MTB Racing: Midlands XC Round 1 Report

Leicestershire RC’s “Hicks Lodge Leg Burner”, sponsored by RapidRacerProducts and Mt. Zoom lived up to it’s title last Sunday – who said ‘flat’ courses were easy? 

With a beautiful sunny day, fast drying trails and lots of new faces, the previous day’s rain was quickly forgotten as the 2012 series got underway at Hicks Lodge in Leicestershire.

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Photo: Ray Mortlock 

Following lots of requests from riders who miss the old Midlands XC winter races that used to take place at Sherwood Pines back in the day, this new venue run by Purple Mountain was the ideal location for an early season big ring blast – weatherproof trails, excellent facilities and a top notch cafe!

In the morning race, a fantastic turnout of female riders gave the ladies a taste of what large categories such as the Sport and Vet men have to contend with at the start of every race! Nearly 40 ladies jostled for position down the start straight with Maxine Filby leading from the front and never looking back to win the Elite race ahead of Joanne Clay and Ruth Owen-Evans. Karen Summers won the biggest Vet female race seen for a long time with Dianne Lee winning an equally busy Sport category. Standout female ride of the day though has to go to Charlotte Broughton who took the win in Juvenille category, beating all but 1 of the Juvenille boys in the process!

Photo: Ray Mortlock 

A new year means a new category for many riders and Chris Rathbone started as he means to go on by winning a stacked Vets race in a sprint finish with Lewis King with Paul Ashby taking 3rd. For others 2012 is business as usual with Ian Wright winning the Grand Vets and team-mate Alex Weburn picking up where he left off to win the Junior race ahead of Ed McParland and Alex Baker. To prove success is not just about the first 20 minutes, Dylan Kerfoot-Robson started his second lap outside the top ten, but scythed his was through the field to win the Youth men’s race!

For many, the new year marks a return to racing, with the Sport and Go-Race categories full to the brim. Chris Howell and Gareth Fearn winning their respective categories. With a podium finish already under his belt at the previous evening Red Bull Hill Chasers, Gareth Montgomerie claimed the top step in the Elite race (claiming the Mt. Zoom sponsored fastest lap prize by 1 second along the way) ahead of team-mate Dave Henderson and newly promoted Ryan Henry.

Roy Davis won the ever competitive Masters race, with local pro rider Dan Fleeman taking second and Grant Leavy third. Bruce Dalton scored the holeshot in the Expert race leading through on the first lap, but paid for his heroics so early in the season… John Hopkinson kept his lap times more consistent to take first, with 24hr solo maestro Craig Bowles in second and Dieter Droger third.

A big thanks to Andy and everyone at Leicestershire RC, the Forestry Commission, Purple Mountain and the Hope S##t Shifter guys for a great event. Midlands XC always appreciate any feedback you may have, so get involved on Twitter and Facebook.

Not long till the Cannock Chase Classic on Sunday 18th March – it promises to be another sell out, so enter online now!



RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tags: ,