Mountain Bike report from the Mud, Sweat and Gears round 3, Eastern region XC including Regional Champs
www.mudsweatgears.co.uk | Location: Thetford Forest, Norfolk | Event: 13th May 2012
Having spent the last couple of weeks cleaning the mud off from Hylands and trying to get our heads round the prospect of potentially another wet muddy race we nervously watched the weather forecast hoping for clearer skies. As we ran up to the Thetford weekend the forecast was looking better and better. So it transpired that the weekend was great, the course fabulous, the racing good, and organisationally a pleasure as ever to be working with Thetford MTB Racing. Very professional and as a result a very easy weekend for all of us compared to usual.
With the sun beginning to rise above the tree line it was time to get the morning races underway. The good weather had brought out the largest entry seen of all the regional championships with everyone anticipating close, exciting racing throughout the categories. We were not disappointed.
The Youth riders were first off and Sean Dunlea (Ciclos Uno) set an electric pace which few could follow. Behind Ruairi Phelan (VC Revolution) and Paddy Atkinson were having a close battle at the end of lap one before Ruairi stretched his advantage on lap 2 to seal 2nd place with Paddy taking a comfortable 3rd. The Youth female race was won by Bryony Board (Glendene CC) who was mixing it with the Sport female riders and holding her own.
Hot on the heals of the Youth riders were the Juveniles. A crash at the start saw a couple of riders go down, luckily with no serious injuries. Charles Broadway took a comfortable victory ahead of Callum Mackie (Lea Valley Youth CC) in 2nd and Jake Towler rounding off the podium in 3rd. The juvenile female race was won by Kirsty Morris (Wellend Valley CC)
Once all the Youth, Juvenile and Open male races were off and running and far enough away all the female riders took to the start. Katy Simcock (Team Scott UK) took the win in the Elite/Expert category a full 9 minutes ahead of the next female competitor on the course. In the Sport female race Alex Nichol (Team CCN) bounced back from a poor Hylands Park result to win in commanding fashion. Fay Cunningham (RAF CC) was 2nd ahead of Kate Sealy in 3rd.
1st Anita Buxton – Thetford MTB Racing
2nd Vincenza Perkins – Numplumz Mountainbikers
3rd Sue McIntyre
Grand Vet Female
1st Averil Milligan – Cambridge CC
2nd Sara Flatt – Iceni Velo
At lunchtime we had what is a lot of people’s favourite race the Under 12’s. With a fantastic entry of 43 riders and a lap time of approximately 3 minutes it promised to be a close race. All of the Under 12’s had been warmed up for their race by partaking in the morning coaching session with Keely Bunton Coaching and were ready for the race ahead of them.
The Under 12 boys didn’t disappoint with the top 5 riders never being separated by more than 1 minute. At the finish though it was Harrison Powell (Lea Valley Youth CC) who prevailed by 30secs from club mate Felix Mackie (Lea Valley Youth CC). In 3rd and only 3secs behind was William Davies (Welwyn Wheelers CC). Special mention has to go to Dominic Pauley and Austin Ainsworth (6yrs and 4yrs respectively) for their great riding and competitive spirit at such a young age!
Now for some really close racing – The Under 12 girls – Lotty Wylde and Sophie Saberton (both St. Ives CC) traded fastest lap times for the entirety of the race a could not be separated. In the end it came down to a sprint finish with Lotty taking the win from Sophie. In 3rd place Caitlyn Sampson (Stowmarket CC).
With the sun bright in the sky it was time to get all the adult male categories underway. First out of the block were the Elite/Expert riders. Steve James (AW Cycles) put the mechanical DNF from Hylands behind him to win with Henry Sleight (RWD Brakes Factory RT in 2nd and Ian Mockett from partner race promoter Thetford MTB Racing in 3rd.
Once again the Junior male race is proving to be fascinating to watch as the riders jockeying for the overall series prize. Recording his second win of the series was Callum Riley (Newdales Cycles RT) with Lewis Parker (HMF Pedal Power) in 2nd and our winner from Hylands Daniel Barford (Flitch Bikes) in 3rd.
The mixture of dry trails and large entries made for close racing throughout the entire field with every position being fought over.
1st Andrew Sampson – Stowmarket CC
2nd Paul Sheers – ViCiOUS Velo
3rd Treads CC
1st Dan Howe – TROG
2nd Jason Smith – Team CCN
3rd Shaun Aldous – Team CCN
1st Paul Ashby – Fat Birds Don’t Fly
2nd Greg Simcock – Team Scott UK
3rd Nicholas Ainsworth – Aero Cyles
Grand Vet Male
1st Phil Buick – Iceni Velo
2nd Dennis Dix – Chelmer Cycles
3rd Michael Murray
Once again I’d like to thank our sponsors HMF, Chelmer Cycles, Intrepid Apparel, Human Performance Unit and Cycle Evolution for their ongoing support and especially Thetford MTB Racing for creating and managing such a great course!
See you all at Codham Park on the 3rd June 2012!!