Report: Hope XC Series Race 2

In contrast to the clear blue skies of race 1, race 2 saw the Bacup weather remind everyone that you can get four seasons in one day up on the hill.

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The rain tested both the organisers on a skeleton crew and the riders as the weather fluctuated between light rain and heavy showers before the start with the occasional gap during the race. The weather however didn’t discourage the riders with over 130 lining up to take on the demanding wet trails of Lee Quarry with over 50 entering on the day.

The start for the Leisure Lakes Bikes Racer category was in one of the brief interludes between rain and more rain, Dan Evans (Rhos-on-Sea CC) dominant in race 1 was being challenged by John Hopkinson (Aire Valley Cycles), newcomer David Beskeen (Ghost) and the 2011 series winner Jiri Klekner ( Dan again dominated in what turned into a set of individual time trials with the order being set in lap one and maintained to the end. An impressive ride by all four in difficult conditions. Almost as impressive as Dave Powell (JMC On-one) who rode 30+ miles from home to race, got a top ten finish and then rode home….. the long way.

Amber Southern ( has now got the measure of the quarry trails and repeated her victory in the Cooksons Cycles Racing Diva Category. Danielle Rider (Moda-Bike Magic) wasn’t able to get on the pace set by Amber and an improving Jacqui Flynn (Leisure Lakes) managed to pull back a slow start to take the last place on the podium.

Jordan Southern (yes there is a connection) easily won the Big Bear Bikes Weekend Warrior category from James Tudor with Nick Budworth (St Helens Woolybacks) holding off last weeks podium finisher Lee Perie ( to get the third spot. The real story of the day however is the new DHP11 Silverbacks categories for 40+ and 50+ riders. There must be fountain of youth in the quarry as the three podium finishers of the 40+ could each have won the Weekend Warrior category. Ian Palmer ( stormed the quarry with strong rides from Seth Smith (Bradford Olympic) and Andy Conn (Bike Scene MTB Guisborough). The 50+ riders were no slouches either with Steve Taylor (Sherwood Pines/ Cooperative Motors) holding off series sponsor Derek Hunter (Matlock CC) who climbed a step higher on the podium.

There was tight racing in the Have-a-go categories with Aled Roberts (Rhos-on-Sea CC) winning his first ever mtb race and Tracy Bailey just holding off Lorna Rider (Sherwood Pines/ Cooperative Motors).

In a shortened race the Bike Shack (Haslingden) sponsored Lads and Lasses categories Dylan Kerfoot-Robson boosted Rhos-on-Sea CC trophy collection with Frazer Clacherty (TEF Richardsons Race Team ) holding off Ben Lawson. The Bamboo Bikes sponsored Jordan Bateman improved on his retirement in race 1 to get 4th. The impending nationals and the lack of other races saw a competitive race in the Lasses category with Anna Mellor (Holme Valley Wheelers) beating (almost) local girl Martha Gill (Bolton Hot wheels CC) who was leading after the first lap. Sarah Lomas (Matlock CC) completed the podium.

A grateful thanks must go to the marshals in very tough conditions and to Buff whose sponsorship helped keep off the elements. Race 3 is on the 2nd September and pre-entry is still open. As usual a new course should see some more changes to shake things up and there is the added attraction of on-site catering, facilities and plenty of car parking for riders and spectators.

2nd September, 14th October.
Online entry open via the downloadable postal entry form is here


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