Last weekend saw the Shred/Bikemagic.com summer tour continue with our Elite DH rider Ashley Mullane riding in Rheola, Wales, for rounds 3 and 4 of the Dragon Downhill Series.
The course at Rheola is always a bit of an epic and this was no exception. Saturday went well with Ash riding with a smile on his face after last weekend’s World Cup and pulling a rocket-fast 6th place out of the bag – with all of the top six finishing on the same second it was a close race.
Sunday didn’t go quite so well. After a light shower the lower sections of the course went from a fast and solid surface to a slippery one. Ash, not normally fazed by a change in conditions, approached the course with his
usual subtle technique – ie going flat out.
A high speed slide out turned into a high speed tree interface (read “in der face”) and that was it – Ash was out. As of Monday morning our man is still unable to walk and whilst he has feeling in all of his major limbs (although arguably not as much in his head) he is flat on his front in front of the TV thanks to a couple of fractured vertebrae.
We spoke to Ash and he was pretty upbeat: “I’m going to miss the Fort William National and the next two World Cups which is gutting but I have to rest up and let it heal properly. I’ll be back for the next National and gunning for it.”
For a guy that rides so fast you kind of get used to seeing him crash and get up, so when it happens bad it’s a shock. Our main priority is to make sure Mundane is back on his feet and feeling happy before he gets back on the bike. My guess is that like most of us mountain bikers he’ll ignore that and be riding again before he’s even able to walk. He’s kicked off the season in style and I think in a roundabout way a few weeks off his bike will probably
do him some good. Missing the World Cups is going to upset him but he’s got Fort William to aim for.
So, the tour continues to Builth Wells (again) this weekend and round 2 of the Premier XC Series. Let’s hope the weather is good and the course is dry and technical.