Perhaps the biggest obstacle in last weekend's British National Points Series (NPS) downhill round on August 9-10 was showing up at the proper Moefre in Wales. Apparently, some racers found out the hard way that there is more than one such named town. Then, tough weather conditions only added to the challenge.
Saturday morning saw heavy rains soaking the course and 40-50 mph wind gusts up top, where it was almost impossible to stand upright. Conditions were so tough that the UCI's officials decided to drop the start to a stone alcove 200 yards further down the course - which would give everyone more shelter. The seeding was run through tough conditions - with lots of mist and fog reducing visibility to almost nothing.
Racing took part on Sunday after open practise with full runs all morning. Fortunately, the weather on Sunday was much kinder. The sun shone and the wind was lighter yet still blowing which meant many riders took off their peaks in order to combat the speed destroying gusts that destroyed the legs. The course was 99.9% open to spectators and the elements - making for a high speed course with rolling grass along a Welsh hillside.
Only a handful cleared the huge road gap due to the windy conditions. Natural whoops and greasy corners meant many a comedy moment before the launch off the BC jump and onto flat out wet and grassy corners. high speed right hand corner and a jump led to the finish.
Joe Barnes (MTBcut.tv/Orange) won the elite men's race by just a fraction of a second ahead of Ben Cathro (Mojo Orange) and 1.37 seconds ahead of Matt Simmonds (CRC Intense).
Helen Gaskell (Halfords Bike Hut) took the women's race with a healthy 4.056 second margin over Katy Curd (Giant) and 12 seconds ahead of Haby-Blu Cann (EMBC/CF3).
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the British Downhill NPS round in Moelfre.