EVENT: REDBULL DOWNMALL 2015
21-22 March 2015
And it's back! The Redbull Downmall Challenge was held again this year at Novena Velocity!
The event was met with head-spinning enthusasim, energy and a huge turnout. Riders from all disciplines with all manner of bikes flocked down to Novena Velocity over the weekend in preparation to blaze their way through a track route stretching from deep within the bowels of Velocity mall itself, down the treacherously tight and gnarly stairwell, through two tabletops (which increased exponentially in size) before sprinting in for the finish under the now familiar Redbull arch.
Uncle Jef and team were hard at work getting the course sorted, keeping riders happy, and getting the race flow running smooth like a well-tuned V8 engine rumbling all weekend long. Some of the guys volunteering as spotters and other miscellaneous tasking were racing too! So when Day 1 came along, these guys were about as excited as the riders themselves!
Uncle Jef may or may not have tied himself to the railing. But he got it sorted out in the end
Red Bull gives you wings. And it kept Walton gunning strong this whole weekend, keeping everything dialled and running smooth
In between all the action and the glorious display of bikes (from BMX to Fatbikes, Trail rigs to full-on DH rigs), riders were clearly hyped to spend the weekend out and about racing, and just plain mingling with other riders. Walking along the track, or even within Novena Velocity, one couldn't help but overhear terms like "travel", "gnarly", "whip" and "pin", all of which would defy common understanding when read out of context.
Riders just enjoying the day out with riders
Pre-race briefing by Walton
Daryl looking fast through the first tabletop during seeding runs
Bikezilla managed to check in with one of the riders, Daryl Ong, about the course on Day 1 of the Downmall. Two ,somewhat minor in appearance, but key differences in the course set up for Day 1 and Day 2 of the race were the planks that were present on Day 1 over the stairs section, and the conversion of the tail end of the second tabletop into a rather sizeable drop. All these changes were meant to accomodate the Elite and Master category racers who were tackling the course on Day 2. But this didn't mean that the course was any easier on Day 1. According to Daryl (above), it was a question of strategy:-
"With the planks in place over the stairs, what happens is you're getting all this acceleration, and not much braking surface. Grabbing the brakes too early or too late and and at the wrong place could mean a facefull of wall and a lot of lost time." – Daryl Ong
Though this may be the case, the Juniors and Ladies still put up a heck of a show. They were left unfazed by the more difficult bits of the course, and really strove to make it their own, experimenting with a number of line choices and keeping power on the pedals as much as they could through the longer stretches of the course to keep speed and shave a few seconds off.
Mohd Luke Farentino just before his seeding run.
Shi YiChen getting power on the pedals up the rampup of the second tabletop
Viki gunning some air off the first tabletop and looking really fast
With the variety of riders this weekend from a variety of disciplines, riders had to adapt quickly to the course and line up some strategic lines to make the best of the track. Bikezilla had the opportunity of chatting with Chua Kai Lun, one of three riders who were attacking the course with unicycles!
"The tougher part of the course were the ramp-ups just before both the tabletops. To compensate for the unique riding style on a unicycle, I had to hop up onto the first tabletop before putting power down on the pedals." – Chua Kai Lun
As we tie up this race report, here are some choice shots from the action that went down this weekend at Novena Velocity!
The conversion from a ramp to a drop at the last tabletop may have seemed minimal, but it had a huge effect on the riding style adopted by riders on Day 2
Ah James sending it on the first tabletop
Chris Ng pinning it out of the tight corner towards the first tabletop
Calvin Auw dropping in towards the finish line as his podium finish
Steez. Straight up steezin.
Bikezilla would like to thank Elco International, Red Bull, Novena Velocity, Zhenghua CSC, Lifeproof, Le Coq Sportif, NSR Bikes, Attitude Bikes, Globe and World of Sports for their wonderful support that was instrumental in bringing riders together for a killer race!
Ed: Street ride is definitely fun, but do ride considerately and safely.