Gravity Project Honey Series round 1 2014 race report. From the side lines, a whistle blowers perspective.
Words and images: The Gravity Project marshal with the whistle.

Deciding not to race the opening round of the gravity project honey series due to work commitments leading up to the event, I decided to blow a whistle and marshal for the day. This also allowed me to snap a few pics and take everything in on a more chilled level. The chosen GP track for the day kept rider on their toes with a new natural, rooty, old school top section, this greeted the fire road for a few hard peddles before diving into Rogates's more man made track.

Rogate-top-section

With the race selling out on line with a 150 riders, during practise I was blowing the whistle every 20 seconds as the steady flow of racers came the course. A break for lunch, consisting of the finest egg, sausage and bacon money can buy was provide by the Bowtell caterers. Free for me as I was a whistle blower, it has its perks. While at the top I also hade a good nose around the Crank Cycles stand who where on hand to fix your ride up or sell you some bike bling.

Riley-Jenner-Gravity-Project
Juvenile winner: Riley Jenner 1:02.44

Juvenile Men
1st: Riley Jenner
2nd: Jordan Beighton
3rd: Robert Thomas / Gravity Project Labyrinth Bike
4th: Josh Mead / PORC
5th: Charles Griffith

So fuelled up and given my marshal point near the top, the crowd and I waited for the racing to start. Funny you could really feel the change in the air as everyone gathered around the track. So with the first riders coming into view the cheering and heckling starts, the race is on.

Tom-Davies-Gravity-Project
Youth winner: Tom Davies 59.47

Youth Men
1st: Tom Davies
2nd: Jack Miller / Uk Bike Park
3rd: Alfie Killner Aston Hill MTB Club
4th: Jack Peal
5th: Matt Ingram

From what I saw a lot of riders struggled on the changing top section, you had to watch your speed at some crucial points, to fast and you over cooked the turns, not fast enough then not good enough, proper old school downhill. The top was a good crowd gatherer with spectators playfully giving a long wooooooo as riders tackled a particular tricky section. Once cleared the cheers would erupt and this would repeat its self further down the course.

Oli-Evans-Gravity-Project
Junior winner: Oli Evans 54.83

Junior Men
1st: Oli Evans
2nd: Matt Cooper
3rd: Josh Corbett
4th: Scott Williams
5th: Jack Peden

Moving on for the second runs I was demoted from marshalling duties due to my quest to get some shots of the racing. As it happened the event ran like clock work and the marshals had an easy day anyway, mainly sampling food.

Glenroy-Martin-Gravity-Project
Senior winner: Glenroy Martin / Aston Hill MTB Club 53.98

Senior Men
1st: Glenroy Martin / Aston Hill MTB Club
2nd: Jack Chapman
3rd: Joe Winston
4th: Zac Blackwell
5th: Sam Marzetti

So with my new found freedom, I made my way down the hill to the bottom more man made section and took a few shots and checked out the racing here. This was where the racers where in full flow mid run with the initial hard peddling done. For some a place to show boat a little, for others the final hurdle to the finish line, mistakes could still be made.

Tomas-Kupstys-Gravity-Project
Master winner: Thomas Kupstys 58.95

Master Men
1st: Tomas Kupstys
2nd: Chris Archer
3rd: Tim Gane
4th: Andrew Gardiner / Gravity Project/Labyrinth
5th: Mathew Pidgeon

On a whole the standard of racing was very high with every rider giving it their all. The crowd also got behind the riders with lots of encouragement and friendly banter. I'd say the honey series is on course for another cracking session.

Rich-Simpson-Gravity-Project
Veteran winner: Rich Simpson / Schwalbe/Supernovacycles.co.uk 1:00.72

Veteran Men
1st: Rich Simpson / Schwalbe/Supernovacycles.co.uk
2nd: Richard Gilbert
3rd: Graham Goodyear / Gravity Project/Labyrinth
4th: Mike Norman
5th: Joe Killner Aston Hill MTB Club

Billy-Austin-Gravity-Project
Hardtail winner: Billy Austin 1:05.33

Hardtail Men
1st: Billy Austin
2nd: Scott Fitzgerald / QECP Trail Collective
3rd: Dean Louden
4th Rupert Peddle
5th: Gary Richards

Suzanne-Lacy-Gravity-Project
Women winner: Suzanne Lacey 1:08.02

Women
1st: Suzanne Lacey
2nd: Francie Arthur
3rd: Erica Exelby / CSR army
4th: Joanne Lewendon / Rogate Bike Park
5th: Julie Fox / Beyond/Specialized/WDMBC

Rogate-bottom-section
If you want to blow a whistle or more importantly race, make sure you sign up on line on the British Cycling website as the last one sold out leaving no day entrances available.

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/103329/Gravity-Project-Honey-Series-2014-Rd2

The Gravity Project Honey series is in no way connected to the honey monster. The Gravity Project don't make cereal just awesome fun packed race events for riders of all ages around the South of England.