SPANK INDUSTRIES DIRT WARS 2013 - ROUND 4 AT THE TRACK
The Track, a full purpose built bike park, in Portreath Cornwall has hosted some amazing dirt jump events in the past but over the past couple of years has been neglected by the UK dirt scene. Renowned for being one of the largest legal jump spots in the country it is also known for being prone to strong winds due to its location not far from the coast and its big open site. Luckily there was a week of nice weather running into the event so wet jumps and rain we certainly not on the agenda.
We arrived to find bone dry, perfectly dialled trails that looked more than ready for some big MTB action but by the time the riders started arriving some fairly gusty winds had already set in. Practice saw mixed opinions on the conditions; for some riders it didn't really seem to be a problem, for others it was all they could think about. And of course even the ones that were still sending it, if they caught a strong head on gust as they took off, they still knew about it.
So it was decided that instead of running a normal 'three run' qualifier we would have a 45 minute jam that the judges would use for seeding the riders for the final.
In Open, Danny Stewart had again made the trip down from Edinburgh (you have to admire this guys dedication) and was riding with a fracture somewhere in his shoulder after a hard stack a few weeks ago. The jam format was good for him as it allowed him to do a couple of runs and then sit out to save himself for the final runs. With his lose style Ben Nolan was looking like regardless of which way the wind blew him he'd still pull it together to land. Sam Lewington Booth, younger brother of Wig, also had a great attitude and was doing his best to conservatively send it between the gusts of wind. The jam did see a large number of straight jumps and safety runs as the riders chose their moments to send tricks but there were definitely some good shapes being thrown.
With the long distance to travel and a number of UK Pros out of the country for international comps, it was slim pickings of only 5 riders but again it was decided on a 45 minute seeding jam instead of the usual qualifying runs. Again making things more relaxed and minimising the wind from dictating the results Matt Scott & Freddy Pulman stood out from the beginning as the ones to beat. Neither of them seemed at all bothered by the wind, accept from when Freddy caught a gust and went down with his Spank Spike pedal following him to land on his temple leaving a gash and blood pouring. He jumped back up and was soon back on it un-phased by what had just happened. Wig looked like he had some podium runs in his bag ready to unleash but was looking way more cautious than normal and possibly like he was thinking about the wind too much.
With prizes down to 5th place in Open everyone was keen to send some stunts in their three final runs; the worry was whether the wind would allow them. 5th place was taken by Luke Wyatt who was one of the worst for whining about the wind but some smooth stylish airs when the wind was blowing and nice no footed cans & 360s when the wind wasn't he ended up doing good. 4th place was taken the regular Scotsman, Danny Stewart. He was really riding on the reserved side of things as if he crashed it would be game over tho his standard tucks and combo tricks were good enough for a good few series points.
In 3rd place we had Oli Green. His first Dirt Wars podium put a real smile on his face but it was well deserved with a mid set 360, backflips and tailwhips showing great control in the wind. 2nd went to Sam Lewington Booth, who's do the best with what we have attitude that he had all day definitely did he well. Although his huge and stomped Super-whips along with nice tucks and consistent riding style scored well with the judges.
But it was another regular, Ben Nolan, who took the win by pretty much tricking everything he could. He was hitting the first of the line with huge tucks to x-ups and then continuing through with grizz-airs, his signature Bolan Box (no handed shoebox) and other legs flailing combo tricks and getting the whole way through the line everytime.
Open Final :-
1 - Ben Nolan - 50
2 - Sam Lewington Booth - 49
3 - Oli Green - 45
4 - Daniel Stewart - 44
5 - Luke Wyatt - 43.5
6 - Tristan Bushnell - 40.5
7 - Oli Bushnell – 26
Again the Pro final came down to who was able to trick all of the jumps and get through the whole line the cleanest. The surprise result was Wig Lewington Booth only managing 4th place. Although he stomped a couple of trick filled runs, the execution wasn't quite good enough in the judges eyes. Taking 3rd place was Curtis Bikes & Grein Optics' Matt Scott. Matts huge supermans, sweet 360 tables and clean flips were a real fingers up to the wind. 2nd was taken by Identiti Bike's Jack Gear. With a few sketchy runs with the wind, Jack managed to have one really good run in the finals that was all the the judges needed to see to give him the big points.
As predicted by most people there, the Pro win was taken by Spank/Marzocchi UK/Getabmx.co.uk's Freddy Pulman. The focussed tank that Freddy took absolutely no noticed of the wind, even after his best crash winning crash caused by a gust, and rode like a man on a mission. Tuck flips, barspins, midset truck drivers and the stretched superman seatgrabs that he' becoming known for were executed with finesse and no other rider could touch him that day.
Pro Final :-
1 - Freddy Pulman (Spank/Marzocchi uk/Getabmx.co.uk) - 48.5
2 - Jack Gear (Identiti/Halo/Andrei Burton Events) - 41.5
3 - Matt Scott (Curtis Bikes/Grein Optics) - 40
4 - Wig Lewington Booth - 39.5
5 - Rob Newman (Marzocchi UK/Nookie Bikes/Getabmx.co.uk) - 36.5
The 'Slam69 Best Trick' as expected wasn't quite the usually huckfest that we normally see because of the conditions and the super hard landing on the last of the set but that didn't stop most of the riders having a go. We saw Heelclickers, Bolanboxs, Super-hips and Matt Scott even half though about a double flip that luckily he jumped out of safely rather than committing to an ambulance drive to hospital! However Freddy Pulman once again took to the limelight and his perfectly executed blackflip barspin being judged the best trick.
With a fortnight to go until the final round at Rocketworld, round 4 was a great opportunity for the riders in contention for the series title to grab some extra points. Added to the fact that so many riders didn't make the trip down to Cornwall it was like a bonus round for some!
Despite the wind the show went on and now its time to move it back up country and get ready for what's lined up to be an awesome final round on the 7th & 8th of September on the Somerset/Dorset border.