Castle Cornet hosted the inaugural Conquer the Castle Urban Downhill race on Sunday. It’s not often that downhill racers get to race in front of such crowds locally, with over 400 spectators lining the course it made for a great atmosphere. Almost 40 riders tackled the challenging course from the highest point on the Castle down the historic flights of steps and passageways to finish on the Castle breakwater down below. The course was very tight & required skill to safely navigate the course, with very little margin for error. A mistake or poor line choice would be painful!
To complement the Castle’s own challenging terrain the course builders had been hard at work constructing additional wooden jumps, berms and pumps to keep the racing exciting for all involved.
The top 8 senior riders managed to descend the course under the magic minute barrier! On the day the top 2 riders were separated by 5 hundredths of a second, the win went to Adam Sunderland with a time of 56.44, the runner up spot fell to John Mapley with 56.49. Third place went to top hard-tail rider Gary Robert, with a fantastic time of 57.77. After the race winner Adam said, “I was impressed by the course, it was better than I was expecting, the organisers made good use of what the Castle had to offer. I was happy with the way I rode, it felt good and in my second run I really went for it, I pedalled harder and braked later and was surprised when I got told my time. I'm really pleased to have been a part of this unique event and even happier that I came away with the win”.
The junior competitors tackled the same challenging course, Adventure Cycles rider Joe Collenette took the win in a time of 1.02.21 ahead of runner up Josh Ballard with a time of 1.06.11.
The Guernsey Velo Club would like to thank Castle Cornet for allowing this unique event to become a possibility, along with the support from Adventure Cycles and Visit Guernsey, without them this event would never have become a reality.