We’re really stoked to say that Dan Farley, WHEELBASE KONA has been selected for team GB for the first two rounds of the 2013 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William in Scotland this weekend! And Val Di Sole in Italy.
This is a dream come true for Dan who has been delivering consistently strong results in the British Downhill Series and other national races. After narrowly missing out on the national championships last July Dan went on to win the 2012 English Championship, finish second in the 2012 British Downhill Series, and third in the national points rankings.
British Cycling select six Junior riders to take to the World Cup events where they will be competing against riders from all over the world. The races follow a similar format to downhill skiing with practise days followed by a seeding run and a race run against the clock. This is the first year that the 17 to 18 year old Juniors will have their own race and the
“I feel very proud riding for my country and it’s exciting to be following in the footsteps of some fast riders.
I have already raced at Fort William twice so coming into the first round of the World Cup I feel that I know the track quite well.
I have never been to Italy so I don’t really know what the track is like but judging by videos I have seen it looks really fun.”
As for this year I’m just trying to learn how racing the World Cup circuit works so that I’m ready for my second year in the Junior category and then hopefully make it into the Elite category”. Dan Farley, WHEELBASE KONA Grassroots
Racing will be streamed live on redbull.tv
After a slow start to the season the Kona Grassroots/Wheelbase.co.uk/Descend Hamsterley team race schedule gathered pace during April and May.
The weekend of 13-14 April saw the team heading to Combe Sydenham in the West Country for round 1 of the British Downhill Series. An Injury in March meant that this was to be Dans first race of the season and his first in the Junior category and only Andys second in Expert. The entry included a packed elite field bolstered by World Cup riders Sam Hill, Gee Atherton, and Brendan Fairclough. Dan seeded in fifth place but dropeed one place to finish 6th with Taylor Vernon taking the win in Junior. Andy had a crash in his seeding run but put a solid run together in the race to finish 15th from 54 Experts. The ELite win was taken by Gee Atherton.
Next up was the rearranged round 1 of the Pearce Race series at Bringewood on 27th and 28th April. The race was originally scheduled for March but was postponed due to snow. It was a refreshing change to have a dry track for Saturday practice. Dan and Andy were looking well set for the race until Andy had a big crash on his last practice run bringing out the red flags. A trip to a&e later in the week confirmed that nothing was broken but some compression of the verterbrae had taken place and recovery time would be 4-6 weeks. Dan put in a good race run finishing 6th in a field of 29 Juniors with Taylor Vernon (GT Racing) again taking the win.
Round 2 of the Pearce Cycles Series followed on the weekend of 4th and 5th May. The race was held at Llangynog (Bala), the venue for this years National Championships in July. The track at Bala is a long one and contains a good mix of fast open sections with techical wooded section and a tricky finishing field. Dan put together a good first run to move into second place; he improved his time for the second run by slipped to fourth missing out to Shaun Richards for the win by just over three seconds.
From Bala it was up to Fort Willliam for round 2 of the British Downhill Series. Fort William is the most iconic track inthe UK, the only one served by a gondola uplift and the UK’s sole World Cup track. Andy was still recovering from his crash at Bringewood so helped Dan with mechanic support. Many elite riders used the race as practice for the upcoming round of the World Cup and the field had an international flavour with riders from all over the world. The forecast for Sunday looked very windy in the afternoon and so the organisers decided to bring the seeding runs forward to Saturday afternoon and start the race earlier on Sunday. Dan seeded in 12th palce with a time of 5.29 but improved o his race run with a time of 5.19 placing him 9th. Noel Niederberger (Gstaad Scott) took the win in Juniors by 0.3 seconds from Taylor Vernon.
From Fort William it was back to Combe Sydenham at the opposite end of the country the following weekend for the English Championships. The weekend went very well and Dan was second behind Phil Atwill (Madison Saracen) in a time that placed him 5th overall in a field of 170.
Andy is well on the road to recovery and is looking to get back racing in the near future. Dan’s consistently strong results have paid off; he has moved up to 6th in the BCF national rankings and has been called up to team GB for the first two rounds of the UCI World Cup (Junior category) in Fort William and Val-Di-Sole (Italy).
Check out this awesome video of Wheelbase/Kona Grassroots rider Dan Farley riding the 2013 Kona Supreme Operator at Innerleithen DH track:
“‘Simplicity’ - Often it’s the simplest things in life that get you stoked, like riding a bike as fast as you can down a hill. The adrenaline that pumps through your bloodstream cannot be replaced by anything artificial, the feeling of being of the extremely delicate line between crashing and staying in control is a feeling we all search for. I hope this video signifies this feeling.”
Read more about this video at: http://www.pinkbike.com/u/Robsta/blog/Simplicity.html
Filmed and edited by Robbie Giles Media.
Race results from this weekend at the first round of the 2013 Saracen BDS.
Andy Farley - 15th (3:08.494)
Dan Farley - 6th (3:04.628)
The Wheelbase.co.uk/Kona Grassroots downhill team headed to Innerleithen on the weekend of 23/24 February for the first race of the season. The winter break has been a long one and this was the first opportunity to see if the training had paid off and to race the updated 2013 Kona Supreme Operator. Unfortunately Dan had knocked his elbow the week before and was advised not to ride for a couple of weeks. Andy was riding in his first race in the Expert category and determined to do well.
Just under 200 riders were booked in and the Innerleithen car park was full as Saturday practice got underway. Luckily it had stayed dry and the usual river flooding the car park issue was not on the cards! A lot of riders were on new teams and bikes with all the talk being about Lewis Buchanan and his Intense M9 with 650b wheels. The track was quite icy at first forcing riders to be quite cautious. The track had been taped quite wide where possible to allow for multiple line choices.
Race day dawned slightly warmer as riders completed final practise runs. Race format was best time from two runs. Andy completed a solid first run of 3.16 a provisional third place. There was a small rain shower just prior to the second runs but Andy managed to improve to 3.15 ending up in 5th place (Experts) and 17th overall; a brilliant start to the season. The Elite category was won by Lewis Buchanan riding for SC-Intense in a time of 2.55 just beating Jack Reading and Cumbrian local Adam Brayton (Hope Technology).
The next race is the Pearce Cycles Series round 1 at Bringewood (Ludlow) on the weekend of 23/24 March.
Kona Wheelbase.co.uk riders Dan and Andy Farley from Hutton Roof competed in the English championships downhill mountain bike race at Moelfre Hall near Oswestry at the weekend. The event attracted a field of 290 riders including a UK record entry of 32 women.
The course drops 500m in 1.5km with riders hitting speeds in excess of 40mph on the technical track that includes a series of jumps drops and berms.
Riders spent all day Saturday and Sunday morning perfecting their lines with the Sunday race runs consisting of two timed runs. Older brother Andy competing in the Senior category achieved a seasons best result of 5th place in a field of 82 Seniors. But better was to come when Dan smashed most of the field to record 10th fastest overall time of the day to become English Champion in the Youth category.
The brothers have enjoyed their best season to date aboard their Kona Supreme Operator bikes with Andy finishing the season 21st in the national rankings which means that he will gain promotion to the Expert category for 2013. Dan finished second in the prestigious British Downhill Series, narrowly missed out on the win in the national championships, and finished third in the British Cycling national points rankings for the Youth category.
Dan Farley, WHEELBASE KONA tops-off a busy weekends racing in grand style taking the win at the English Championships 2012 (Youth) at Moelfre!
His brother Andy Farley, WHEELBASE KONA was fifth in a very big Seniors category. A great way to cap off a successful season for the WHEELBASE KONA DH team. Top ride lads!
Photos and report to follow soon…
The Farley brothers Kona Grassroots/Wheelbase.co.uk team headed to Llangollen in North Wales for the series finals of the six round British Downhill Series. Dan was looking for an improvement after just missing out on a podium finish at the previous two rounds and needed a good result to keep hold of second place for the series overall. Andy was aiming for a top ten finish.
Arriving at the track early on Saturday it was clear that Martin and his crew at onegiantleap had put in a lot of hard work to build a completely new track that included the Llangollen trademark steep turns, some technical off camber root sections, a couple of shortish pedally sections and some tables, doubles and hip jumps. Most riders were of the opinion that this was probably the best BDS track of the year. Si Paton and the BDS crew had pulled out all the stops in terms of setting up the venue; there were plenty of trade stands including full Shimano tech support for all riders and the pits had a real world cup feel.
Saturday practise ran from about 9.15 until 5.30 and the uplift seemed to work well with none of the issues normally associated with this venue. Riders had plenty of time to scope the new track time and dial in race lines.
As usual the tension started to rise during Sunday morning practise as riders focused on practising full race runs and making final tweaks to set up. In the seeding runs Dan clocked 2.26 for seventh after a few errors so he knew he could improve when it came to race runs. Andy clocked a brilliant 2.25 putting him into seasons best fifth in seeding. In his race run Dan managed to improve by 5 seconds to 2.20 placing him fifth in Youth and securing second overall Youth for the BDS series. Andy made a few mistakes in his race run and dropped to 16th from 56 Senior category starters with a 2.22 placing him 19th overall for the series from 98 entrants. Former Junior World Champion Ruraidh Cunnngham took the win in Elites for Alpine Bikes / Poc with a time of 2.14.
Hamsterley in County Durham was the venue for the Help the Heroes charity race on the weekend of 29th and 30th September. Hamsterley is one of the top downhill venues in the country and multiple tracks have been developed there by the team at Descend Hamsterley over the years. Former world champion and Hamsterley local Danny Hart honed his riding skills there and uses the venue for off-season training. The field included a number of top elite riders including Adam Brayton and Jack Reading. The race format was best time from two race runs. Andy went well on his first run with a 1.41 putting him into sixth but couldn’t improve on that time so dropped to a still respectable 10th at the finish. Dan clocked a 1.39 in his first run and improved on that to register a 1.36 for second place just behind Callum Havard from South Wales.
The final race of the season is the English championships at Moelfre near Oswestry over the weekend of 13 and 14th of October where Dan will be looking to go one better than last year’s second place and Andy will be aiming for a top 10 finish to round off the season.
Dan raced at round 5 of the BDS at Bringewood at the weekend and finished 8th. He is still second in the BDS series standings but has slipped to third in the BCF national rankings (Youth).
Andy was out injured but should be back for the final round at Llangollen 22/23 September.
The Kona Grassroots Wheelbase downhill team headed to Glencoe mountain resort for round 3 of the 6 round British Downhill Series. Last years event was cancelled on race day due to 100mph winds and this together with the tracks fierce reputation probably contributed to the reduced field of just over 200 riders. On arrival for sign-on and the track walk on Friday the weather was quite promising with some sunshine and more importantly light winds. As one of only two UK tracks with chairlift/gondola uplift the Glencoe track rightfully features in the BDS series but its location high on Rannoch Moor means that races are always at risk due to high winds shutting the chairlift.
The track starts with a flattish section with jumps and berms, it then drops into a rockier section and changes character completely, with technical and steep rock slabs covered in mud and massive holes. The bottom third is less steep, but still full of holes and rocks, this means that the speed increases dramatically and riders have to concentrate as they hit a big step down just prior to crossing the river and sprinting to the line.
Given the very difficult nature of the track and the fact that there are a number of big races coming up over the summer the Farley brothers decided not to push things too much and risk missing the rest of the season through injury. Saturday practice went smoothly as the lads scoped out the quickest lines. Race day dawned with some light rain but not enough to significantly change the track conditions. Some riders had decided not to race or were injured on Saturday so only 140 or so riders lined up for the seeding runs. Andy seeded into an excellent 14th place in Seniors and Dan seeded 4th in Youth. Unfortunately Andy had his only puncture of the weekend in his race run and so failed to finish. Dan flew down the hill in a time of 2.45 putting him into 4th for the race and into the lead of the British Downhill Series. Dan also currently leads the British Cycling ranking points for the Youth category. The Elite category was won by Kewsick rider Adam Brayton riding for Banshee.
The team are next at Moelfre in North Wales for the most prestiguos race of the year, the British National championships.
Dan Farley, WHEELBASE/KONA finished 4th at BDS Glencoe which will put him into the lead for the Youth British Downhill Series and consolidate his 1st place in the BCF rankings. Older brother Andy Farley, WHEELBASE/KONA punctured on his race run so was a DNF in the Senior race.
Full report to follow…
Farmer Johns Marple DH track was the venue for Round 3 of the North West MTB Series on Sunday 24th June. The event also carried BCF North West Championship status and so attracted a full entry of 201 riders. The track was one of contrasts with a relatively flat pedally section at the top with some berms and drops followed by a technical, steep, rooty and rocky section in the woods to finish.
Andy crashed on his first run but pulled out all the stops to finish 5th in a field of 58 Seniors with a time of 1.47. Fellow Wheelbase rider Matt Hoyle finished 18th in Seniors in a time of 1.58 despite crashing on his second run.
Dan seeded first in Youth with a time of 1.42 and went quicker in his second run to secure the win with a time of 1.37, third fastest overall. Dan has wrapped up the NW MTB Series overall in Youth with three straight wins. Eight races into the 2012 season and Dan has achieved top three placings at every race so far.
Andy and Dan Farley headed to Innerliethen (Scotland) for round 3 of the IXS European Cup on the weekend of 15-17 June. The event was held over three days with practice starting on Friday afternoon. Innelerithen-MTB racing had put in a massive effort to refurbish and improve the track last used for the ixs cup in 2010. Spectator friendly berms and jumps had been added to the finishing field but unfortunately the weather prevented them being used to full effect. It rained for most of the three days with track conditions varying from wet and muddy to very wet and very muddy. A top class field of international riders included the Swedish national team, a team from Are bike park Sweden, and riders from Germany, Switzerland, and the MS Mondraker World Cup team including Brook Macdonald form New Zealand.
Seeding runs took place on Saturday afternoon, Andy qualified 53rd with a time of 3.34. Dan had a puncture in qaulifying which meant he would be first down the hill in the race runs. On race day Andy improved his time to 3.33 putting him into 53rd place in the elite class of 123 riders. Top honours in Elite went to current British Champion Ruaridh Cunningham riding for Alpine Bikes with a blistering time of 3.02. Dan set a quick time of 3.24 putting into the Youth hot seat for quite some time until Taylor Vernon riding for Scott/Fox came down in a time of 3.21 just beating Dan to the win.
A great weekends riding; next up is the North-West championships at Marple, followed by round three of the British Downhill Series at Glencoe.
British Downhill Series
Fort William, Scotland
12th May 2012
Round 2 of the British Downhill Series took place at the UK’s only World Cup track at Fort William on 12th May. The field included 70 elite riders including many British and French World Cup riders and the current UCI World Champion Danny Hart, riding for the Giant Factory team, all of them looking to get some practise in before the World Cup round at Fort William in June.
The forecast was ominous for Sunday with high winds forecast making it unlikely that the gondola uplift would be operating. Some riders had taken the opportunity to arrive early and get some practise in during the week. With the forecast in mind the organisers had pre-warned riders that seeding runs would take place on Saturday afternoon and these could well turn out to be the final race runs.
Riders were up bright and early Saturday knowing that there would be limited time to practise the long and demanding track. The weather was dry and bright. The pits were rammed with international teams with Shimano and Hope providing free neutral service to all the riders.
Seeding (race) runs started at 3:00pm. Andy had a difficult run but still ended up 25th with a time of 5:51 beating two thirds of the Seniors in the process.
Dan was last down the hill in Youth as the current series leader was out with an injury. Dan put in a storming time of 5:25 which placed him third in category and would have put him into the top ten in Experts. Local rider Sam Herd, riding for Perth City Cycles, won the cateogry with a time of 5:22.
Danny Hart (Giant) won the Elite mens category with a time of 4:52 beating Mark Beaumont (GT Bikes/Atherton Racing) into second place by half a second and despite having to ride chainless on the pedally bottomn half of the course.
Maonon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) won the Womans Elite category in a time of 5:31 beating Rachel Atherton (GT Bikes/Atherton Racing) by 1.3 seconds.
Round three of the BDS is at Glencoe in July and Dan heads there as joint series leader. Andy will be looking to improve on a technical and steep course that should suit him. In the meantime the teamm are heading to Innerleithen for a round of the IXS European Cup at Innerleithen from 15th to 17th June.
Andy, Dan, and Anne (yes Anne!), raced at round 2 of the North West MTB Series at Farmer Johns, Stockport today.
Dan took the win in Youth and a brilliant fifth place overall in a field of 193 with a time of 1:17. Andy placed 13th out of 67 Seniors in a time of 1:21. Anne came second out of six women in her first race loosing out on the win by just 3.5 seconds.
Lloyd Harper and Dan Charlson (of Wheelbase) also entered their first races and came in 40th and 64th in Seniors.
The team is off to Fort William next weekend for Round 2 of the BDS.
The country’s top downhill riders headed to Combe Sydenham in Somerset for round 1 of the British Downhill Series. The field was bolstered by a fine turn-out of pro-elite riders including Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Brendan Fariclough and Matti Lehikoinen. Local elite rider Adam Brayton made the long trip south together strong contingent from Scotland and Ireland. Kona Grassroots/Wheelbase.co.uk riders Dan and Andy Farley were looking to consolidate there solid start to the season.
The Combe Sydenahm track on the edge of Exmoor has last been used for a national Points Series race back in 2004 when Gee Atherton took the win. The track had been given an extensive makeover by Don Howe and his team from Kustom Bikes and most riders agreed that it was vastly improved; the mid section field now includes a series of tables, berms and doubles.
As riders arrived on Friday to set up pit areas, sign on and scope the track the rain started and continued into the night. Come Saturday morning the weather was overcast but dry; most riders opted for spikes as the track was pretty wet. The uplift ran smoothly with ten tractors and trailers working flat out all day to cope with the 323 riders. A few riders were caught out early on by the big step down into the mid point field. Callum Havard one of the leading Youth riders had a massive stack and broke his collarbone. The track dried out during the day and riders switched back to dry tyres.
Race morning dawned with a frost but clear sunny skies. Practise started at 08:00 as riders dialled in their lines for the race. The BDS follows the UCI World Cup format which means that each rider has a seeding run followed by one all or nothing race run.
Andy had a technical issue at the end of practise which meant he had to use Dans bike. Andy opted to cruise down for his seeding run so as not to cause any problems for Dan and seeded in 28th with a time of 2.53. Andy’s improved on his race run by five seconds to record a time of 2.48 in 17th place in a field of 63 Seniors and recording sixth fasted through the speed trap at 27.4mph!
Dan placed first in the seeding run with a time of 2.40 earning some invaluable series points in the process and the right to be last man down the hill for the race run. Dan’s race run was also a 2.40 with 27mph through the speed trap placing him in second beaten by 1.5 seconds by the improving Innes Graham from Scotland. Dan is currently placed second in the BCF national rankings (Youth cat), and Andy is 12th in Senior cat.
The elite categories were won by Marc Beaumont (GT Factory Racing), and currrent Junior World Champion Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) who narrowly beat Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing).
The team head to the fabled Fort William track for round 2 of the BDS in three weeks time.
The rankings have been updated on British Cycling after the weekends racing and Dan Farley is now standing 1st in the Youth category, and Andy Farley is 15th in the Senior category. Well done lads!
Another good weekend for Andy and Dan. The lads raced at Moelfre in round 2 of the Fetish Bikes DH Series organised by Borderline Events. Conditions were dry and dusty; the top half of the course had been redesigned by pro elite rider Fionn Grifftihs with a series of fast off-camber turns.
Andy came 11th in a field of 62 Seniors. Dan finished 2nd in Youth losing out to Taylor Vernon by 0.43 seconds. Overall they were 8th and 26th overall in a field of 175 riders. Dan’s time was quicker than the fastest Expert.
The next race is round one of the British Downhill Series on the weekend of 14/15th April at Combe Sydenham near Taunton.