What an amazing race.

The weather played ball and racers were treated to dry and dusty conditions on the mash-up course which featured off-camber links between regular Aston Hill trails; it was even overheard as being described as “the best Aston Hill track, ever”. Praise indeed!


Rather than write a report (especially as the full results are on Gravity Project and Roots and Rain), feast your eyes on the video and pictures below - they tell a far better story. There’s also shots on the Aston Hill Flickr group - feel free to add more!

A huge shout must be given to Gravity Project, Quality Catering, Vintage VW Smoothies and the hardworking medics, for keeping people timed, fed, watered and safe.

A massive hats off also needs to go to the race backbone: the marshals. They did a sterling job at an incredibly busy race. Thank you very much guys!

All that remains is to say a massive, massive thank you to the race sponsors, who provided amazing support and prizes:

  • Beeline Cycles
  • Bell Helmets (Zyro distribution)
  • Ethic Watches
  • Firecrest MTB Coaching
  • Flare Clothing
  • Leisure Lakes (Daventry)
  • Lovelo Cycle Works
  • Mountain Mania
  • Supernova Cycles
  • Tring Brewery
  • Walton Street Cycles

Racing will return next March. Watch this space!

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Dirt: Back to My Roots

If there’s one thing the Hill isn’t short of, it’s roots (in every sense of the word).

This recently became even more apparent when the Hill appeared in the rather aptly named ‘Back to My Roots’ feature by Josh Lane, which was also strikingly captured by Simon Nieborak.

Aston Hill Back to my Roots article on

Make a brew and check out the full article at - it’s well worth a read.

Eastern and Central Champs 2011

Eastern and Central Champs logo

It could really do with a little rain…

After a dry week at the end of a very wet August, too many people were tempting the weather gods at Aston Hill. The very dusty course was “like riding on marbles”, according to one racer on Saturday’s practice and “it could really do with a little rain to settle things down” was said more than once.

Well my friends, ask and you shall receive.

To prove that the weather gods are listening and have a sense of humour, racing kicked off at 11am on Sunday and by 11.15 it had started raining. By 1pm it had become a deluge of biblical proportions and at 3pm it was barely letting up. By 5pm, shortly after prize giving, the sun finally came out.

Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

Still, the conditions proved a few things. The first was that the 423 really is a good all-weather course, standing up remarkably well to the sustained beating that a day of racing brings. The second was that racers are a hardy bunch, with a good portion of riders staying to do a second run on a wet-turning-tacky trail.

The racing!


The hardtails were off first on a dry course, and Sam Johnson and Isaac Mundy of the Identiti Flow team claimed 1st and 2nd, with the 3rd and 4th fastest times of the day (1.10.71 and 1.12.93 respectively) and Matthew James making up the podium, barely four seconds off the winning time. Truly crazy, crazy fools.

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