Pedal Progression car park racing @ Cardiff NCP! - Pedal Progression


8 November 2012

Pedal Progression car park racing @ Cardiff NCP!

At 6:30pm on Sunday 28th October, Cardiff’s Dumfries Place NCP was turned into a race track ahead of a spectacular nights action.  The event was the first ever urban dual to be raced in a car park, and we are sure it won’t be the last! Sam and I got involved and were surprised by the depth of competition.


Whoever thought this was a good idea is brilliant! A guaranteed dry race whatever the weather, with no mud, and so no painful bike cleaning to follow! It’s already been suggested that there could be an NCP series off the back of what was a massively successful night of racing. Here’s how it went down…

With the event sold out, 100 riders turned up to the undercover playground on a wide range of rides. There were super pimp and snappy 4x machines, full world cup spec DH bikes, ghetto hartails, a Brompton and a crazy looking courier bike. It was obvious from the start that the night was going to be a lot of fun! Free practice opened and Sam and I headed to the 5th floor where the start gate loomed under the low ceiling. After a quick catch up with various riding friends we headed down through the course for the first time.

From the gate, a series of three flat out right hand turns took you down the first level and into a tight hairpin, before another down ramp, a left hander and a wide flat out straight. This was one of the more obvious overtaking spots, although bags of power would be needed to pass. The straight then bottlenecked into a 90 degree left hander taking riders straight down a small stair set and on to level 3 which was filled with flowy turns. A tight left hand switchback then directed riders into the final ramps down on to floor 2 where a sprint finish ensued.

The race format would be 1 timed run from each rider. The top 16 riders would qualify for a knockout – 2 riders out the gate at a time with 2 runs; one with the inside lane out of the gate, and one with the outside. With big cash prizes and some big names on the sign up sheet, an intense atmosphere was building.

“With names like Scott Beaumont, Steve Smith, Dan Stanbridge and Duncan Ferris racing, it was going to be tough”

Sam and I were feeling good in practice… until the gate start was made available! We thought we’d race each other down for kicks. Neither of us had ever done a gate start before and I really struggled to keep my balance before the lights turned green – embarrassing  for a skills coach who spent his early years riding trials! I had the inside line going into the first corner but it was soon obvious that Sam would be taking no prisoners as he cut across me closing the door and nearly taking me out – and this was only practice! Sam was in the zone and looking for a top 16 position. With names like Scott Beaumont, Steve Smith, Dan Stanbridge and Duncan Ferris racing, it was going to be tough.

Sam was the 17th rider to do his timed run and crossed the line in 2nd. I was the 40th rider through and placed 10th… With another 60 riders to come I wasn’t feeling confident of qualification, but there were few riders beating Sams time. The hours passed and things became tense as we realised Sam was still in the top 16 with few riders to go. More than that, he’d got down faster than Dan and Duncan! As the last few riders came through we looked nervously at the leader board, but nerves soon turned to laughter as the last rider came through and confirmed Sams qualification in 14th place! Amazing! He’d race a dual with Max Robinson who he’d known from running the Plymouth Uni mountain bike club. I had only managed 34th place losing time going into the stairs. The top 16 riders were separated by 0,761 seconds over what was a 40.742 second run for top qualifier Nathon Parsons.

In the first of the 2 knock out runs, Sam had the outside line and Max punished him as they went into the first corner with Sam struggling to overtake however he tried over the rest of the run. The second run however saw Sam get out in front early on, but the excitement got all too much as he binned it on the 3rd turn. Still 14th was some achievement, particularly finishing in front of some National Level 4x riders! Well done Sam!

I’ve just built myself a naughty little 4x bike so I guess I’ve been inspired! See you at the pump track…

Men’s Podium

1. Lacey Lewis

2. Nathon Parsons

3. Alex Metcalf

Women’s Podium

1. Katy Curd

2. Jess Greaves

3. Rachel Burridge





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