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Race Report – Round 1, 2018 Onza Mini Downhill Series, Forest of Dean – Emma Reader

Flow MTB rider Emma Reader at the first round of the 2018 Onza Mini Downhill, Forest of Dean

Flow MTB rider Emma took part in the first round of the 2018 Onza Mini Downhill series at the Forest of Dean

Round 1 of the Onza Mini Downhill series was held at the Forest of Dean on Sunday 28th January on the Sheepskull track. This was Emma’s first downhill race and her first race riding for Flow MTB, here’s Emma’s race report…

As Flow MTB sponsor the ladies categories in the Onza Mini Downhill series and because I’d heard so many good things about the event I felt I couldn’t not enter and I was not disappointed!

I headed down to the Forest of Dean with my team mate Anna a couple of days before the race because it’s quite a trek for us northern birds and we wanted to savor the local area and the Forest of Dean trails. We spent the first day getting our bearings and sessioning the skills park which is pretty fun especially if there’s something in particular you want to work on with the tables, drops, road gap and pump track.

Friday we lazily jumped on the uplift to do a few runs of the Sheepskull race track and we wanted to check out the infamous rooty section! It was quite wet and muddy from all the rain the day before so I was so glad I had a spare pair of five tens… oh no wait?! I forgot them 🙈

Saturday we hooked up with Mark from MTB Instruction, Anita from Flow MTB and Rachael Jevons of MBR magga and had a potter round the Verderers trail before revisiting the skills park to ‘hone our skills’ under Mark’s expert watchful eye.

Before we knew it, it was race day. Anita had kindly kitted us out with some tasty DHaRCO jerseys as well as some funky Raceface shorts. This was a small achievement in itself as I’m usually stuck in men’s MTB clothing! The vibe on race day was awesome. So many people cheering/heckling/encouraging it was really cool. All the girls I chatted to whilst queuing up and loitering round the cafe were lovely and I got to chat to our teamie Rebecca – see you at Ard Rock!

Despite spending a point in both race runs on my back side (it’s OK it’s very padded but it was still however disappointing) I really enjoyed the entire day, next time I intend to glue myself to my bike ha!

Without hesitation I would recommend any ladies wanting to give downhill racing a go to get yourself entered into one of the Mini Downhill series. The race is priced very reasonably indeed and everyone is friendly and welcoming. Also if you bag a podium in the ladies category the prices are pretty cool 😎 (Flow MTB vouchers) and if nothing else you can feast on the tasty pies at the local Farmers Boy Inn

Kit: Raceface Indiana shorts, DHaRCO gloves

@flowmtbapparel / @butterp1e / photo @anita.mtb