18/05/2022 - Steel City DH

Steel City DH '22

Better than Christmas, the biggest little race, Sheffield World Champs. Call it what you like, Peaty's Steel City Downhill 2022 was a brilliant day.

Absent from the calendar for the last couple of years, it was a triumphant return for the 10th anniversary of Steel City Downhill this weekend just gone. Held on a completely revamped track in Sheffield's Grenoside Woods, it was an unforgettable day.

Mel Super FifeBetter than a team
FastBetter than a team

We were on deck bright and early to set up our stand, in our traditional spot trackside at the top of the famous bombhole drop into the finish arena. After a cloudy start it soon became obvious we were in for a scorcher of a day, and not long after practise runs had got underway, spectators began lining the track in their hundreds. Huge shout out to the trail building crew led by JP, a total overhaul of the track had transformed it into a work of art. Early comments from racers suggested the biggest challenge was trying not to overshoot every feature it was running that fast. Fun to ride, hard to race. It was shaping up to be tight racing.

After not getting between the tapes for a couple of years, our resident FastLad Chay Granby seemed to have found a hunger as the day went on, and was absolutely hauling. Representing Cotic in the senior women's category was bike riding addict Mel Fife, also looking rapid in the increasingly dusty corners.

It was great to get both the latest Jeht and the Cascade on display, and lots of people were admiring the bikes in the sunshine, thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand to chat. It really does feel good to be meeting people face to face and talking about the bikes again. There were plenty of people staring longingly at them, and lots of nice comments too which was lovely. Remember, we are running demos at our Peak District HQ by appointment every Wednesday and Friday, and our next Saturday demo day is 18th June.

Racing got underway beneath a sunny sky, and clouds of dust filled the air. In fact they filled just about everywhere, I don't think I've ever seen conditions like it in Sheffield before. The Peaty's Trail Ale was flowing and even more spectators arrived to line the track. The atmosphere was superb, with every rider getting cheered down the track like a World Cup Downhill race.

Mel Fife bagged a great result with 5th in Senior Women's and then packed up to head to the Boltby Bash, where she raced all the stages blind to an amazing second place the following day! Amazing stuff.

Shout out to Dave Lavy taking his Rocket 275 to 14th in his first race in the Masters category.

Chay put down 2 storming runs and was loving being between the tapes again. 22nd in Pro-Am category and just a couple of seconds off Steve Peat's time. He'd have won Veterans by over 3 seconds too! Post-race beers well earned.

We spotted a few Cotics looking fast on track, well done to everyone, it's a daunting race to enter but one I can definitely recommend you have a go at one day. There's no other event quite like it, every rider gets cheered on as if they are famous pro racers. I think the biggest cheers I heard were for the inspirational Pat Horsecroft though. 78 years young and racing downhill, great to see Granny McGnarly complete another Steel City Downhill.

FastBetter than a team

I'm not sure we've managed to get all the dust cleaned up yet, and we're already looking forward to next year's race. If you enjoyed the day, and like the look of the new track, you can donate to Ride Sheffield to help keep it running sweet. Work is already underway on revamping the other trails in Grenoside, and it's only possible with your donations. Hit the button below to help out if you can.

Donate to Ride Sheffield

We have a quick turn around this week, as we are off up to Fort William for the Downhill World Cup. Another brilliant event we've missed for the last couple of years. If you're heading to the Highlands to catch the action, be sure to pop by our stand in the event village. We'll have merch for sale (we have a card reader now too!), stickers to grab and pretty bikes to ogle and chat about. Hopefully see you up there.

More of our photos on Flickr…

Demo A Cotic…

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Pink Bike's Race Report…