The latest incarnation of the Downhill MTB beast that is Red Bull Hardline took place over the hills of Dyfi Valley in North Wales and combined massive gap jumps, giant slab rolls and tight wood sections. Rainy conditions leading up to the race made for an intensely slippery track that caught most of the riders out, and resulted in the toughest Hardline to date.
Only 10 riders made it through to the final race after qualifying, with Adam Brayton and defending champion Bernard Kerr looking like the hot favourites posting with the fastest times of the field.
Craig Evans, who qualified in 4th place put down a blistering run to take the hot-seat, and stayed there until the end, with a 2 seconds lead. to be crowned the 2017 Red Bull Hardline champion.
Evans revealed, “I didn’t think I was going to win at all, so it’s a crazy feeling. I had bits where I was smooth and I had bits where I was a bit wild but I managed to hold on to it until the bottom. So yeah, buzzing.”
Bernard Kerr unfortunately had too many mistakes in his run but still managed to hold on for 2nd place while Dan Atherton charged down the course into 3rd. The last man down the hill, Adam Brayton, was on a fast and winning run when it all came apart as he crashed out in the final stages of the track.
Kerr added, “I didn’t win, so not great. It was so slippy. I think it had just started raining as the rider before me went off and it just went to ice instantly. I tried to hang on to it and ride smart after that, but not quite enough.”
Photos by Nathan Hughes and Sven Martin / Red Bull Content Pool.