Round 4 of the UK’s biggest Mountain Bike Race Series comes
to Aston Hill Mountain Bike Area this weekend. 1000 competitors and 1000’s of spectators flocked
to what is regarded as one of the UK’s premier dedicated mountain bike areas in 99
to catch all the off road action and the 2000 event looks set to be bigger and better.
If you didn’t already know, the 4th Round of the Southern Area Mountain Bike Series
takes place on Aston Hill over the weekend of the 12th and 13th August 2000. This
years event looks set to be bigger than ever. Spectators are welcome with plenty
to see and something to do for all the family.
Saturday 12th August. Downhill, Duel & Kids Races
Saturday sees the South’s top downhillers battle it out at a crucial stage in the
series and as all the races count the top riders will be wanting to go well. Once
again the Black Run will provide the challenge for the riders. Now recognised as
the toughest downhill in the South of England, the super steep, rooty and bumpy track
will test the riders and provide plenty of action for the spectators. There’s plenty
of home talent to look out for too. Ali King will no doubt lead the way when it comes
to the locals and will again be hoping for the fastest time of the day. There are
many riders in the other categories hoping to show their colours on home turf.
The Scott Downhill Scholarship will again join the Downhill regulars. The Scholarship
riders have to race at selected Northern Area Mountain Bike Races (NAMBS) and the
SAMS throughout the year with the scholarship winner going on to a full domestic
contract in 2001. A classic one make series with rules governing the equipment and
set up of the bike with some of the UK’s top up and coming talent looking to get
the sponsored ride.
The Astonhill.com Y2K Duel takes place on Saturday night. Last years Duel kept the
crowd on their toes all evening with plenty of air borne and gravity assisted action.
Action starts on the New Duel Course approximately 30mins after the downhill finishes.
A draw will be made to decide the running order, so expect a few surprises.
Sunday 13th August. Cross Country Racing
Sunday is XC day with all the categories battling it out on the popular XC circuit.
As with most of the SAMS races all the top riders not on international duties will
be here. Again there will be plenty of home riders looking to make the home advantage
count. Jeff Clarke (Mountain Mania Firecrest) had a podium finish in 99 so watch
out for him in the Expert category. One of the best places to catch all the XC action
is down in the 3DB.co.uk swithchbacks. With races starting from 9.30am there’s plenty
of action to catch all day with the South’s top riders on the track from 12.45pm.
Aside from the racing, Firecrest is also running a number of courses, test sessions
and rides throughout the week to give the event a festival feel.
Ian Warby Firecrest Mountain Bike Racing