Busy month of action for the Cheviot bikers

Johny Shiell at the Innerleithen BDS. Photograph: Alan Robertson
Johny Shiell at the Innerleithen BDS. Photograph: Alan Robertson

Team CHR

Cheviot Hill Riders were in action in the second round of this year’s Scottish Downhill Series was held at Glencoe.

Another rough and rocky track with chairlift access, but with many races here being cancelled in the past due to adverse weather and dangerous tracks, it’s not at the top of many riders’ list of races to do and this was reflected with only two team members choosing to race here.

Experts: 9 Steven Turnbull 3.24.366; 11Thomas Pollock 3.31.217.

Next up was round three of the UK Gravity Enduro Series held at Hamsterley Forest near Durham and this turned out to be great racing in sunny weather on tracks that got drier and faster as the weekend went on.

Another full entry of 350 riders saw six CHR riders compete against the country’s best and come away with some decent results with six stage times all being added together to give final positions.

Results: U18s – Cameron Aiston 14th, 23m 45.59s. Seniors: Bob Ellison 48th, 21.18.67 (Bob suffered a double puncture in seeding). Masters: Mick Evans 112th, 22.25.08. Veterans: Jim Nicholls ninth,19.53.28; Michael Strangeways 15th, 20.18.80. Grand veterans: Alan Turnbull seventh, 21.22.79.

The week after Hamsterley came one of the biggest UK downhill races of the season, round three of the British Downhill Series at Innerleithen. This was a week before the first round of the World Cup series at Fort William, so had a top-class international field competing.

It was superb weather and close racing on a dry dusty and flat-out fast track that saw a few riders retiring through injury, luckily none of these were Team CHR riders, who again came away with some good times and positions. The only unlucky rider was James Purvis who, when on a storming race run, had his front wheel fold under him on one of the final corners.

Experts: 24 Steven Turnbull 2.56.890. Youth: James Purvis DNF. Junior: 23 Joe Mallen 3.03.681; 26 Johny Shiell 3.10.423. Senior: 19 Shane Craig 3.06.324. Master: 16 Rob Tait 3.15.015.

The final race of the month was the Bluegrass European Enduro Tour round two, which was held at Kinlochleven near Fort William.

The stages here used walkers’ paths that were steep and covered with huge boulders, loose rocks and water ditches that saw loads of riders’ races ruined due to punctures, mechanicals and crashes.

The CHR riders had mixed fortunes here with no one coming away unscathed. Steven Turnbull’s race was ruined by a snapped chain when he was on course for a top-10 finish,

James Knowles recovered from a puncture near the end of stage three to take a superb eighth place in seniors and 12th overall and Michael Strangeways recovered from a crash on stage one to take eighth place in veterans.

Seniors: 8 James Knowles 23.01; 43 Steven Turnbull 35.37. Veterans: 8 Michael Strangeways 28.13.

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