistent 4th places with a solid 3rd.
Here’s Sheet Media’s awesome edit of the event. See you at the next round!