As you may or may not be aware, Bulldog Tools have been sponsoring Dirt Wars biking events this year. here is the update from Round 2:

Spank Ind. Dirt Wars 2013 – Round 2 – Holdshott

The British weather is a fickle beast! After weeks and weeks of beautiful dry, sunny weather, ten days before Round 2 the weather broke and the typical wet summer returned.

Round 2 was scheduled to take place on Sunday the 16th but with heavy rain forecast the decision was made to move the comp forward a day. Luckily the majority of the riders were free to ride Saturday or they changed their plans so that they could attend and with a few clouds dotting the sky we things got underway.

Practice saw riders getting used to the jumps quicker than they did last year and it wasn’t long before stunts were being thrown left, right & centre! A big shout out goes to Rose Bikes/Alpinstars/ODI rider Adam Williams who went down hard in practice. The only rider to try flipping the step-down; maybe that was because Adam managed to only do half a flip and pretty much landed upside down. Hope you heal up soon dude! For his efforts he took the Bell Helmets Worst Crash award.

Open qualifying got underway and for the second time this year it was a stacked field of old faces, new faces and a load of riders coming back for their second comp after riding Wisley last month. The 19 riders were supposed to be split down to 8 riders for the final but with Andy Crawford and Craig Potter tying for points in 5th place the top 9 riders were put through.

Open qualifying results:
1 – Tom Cardy – 48
2 – Ben Nolan – 41
3 – Danny Stewart – 40.5
4 – Sam Hunnisset – 39
5 – Andy Crawford – 35
5 – Craig Potter – 35
7 – Liam Tuite – 33.5
8 – Alfie Stephens – 32.5
9 – Joe Simkins – 29
10 – Jamie Nelson – 28.5
11 – Elliott Bassett – 27.5
12 – Richard Hemmingray – 26
13 – Tristan Bushnell – 26
14 – Jack Ambler – 24
15 – Josh Everest – 23
15 – Will Jones – 23
17 – Joash Clarkson – 22
18 – Harris Hardern – 18
19 – Scott Merrell – 17

The Pro category had 20 minutes on the course to warm up before their Qualifier as the clouds moved in. By the time they had all taken their first runs it was beginning to rain and it was only due to the canopy provided by the trees that the trails and riders weren’t getting too wet. Last years series winner, Marcel Hunt, was back along with DMR’s Clinton Johns & Nukeproof’s Grant Fielder. The 12 riders were again going to reduced to 8 for the final but two riders tied for 8th meant that 9 would be going through the final. The surprise was to see last years open winner and this years Spank Industries team-rider , Freddy Pulman, take the top spot in qualifying. For only his second event in Pro it was impressive to see the progression he has made over the winter, easily running with seasoned veterans of the UK scene.

Pro qualifying results:
1 – Freddy Pulman – 48
2 – Ryan Nangle – 47
2 – Ray Samson – 47
2 – Marcel Hunt – 47
5 – Wig Lewington Booth – 45
6 – Clinton Johns – 44
6 – Matt Scot – 44
8 – Grant Chopper Fielder – 43
8 – Charlie Watts – 43
10 – Dylan Grell Delsol – 41
11 – Rob Welch – 40
12 – Rob Newman – 39

The Open final saw everyone try and step up their game, some didn’t quite find the flow that they had in qualifying whilst others seemed to carry on from where they had left off. The top 3 ended up shining through the pack as they were pulling tricks at every opportunity with such composure and ease. It was Essex’s Tom Cardy, who was robbed of qualifying at Round 1 by one point, who came out firing at Holdshott. 360s on the step down, Tailwhips, Heelclickers, 360 CanCans and a clean 360 whip on the last sealed the deal for Tom.

Open Final results:
1 – Tom Cardy – 46
2 – Ben Nolan – 42
3 – Daniel Stewart – 41
4 – Craig Potter – 36
5 – Liam Tuite – 34
5 – Alfie Stephens – 34
7 – Sam Hunnisset – 33
8 – Andy Crawford – 30.5
9 – Joe Simkins – 29

Every rider in Pro was hungry to take a podium spot, no more so than the 1st place qualifier, Freddy Pulman. Unfortunately for a Freddy a blow out on the way back to the top after his first run meant that he missed his second run and wasn’t relaxed or composed enough to carry on the form he showed in quallies. Curtis Bikes Matt Scott also suffered bad luck in the finals, hooking up the hip on each run after 360ing the step down and going for the 450 on the hip. A run that he had consistently in practice seemed to elude him and meant he didn’t get through the whole course.

It really was a close call in the end and the top 5 riders were split by a difference of 4.5 points. 360 superman seatgrabs from Chopper as well as massively boosted flips midset from Ryan Nangle were really fresh looking and impressive whilst Marcel Hunt rode with his usual steeze, easily having the biggest amplitude of the day when doing mid pack 360 inverts. Ray Samson was the only Pro rider to use the alternative line, which was still a little soft and hard to get through, but backflips & tailwhip transfers on this tricky set showed Ray was riding just as well as the others. Wig Lewington Booth was also on fire and the injured Danny Pace was 110% certain that Wig had done enough to be Dirt Wars’ first unsponsored Pro winner. Wig was the only rider of the day to receive 20 out of 20 from a judge for one of his runs. But it was Dartmoor UK’s Ryan Nangle, who gained an extra 1.5 points in the Amplitude marks, that took the win.


Pro Final results:
1 – Ryan Nangle (Dartmoor UK/Smuggling Duds/Manitou) – 51.5
2 – Wig Lewington Booth (Privateer) – 50
3 – Grant Chopper Fielder (Nukeproof/Manitou/Hayes) – 49
4 – Ray Samson (DMR Bikes/GoPro/Ogio/Bell) – 47.5
5 – Marcel Hunt (Dartmoor UK/Smuggling Duds/Dynamic Style) – 47
6 – Clinton Johns (DMR Bikes/X-Fusion) – 43
7 – Charlie Watts (Static/Void) – 40
8 – Freddy Pulman (Spank/Marzocchi UK/ – 19.5
9 – Matt Scott (Curtis Bikes/Grein Optics) – 1

To bring the day to an end there was the Slam69 Best trick jam which saw Open & Pro riders competing against each other to throw their best & most unique moves. With Charlie Watts almost getting a 360 downside whip, Freddy Pulman just slipping out on the Backflip barspin to tuck, Sam Hunnisset almost getting the 360 whip to xup and Clinton Johns going for the bike flip it was today’s rising star, Wig Lewington Booth, who too best trick. The Truckdriver to tuck on not the biggest of jumps took the judges eye as the most progressive move to be landed cleanly and ridden away from.

So for the second year in a row Holdshott trails delivered some of the most progressive riding in the UK and left us with a load of questions as to how the rest of the series will pan out. There is one thing for sure though; with the series points already adding up there will be plenty of riders wanting to grab the top spots at Round 3. Make sure its in you’re diary…

Sunday 14th July @ PORC, Kent – see over the coming week for more details.

Posted in About Bulldog By Stuart Elsom On 15th August 2013

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