Testing conditions at the 2021 Downhill National Championships

The 2021 National Downhill Mountain Bike Championships took place over the weekend 25/26 September at Carrick Mountain, County Wicklow, hosted by Gravity Bike Club. The event was a great success in terms of turnout, overall support, and racing, with close results across many categories. Gravity BC had put a huge amount of work into preparing the course for the event, right down to leaf-blowing forest sections and hand-sweeping forest road crossings. Jumps and berms were sculpted with precision, and a duty of care that only comes from years of racing and event experience.

The course started high up on top of the hill and wound its way down through the granite field and into the forest. This split the course into two sections in the eyes of many riders, if you survived the demanding top section, your reward was the fast and flowy lower sections in the forest.

In a similar way, the weather split the event in two. Saturday’s weather was fine, mostly sunny with occasional cloud cover – the track was dry and dusty. Unfortunately Met Éireann nailed the forecast, with the predicted weather front arriving on Sunday morning and scaling up as the day progressed. Light rain fell intermittently throughout the morning, while up at the top of the course, there was an occasional squall. By the time riders were heading up for their race run, the rain had set in and continued to fall for the rest of the day.

The slick conditions rewarded those that had the experience, skill, and courage to push their own and their bikes’ limits. It was a fine line, as some found out. For many, finishing the event was the only reward they needed.

Despite the weather, there was a good crowd turnout that ensured a vibrant atmosphere across the course. As the final runs progressed, the crowd descended to the lower section of the course to cheer on their hero’s, which was every rider that made it to the finish.

Accolades go to the winners across the Championship categories and support categories, along with the extended Gravity BC team, who worked long and hard before, during and after the event, plus the medics, marshals, and all that generously gave up their time, who without their contribution, putting on an event such as this would not be possible.

Report by Steve Donnellan

Race results here
RootsandRain link

Adrian van der Lee – here

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