Report: Hope XC Series 2013


2nd June – 608 miles – That’s how far Phil Lenney (GWB-ACTIV) travelled on Sunday to take part in Round 1 of the Brownbacks Hope XC Race Series for 2013.

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If you’re going to travel that far you might as well win the thing. And he did an incorrect choice at a course split meant that Alex Peterson (Alf Jones Race Team), who had actually crossed the line first, had to be relegated to second place.

One thing Alex Peterson did prove is that he can shift on two wheels. A lightning fast first lap saw him lead out the racers. Phil wasn’t far behind, trailing by a mere six seconds as lap two commenced. This pattern continued throughout the race with both staying within a few bike lengths of each other.

Ben_Brindle_HopeXC_June 2013

Picture from Matt Newton 

Even the punishing climb after the first of the technical sections couldn’t split them. The technique and sheer power of these two riders is obvious when you consider their total race times against the rest of the class. Both were over 10 minutes quicker than their nearest rivals to complete their six laps of the energy-sapping course.

In the TGStore Premium Sportswear ‘Racing Diva’ category Amber Southern had returned with a new sponsor, WXC World Racing, to defend her 2012 crown. And defend it she did, both she and Alison Ruston consistently lapping at a speed that would have afforded them top ten places in the men’s racer category! A series of mechanicals decimated the numbers in the TGStore Premium Sportswear ‘Racing Diva’ category but Beate Kubitz put in a strong performance on a tough course coming in third.

James Tudor won in the Big Bear Bikes ‘Weekend Warriors’. The Rossendale CC rider posted a time worthy of a top five finish in the Racer category (time for a move up James!). The only other six lap completer in the Big Bear Bikes sponsored category was Matthew Holstead (Custom Sports Clothing). Rob Lihou came in third just edging the next rider off the podium by a matter of less than a minute.

The 40+ and 50+ veterans of the Silverbacks, generously sponsored by our friends at Lusso, weren’t to be outdone. Stuart Rider (Riders Cycle Centre) proved he carries the name well by posting an impressive overall time for his five laps and finishing almost two minutes ahead of Joff Lazenby (TNFC).

Martin Corbett was a clear winner in the Lusso sponsored 50+ category with over six minutes between him and Gary Condor (Sherwood Pines) in second. Simon ‘Mr Sparkle’ Fox deserves a special mention not only for finishing a third in this category but for doing so on a singlespeed, thereby securing himself yet another of the sought after Charlie The Bikemonger chains!

The Hope XC Series is all about encouraging people to get involved in mountain bike racing. So no report is complete without highlighting the pOcpac sponsored ‘Have-a-go Heroes’ and ‘Heroines’ and the Ride On ‘Lads’. Tom Hindley of Pagemakers laid down a marker for the 2013 Series, finishing his five laps two minutes faster than his nearest rival Simon Hedley in the pOcpac ‘Have-a-go Heroes’ class. Rob Pilling was third. In the pOcpac Have-a-go Heroines Shaunie Mangham who had the courage to get back on her bike after a heavy fall survived the race and took home a trophy and an Od-Pod stand.

There may not be a lot to Will “the pocket rocket” Lewis (High Peak Cycles Race Team) but he packs a hell of a racing punch as he proved when coming in first in the Ride On ‘Lads’ category.




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