The sun was definitely on the side of the Pedalhounds series
this weekend as
a large number of people turned out for the 3rd round of the Pedalhounds
Southern Downhill cup held at PORC last weekend. Always a popular venue PORC
has great spectating opprotunity as well as alot of other riding to be had
other than the actual race itself.
To say the course was dusty is a major understatement – it was more like a
beach. Not that I’m criticising mind, this just pays tribute to the
excellent drainage of the Kent hills, and makes for a welcome change from
the usual mud laden racing to which we Brits become accustomed. The course
could have been better in my opinion, there are so many options at PORC for
a racecourse it would be a hard job to decide which to pick, at just over a
minute though I felt the course could have been longer.
The start was off one of the famous PORC start ramps, no planks of wood and
pallets here, the PORC start ramps are a good 15′ high. Straight of the ramp
it was into a bermed left hander, before the rather unpleasant right hander
before the log bridge. One over the log bridge a dive into the bombhole spat
you out into the twistiest section of the course, and also the dustiest.
Despite the berms many people fought for traction round the corners of the
favourite spectating areas, with many an ungraceful exit accompanied by a
dust cloud. Out of the middle section it was into the woods, the hardest
corner of the course was a tricky left hand drop which had no easy line, no
matter how you hit it. From there on in it was a full on pedal through the
final sections to the finish line.
The closeness of the winning times backs up most riders theories on the
course being really a test of pedalling ability rather than total skill, Jim
Davage advocating this point by retiring from his 2nd and 3rd runs after
slips which would cost only a second or two, but there was no way to make
these seconds back up. Despite this I think it was a good weekends racing,
perahps largely because of the facilities at PORC and the great weather.
The results were unsurprising, but hard fought all the same. ukDH rider Neil
Harris (Addidas Eye Protection/ukDH) had a good day (although not as good as
he would like) placing second in the seniors, just pushed out by local David
fairservice (MBI/PORC). Much shuffling in the Elite men left James Allaway
(Santa Cruz) the overal winner with the fastest time of the day at 1:04.37.
Our friend Anja Rees-Jones (Rock Moutain) had a good day in the Women’s
race, winning by a 7 sec margin. Lewis White (Owens Cycles) took first in
the Youth Category, and Lee White (also Owens Cycles) took the Junior
honours. Local Ian Daniels (MBI/PORC) won the Masters with an impressive
1:04.99. Paul Hunt of Pedalhounds took the vets in a time of 1:08.15.
For full results check out –
A full run down on this race, series and all UK race series will be
available on the ukdownhill.org.uk website when it relaunches later this
month…. Watch this space.