Grant Ferguson took his fourth consecutive senior British Cycling National Mountain Bike Cross Country title earlier today at Caithkin Braes.Ferguson, riding for Betch.NL.Superior Brentjens, broke away early in the race with Dave Fletcher (Pine Cycles-Felt-Enve) who took a fine second spot and a charging Liam Killeen (Malvern Cycle Sport) who took bronze.
It was Ferguson who made the early move on the opening lap, along with Fletcher and Phil Pearce (Specialised Racing), the trio set the tone of the race with a brisk pace that strung the field out.
An in-form Jason Boutell (X-RT Elmy) left the start line with a mechanical and was unable to make up ground on the quick course having to retire a few laps into the race.
As the race settled the lead trio looked to have the measure of the tricky course and had a decent gap on a chasing Adrian Lansley (Pedalon.co.uk). Hope Factory’s Paul Oldham, wasn’t far off the pace and with Killeen set about chasing the race down through the switchbacks at Double Dare drop.
Pearce suffered a rear puncture and dropped away from the leaders, Killeen had chased down Lansley and by the third lap was some 30 seconds off the pair of Ferguson and Fletcher.
The field was now strung out across the course but Pearce, Oldham and Tom Bell (DELV) were all in shouting distance of a podium.
With half the race completed Ferguson was making the course his own, the Scotsman looking for that fourth title on his home course. Fletcher flew through the technical zone and pegged the gap to some 30 seconds.
Killeen was chasing Fletcher down whilst Pearce was crawling his way back to fourth place. As the laps counted down, the race remained almost procession like, the fast course not allowing any chasers an inch.Ferguson eased slightly on the final lap but still allowed enough space for any mishaps and the champion crossed the line some 35 seconds ahead of Fletcher.
Grant Ferguson said after the race: “Pearce was out of sight and was really unfortunate to get a puncture because he was really strong.
“That left me and Fletcher and I just took it on. I built a bit of gap on the finishing straight and was trying to ride my own race and keep the gap, building on it when I could. Today was fine for me. It was a good race but I’m happy with how it went.”
Annie Last (Novus OMX Pro Team) proved too strong in the senior women’s race, taking her to a fifth National Women’s National Mountain Bike Cross Country title.
Last, who has been dogged by injury over the last two years, got it all together when it mattered to dominate the race, taking victory by over seven minutes from Kerry MacPhee (Rock & Road) and some 13 minutes over Maxine Filby (Cannonade Girls).
It was Last who got a fast start off the line and led the field out towards Propeller Point. Filby and MacPhee locked on her back wheel as the field weaved up the twisty narrow path towards the high point of the course.
Last’s acceleration proved too much for the chasers and as the field came through the technical zone, the OMX rider was alone.
Gaps were already beginning to show across the field but MacPhee was holding a steady 30 seconds in second place.
Filby and Jane Barr (Velocity 44) were on each others’ wheel some way behind but the race was now about the lower placings.
Hope’s Annie Simpson was looking to emulate her performance of the previous year and challenge for third place. With half the race elapsed she was up into fourth, a position she held until the line.
Last, barring any incident had sewn the Championship title up, arguably on the opening lap, and wasn’t going to be caught.
The race remained almost an off road time trial for the top six, such was Last’s dominant ride. MacPhee took the silver medal whilst Filby took bronze.
Last said after the race: “I’ve had a tough couple of years to be honest, I had lots of illness so I’ve not been fit or in shape but touch wood I’ve not had any problems recently and I’ve started to get back into the rhythm and while I’m not quite where I was, I am getting there.
“I was at the front from the start then it’s just about just riding the race yourself but you’ve still got to be focused, paced and not make mistakes.
“This course has had some changes, there’s a couple of technical sections now, which can trip you up and if you just miss the top of the steep climb, it can slow you down and it takes a while to get back. I really enjoyed the course, the changes made it fun.”
In the under 23s mens race, it was 100%ME’s Frazer Clacherty who claimed a hard fought victory and added to his Junior title in 2015, after a race long battle with team mate Mark Mcguire. Clacherty looked strong from the start and was up with the front of the senior race early on. The race for 3rd was between Dylan Kerfoot-Robson(Team USN) and Westbridge Foods’ Dave Creber, Kerfoot-Robson had the upper hand going into the final lap but it was Creber who entered the finishing arena a handful of seconds ahead of the Welshman to claim the bronze.
A jubilant Evie Richards took her first National MTB title, taking the win in the Under 23s womens race. Going into the race the 100%ME rider was arguably the favourite to take the title and lead from the start of the race. The fight for silver was between the Scottish pair of Isla Short(Novus OMX Pro Team) and Lucy Grant(Bicycle Works) but it was Short who tamed the tricky course to claim second place some minutes ahead of Grant.
Will Gascoyne(Pines Cycles-Felt-Enve) took the victory in the Junior Mens race. Gascoyne who was runner up in 2015 rode superbly to fend off attacks from Cameron Orr(SRAM Youth Dev) to take his first National MTB title since he was a juvenile. Stan Pritchard(Malvern Cycle Sport) took the final step of the podium after another hard junior race that saw a race littered with flat tyres.
Sophie Wright(Renvale RT) took a fine win in the Junior Womens race, adding to her European title and the 2015 Youth title. Wright, who was doubtful to take to the start after a hard crash in practice looked sore on the bike and her lap times reflected that but a strong start from the gun, along with Emily Wadsworth(Beeline-Gener8) and Charlotte Broughton(Ford EcoBoost) put the doubts to bed. Broughton had to retire early in the race after crashing on a tricky descent which left the lead pair well ahead of Amy Selibas(Naked Bikes RT) who took the bronze.
Scott Racing’s Nick Craig and Stu Bowers took gold and silver respectively in the Over 40s Veterans race whilst Sam Humphrey(Offcamber) took bronze. An early break saw Craig, Bowers, Humphrey along with Marc Chamberliain(Cotswold Cycles RT) get a useful gap on a chasing pair of Paul Lloyd and Dave Collins(Hope Factory) and barring any incident the race victor would come from that lead group. A trademark attack from Craig mid race left the others racing for the lower placings and with the Scott rider taking the final lap with a safe gap his title was all but claimed. Bowers put in another attack on the final lap but Craig’s lead was now too great to be challenged.
It was a first National title for Zepnat’s Pete Middleton in the Over 50s race. Middleton rode a faultless race to claim the gold whilst 2015 Champion Tim Gould(www. Zepnat.com-Lazer Helmets) had to rue the day after a hard crash on the opening lap. Gould recovered to take bronze, Nigel Brown (Westbury Wheelers) claimed silver.
Roy Hunt(Pedalon.co.uk) retained his 2015 title in the Super veteran race holding off John Shirley(West Highland Wheelers) and Ian Petherbridge(Southdowns Bikes-Casco) into 2nd and 3rd respectively).
Maddie Smith(Bolsover & District) topped off a great season with the National title in the Veterans womens race. Smith, rode away early in the race to a well deserved victory. Alison Rushton(Ribble Valley) took silver and Carloine Goward(Scott Racing) took bronze.
Jacqueline Roberts(Beyond Mountain Bikes) took the win in the Grand Veterans race riding 2015 Champion Sarah Barnwell(Club Beicio Mynydd Dryffryn) into silver position. Elizabeth Clayton(Stirling Bike Club) took bronze.
Dave Lines(Wheelbase Altura) swapped the road bike for the knobbly tyres and took the win in the masters race, Lines held off a strong challenge throughout the 5 laps by Wayne Bennett(Twigden Homes) to hold on for victory. Kim Little(Merida Factory Racing) took bronze.
Gillian Pratt(Leslie Bike Shop) took the title in the female masters race, Pratt took the win after a tough race against Heather Shanks(Concept Group) who took silver. Amy Souter(Albatross CC) took bronze.
Edinburgh RC’s Sean Flynn took the win and the National Title in the Youth boys race. Flynn took the race on from the gun and along with
Ben Tulett(Beeline-Gener8) and Harry Birchll(Certini) defined the opening race of the day. Numerous attacks from Tulett looked as though he could could be favourite for the win but it was Flynn who rode a strong final lap to enter the arena alone to take the plaudits. Harry Birchill took bronze.
Hattie Harnden(T-Mo Racing) added to her juvenile title with a fine win in the Youth girls race. Harden, proved too strong for the chasing Anna McGorum(Peebles CC) and Poppy Wildman(SRAM Youth Development) and finished some 4 minutes to the good of McGorum to take gold.
Jamie Johnston took the win in the Juvenile boys race. The Pro Vision rider finished some 40 seconds to a chasing Tim Freeman(Dreigiau Coed Y Brenin) who in turn just had the legs to hold of Leicester Road Club’s Alec Gregory to take silver.
Maddie Wadsworth(Beeline Bicycles) took the title in the juveniles girls race, Wadsworth hit the front of the race from the gun and along with Edinburgh RC’s Anna Flynn and Charlotte-Louise McGreevy defined the shape of the race. Wadsworth worked to get back into the race after crashing early on the first slippy descent to take the front and the title. Flynn and McGreevy took silver and bronze respectively.
Jason Bouttell took the win at Cannock Chase today in the final round of the British Cycling MTB XC Series. The win, which was Boutell’s first in the elite category came at the end of a mixed season for the X-RT Elmy rider and the relief was palpable as he crossed the line after a leg sapping 6 laps. Phil Pearce(Specialized racing) took 2nd, crossing the line with a blood splattered arm after a crash in the closing laps but a final last lap saw Pearce pull back some 40 seconds on Dave Fletcher(Sherwood Pines-Felt-Enve) who suffered cramp on the closing lap and had to relinquish his place after duelling with Boudell from the gun.
The Series overall was wrapped up in the previous round by Malvern’s Liam Kileen who didn’t take to the start today but took to the stage to take the plaudits for his first national series win. Fletcher’s 3rd spot and Pearce’s 2nd ensured a final overall of 2nd and 3rd respectively.
It was Fletcher and Bouttell who made for the early break, the pair riding away from the field as the race headed out of the arena, Alex Welburn(Torq Performance) had a great start, moving into 3rd spot early on and moving away from a chasing Pearce and Gareth McKee(Bainbridge CC). Ian Paton(100% ME), with a top placing in the race had the chance to move up to 2nd overall but was unable to move to the head of the race and would drop down the placings as the race developed.Tom Bell(Delv), Paul Oldham(Hope Factory) and Giles Drake(Leisure Lakes) all put in solid performances throughout but it would be Bouttell, Pearce and Fletcher who would be the main protagonists of the day.
Fletcher and Boutell kept the pace high for the majority of the race, no one able to make inroads to the lead pair and by the mid point the 2 leaders looked settled in. Pearce and McKee worked their way up to Welburn and in turn Pearce jumped over the pair to claim 3rd place in the race. Paton didn’t look to be having the best day on the bike, losing ground on Oldham and Tom Bell who along with Giles Drake, had quietly worked through towards the front of the race.
With 2 laps remaining, Fletcher attacked Bouttell and got a small gap but it wouldn’t last long and the pair were back together before the lap was out, Pearce was still almost a minute down on the pair but the final lap would turn the race on it’s head. Fletcher began to slow with cramp allowing Bouttell to take the advantage from his sparring partner and leave Fletcher rueing his luck. Pearce, hit the deck hard but rallied to take some 40 seconds off the leader, passing Fletcher to take 2nd place and 3rd in the series with the race winner in sight. Fletcher took 3rd and the rest of the positions rolled across the line in single file.
It was Isla Short(Novus OMX Pro Team) who took the win and the series title in the Elite Womens race. Short in a comeback year after breaking her back last season, all but dominated the 5 laps at Cannock splitting the race up in the early laps.
With Evie Richards riding in Canada, the series was left open for any one of 3 to claim the series. Beth Crumpton(Boot out Breast Cancer), Lucy Grant(Bicycle Works RT) and Short knew a win would take the title. It was Grant who took the race on in the opening lap, pulling out some 30 seconds to the chasing pair of Crumpton and Short but the lead would be short lived and strong riding by the chasing pair turned the chase over to the a lead of some 20 seconds over Grant. Kerry MacPhee(Rock & Road) was alone in 4th spot, the place she would take to the finish line but just behind was a 4 way battle between Ffion James(Abergavenny), Lucy Allen(TORQ Performance) Holly MacMahon(WXC World Racing) and Rebecca Preece(Leisure Lakes), James would ultimately take the final step on the podium.
The bomb hole at the far end of the forest was proving to be a sticking point for the less strong riders but Crumpton had the measure of it and on lap 3 got a few bike lengths on Short, getting on the pedals before her sparring partner. The race for the series looked to be between the lead pair with Grant slipping back slightly, it was going to be a big ask to get back in contention with the leaders.
It was the penultimate lap that Short made her move, banging in a minute on Crumpton. Leaving the forest alone,Grant now some 3 minutes down on the leader as she entered, Short appeared from the other trail with Crumpton still to appear from the dark. Short increased her lead over the chasing Crumpton on the final lap to take a lone victory and the series title, the smile said it all. Crumpton took second from Grant and the gaps to the rest of the field showed how tough the long laps had been.
In the juniors it was Will Gascoyne(Sherwood Pines-Felt -Enve) who continued his recent good form to take his 3rd win of the series but he didn’t have it all his own way with a race long battle with Chris Rathbone(Ride 24/7) who pushed the winner to the last lap, Gascoyne having the legs for the final couple of KMs to take the win. Cameron Orr took 3rd. The Malvern Cycle Sport pair of Ross Harnden and Stan Pritchard took the series 1-2 respectively whilst Dave Conroy(Scott/Eurocycles) 5th place ensured 3rd overall in the series.
Ella Connolly(Ben Wyvis CC) took the win in the junior women’s race, finishing her 3 laps some 90 seconds to the good of Klaudia Bajolek(Scott/Eurocycles). Harriet Dodd(Salisbury Road) finished 3rd to ensure 3rd in the series. Anna Kay came into the day leading the overall, but only completing the 1st lap moved to 2nd in the final standings, Bajolek’s win ensured her series victory overall.
Nick Craig(Scott Racing) took the win in the veteran race and the series title after a tough 6 laps fighting it out with team mate Stu Bowers and Marc Chamberlain(Cotswold Cycles RT). The Scott pair were looking for a 1-2 at the finish with Bowers taking his first win of the series and Craig finishing 2nd would take the series title but Chamberlain, leading the series coming into Cannock was also looking for maximum points to secure the title. Bowers set an early pace, stretching the field out in the opening laps, only a handful of riders able to stay with him. Craig, Chamberlain, Paul Lloyd, Sam Humphrey, Matt Barrett(Renvale RT) and Paul Hopkins(Merida Factory) made the early selection but such was the pace it would be left to the trio of Bowers, Craig and Chamberlain to define the race with all 3 attacking throughout the race, no one giving an inch but it was Craig whose experience won the race by a mere 6 seconds from Chamberlain, the pain etched across his face at the finish. Bowers took third.
It was to be a lap of honour in the Grand Veterans race for winner Tim Gould(www.Zepnat.com) having secured the series at the previous round at Forest Fields. Another solid ride by Stroud Valley’s Richard Cross took 2nd in the race, securing 2nd in the series. A popular third place from Jimmy Piper gave him his best result of the series whilst Nigel Brown(Westbury Wheelers) took 4th to consolidate his 3rd place overall in the series.
Ray Croswaith(Pedalon) completed his series with his 5th straight win. Roy Hunt took 2nd, 1.15 behind and Nigel Herrod 3rd and 2nd in the series. Phil Stokes’(Jewson- MI) 4th place was enough to secure 3rd in the series.
Bolsover & District’s Maddi Smith has all but dominated the Veteran womens category this year taking her 5th win in fine style. Securing the overall at the previous round, Smith was again unstoppable in the final outing of the series leaving the rest of the field to scrap for the lower places. Nicky Hughes(Specialized Racing) took 2nd and jumped into 2nd overall in the series whilst Lindsay Nell(Team Jewson MI) took 3rd and 3rd overall in the series.
Sarah Barnwell(Club Beicio Mynydd Dyffryn) took her 4th win of the series to secure the title overall. Elizabeth Clayton(Stirling Bike Club) took 2nd and Marianne Heffron(www.Zepnat)3rd
Sean Flynn(Edinburgh RC) took his 3rd win of the series in the Under 16s race to claim the series title, The National Champion set off at a rapid pace in the opening race of the day, the large field strung out before they left the arena for the first time, Flynn, making a useful 30 seconds on a chasing Sam Culverwell(Guernsey Velo) and Harry Birchall(Certini), a split that the winner didn’t relinquish for his 3 laps. Culverwell held on to his second spot in the race and confirmed 3nd in the series overall and a series best ride by Charlie Craig(Scott Racing) took 3rd. Ben Tulett finished 2nd overall in the series even though he didn’t take to the start line.
Harriet Harnden(T-Mo Racing) made it 5 from 5 in the Under 16s girls race. With the series already won, the National Champion made no mistake with another class ride, taking the lead early on the opening lap the Malvern rider soon had a gap that wouldn’t be touched throughout. Megan James(Abergavenny RC) just pipped Pasty Caines(Certini) at the line to take 2nd after a race long battle that saw the pair wheel on wheel throughout. Poppy Wildman(Sram Youth Dev), although not taking to the start had already secured 2nd overall in the series the previous heat. Emily Ashwood(WXC World Racing) took 3rd overall in the series after taking 4th in the race.
Alec Gregory(Leicester Road Club) took his first win of the series in the Under 14s race with a consistent ride over the 2 laps, Tim Freeman(Dreigiau Coaed Y Brenin) slipped off the pace slightly in the 2nd lap to finish just 18 seconds off the leader, Certini’s Harry Birchall took 3rd.
Anna Flynn(Edinburgh RC) took her 5th win of the series in the Under 14s girls race and the series title with another fine ride from the Scottish girl. The WXC World Racing pair of Charlotte- Louise McGreevy and Megan Macmahon took 2nd and 3rd respectively. McGreevy secured 2nd overall in the series and Maddie Wadsworth finished 3rd overall.
Torq Performance’s Jacob Phelps took his 3rd win in the expert race to claim the series overall. Ben Wadey finished 2nd to claim the same position in the overall standings whilst James Curry(Cycling Ulster) completed the podium. Oliver Lowthorpe, although not taking to the start, finished 3rd overall in the series.
Liam Killeen(Malvern Cycle Sport) took his first National MTB Series win earlier today at Newnham Park. Killeen, who by his own admission has a lasting affection for the venue after seeing his first World Cup race there some 20 years ago tamed the demanding course to take the victory from 100%ME’s Iain Paton.
It was Dave Fletcher(Pine Cycles-Felt-Enve) who took control in the opening lap, heading up a group of some 5 riders including Killeen, Paton, Jason Boutell(XRT- Elmy Cycles) and Paton’s team mate Frazer Clacherty they set about opening up a safe gap from a chasing Dylan Kerfoot Robson(Team USN) and Torq’s Alex Welburn. As the race settled into the 2nd lap it was Killeen who along with Paton took the lead and the gap at the front of the race. The long drag up to the 1st technical section at Cottage Carnage looking to take its toll on many in the sun. Fletcher looked comfortable in 3rd pegging the gap to the lead pair but with Boutell looking fresh that 3rd spot would gradually be whittled away. Kerfoot-Robson had moved into 5th and along with Tom Bell(Delv) started to chase the leaders.
Killeen and Paton had settled into a steady rhythm at the head of the race and with 20 seconds to the good their lead looked safe, the battle for the placings was being fought out a little way back, Fletcher was still holding 3rd place but Boutell was now sitting on his wheel and spinning the gears a little easier then the Pines rider it was only a matter of time before he would skip by. Bell and Kerfoot-Robson were still having their own tussle for 5th place. The chasing field were now off the pace, Wilburn was keeping a steady pace but Clacherty looked to be fading on the hilly course, Giles Drake(Leisure Lakes) was beginning to find some pace and had began to chip away at the front runners.
With the race entering its final third, Killeen stamped on the gas and left Paton to chase him back, pulling just over a minute and barring any issues Killeen wouldn’t be seen again. Boutell jumped over Fletcher and went chasing after Paton for 2nd place but Fletcher kept on his wheel, Kerfoot-Robson and Bell started to attack, the pair still inseparable, but it was Drake who found his second wind and went from 9th to 5th. Killeen took the final lap alone and his lead wouldn’t be troubled again. Paton completed his last lap with enough time to retain 2nd, Boutell held off Fletcher to take 3rd who in turn took 4th by a mere 3 seconds from a chasing Drake.
Evie Richards(100%ME) destroyed the field in the women Elite race. The Malvern girl went on the attack from the gun and by the time the race had started the ascend up to Cottage Carnage on the opening lap there was fresh air between her and the rest of the race. Lucy Grant(Bicycle Works RT) and Isla Short(Novus OMX Pro) headed up the chasing field with Beth Crumpton(Boot Out Breast Cancer) and Ffyon James(100%ME) a few bike lengths behind. Max Filby(Cannonade Girls), Jane Barr(Velocity 44) and Jo Clay(Torq) were still in sight on the long drag up to wards the top of the course.
It was Richards though who had increased her lead to 2 minutes as the race moved onto Picnic Rocks, the final technical section before the finishing straight, the 100%ME rider cruising over the rocks without so much as a twitch. With the race into it’s 2nd lap Richards was away, the lead increasing to some 4 minutes from 2nd placed Short who had no answer to the leader, Crumpton wa sitting in 3rd almost 30 seconds off Short and the race was all but over for the chasers.
With just over half the race gone, Richards was now over 6 minutes ahead, Short and Crumpton were still sitting in 2nd and 3rd respectively with Ffyon James holding onto 4th. Kerry MacPhee(Rock & Road Cycles) who had snapped her chain on the start line had quietly worked through the field to take 5th and was lapping just on 1 minute quicker then James. On the final lap Richards had again increased her lead, churning over a big gear she had time to go for lunch but it was the fight for 4th place that was proving interesting MacPhee had caught and passed James and was chipping away at Crumpton’s 3rd place but it would be a question of what ifs for the Rock & Road rider who took a very respectable 4th across the line.
Nick Craig(Scott Racing) took the victory in the over 40s veterans race. The 47 year old who has committed to the category for the 2016 season made light work of the hilly course and after having to start the race at the back of the grid fought his way through to sit in 2nd place by the time the field had reached the first technical section at cottage carnage. Paul Lloyd had a strong start but would fade as the race progressed. Craig would be at the front as the race entered it’s 2nd lap, the lead never relinquished. National Champion Marc Chamberlain(Cotswold Cycles) kept in contact with Craig throughout and Scott’s Stuart Bowers took third just a handful of seconds behind 2nd place to give Scott and 1-3 podium.
It would be a day for the old guard at the famous venue with Tim Gould(Zepnat.Com) taking the win in the over 50s race. The National Champion making it 2 wins from 2 proved to strong for the rest of the field, the technical sections looking to un-seat a good number of the field. Mark Chadbourne(Ridebike.co.uk) took 2nd and Richard Cross completed the podium
Roy Crosthwaite(Pedalon.co.uk) put over 10 minutes into the rest of the Super Veterans field. The course again looking to unseat a good number of the field over the 3 laps. Andy Firman(Cycle-Tec) took 3rd and Nigel Herrod completed the podium.
Maddie Smith(Bolsover & District) took the chequered flag in the female Veterans race. Smith attacked from the start and her lead wasn’t troubled for the 3 laps. Nicky Hughes(Specialized Racing) took 2nd and Caroline Goward gave Scott Racing their 3rd podium of the day.
Tory’s Lydia Gould dominated the female Grand Veterans race taking almost 6.1/2 minutes from 2nd place Katherine Kilburn. Sue McIntyre(Walden Velo) took 3rd.
In the expert race, Torq Performance’s new signing Jacob Phelps repaid the trust with a strong win in the big field. Paddy Atkinson(Team Bikesoup-Bianchi) had to happy with 2nd unable to make any serious inroads to the Phelps. Ben Wadey(Clee Cycles) completed the podium just a handful of seconds off 2nd.
In the Expert female race it was Concept Group’s Heather Shanks who held on to take the win after a hot 4 laps. Erica Moks(Mountain Goat) took 2nd after a strong mid race faded on the final lap. Angela Laycock(Army Cycling Union) took 3rd but was some way down on the 2 leaders.
The junior mens race once again would prove too difficult to call, any one of a dozen riders could have won, the technical sections looking to suit the front runners in the field but it was Will Gascoyne(Pines Cycles-Felt-Enve) who would ride a measured race to take the win. Malvern’s Ross Harnden attacked mid race and looked as though his attack would stick but was chased down, Gascoyne and 3rd place Cameron Orr(SRAM Youth Dev) quick to respond. It was Gascoyne and Harnden though who had the legs to ride away on the last lap the pair together coming into the finishing straight but Gascoyne just had the jump on the Malvern rider to take the win.
Rental’s Sophie Wright romped away to take the junior female race. Wright who was up to 2nd overall in the elite race was unstoppable from the gun was putting 2 minutes into the field on each lap. Emily Wadsworth took 2nd and Ella Conolly completed the podium.
In the under 16s it was Ben Tulett(Beeline-Gener8) who took the win after a head on tussle with Harry Birchill(Certini) and Sean Flynn(Edinburgh RC). Birchill took the early lead with Tulett and Flynn in contact but Tulett with the same attack as his elder brother Dan pulled away putting in a strong 2nd lap to get the gap. Birchill brought the leader back on the last lap, Tulett crashing but was able to remount to keep the lead, crossing the line a mere 8 seconds to the good of Birchill. Flynn took 3rd to complete the podium.
Harriet Harnden(T-Mo Racing) took the win in the Under 16s Girls race. Harden put in an early attack from the gun to take the lead, a lead she wouldn’t be troubled over. Patsy Caines(Certini) took 2nd whilst Poppy Wildman(SRAM Youth Development) put another trophy in the cabinet finishing 3rd.
Freddy Birchill(Certini) went one better then his elder brother by taking the win in the Under 14s race. Tim Freeman(Dreigiau Coad Y Brenin Drago) finished 2nd, although putting a solid 2nd lap in, Brichill’s opening lap gave him a good enough lead over the field. Jamie Johnston(Pro Vision Cycle Clothing)took third.
Anna Flynn(Edinburgh RC) made it 2 wins from 2 in the Under 14 girls race. Flynn was dominant throughout taking over 2 minutes to 2nd place Charlotte-Louise McGreevy(WXC World Racing) and Beeline Bike’s Maddie Wadsworth.
Full results and gallery below
Reigning National Champion Ferguson had to wait until the penultimate lap to make his mark on a strong field at the new venue.
A select group of four made the running on the early laps with Ferguson, Liam Killeen (Malvern Cycle Sport), Milan Vader (Netherlands National Team) and Phil Pearce (Specialized Racing) taking control.
Coming off the technical section of Corby’s Drop, those four had a slim gap on Dave Fletcher (Pines-Felt-Enve) and Benoit Jeanniard (Cyclopassion Bourgogne).
It took two laps for the race to settle down and it was the mid-way point before the front runners got into their stride. The original four had been joined be Jason Boutell (Xrt/Elmy Cycles), Giles Drake (Leisure Lakes) and TORQ’s Alex Welburn, a group that could arguably have taken the win.
As the group took the fourth lap, Vader punctured and had to make a wheel change. That change took a long time and the Dutchman fell from the leaders with Pearce picking up the lead. Killeen and Ferguson were in second and third and the rest of the group had to dig deep to hang on.
Ferguson made his move on the penultimate lap and nobody could match his acceleration.
Pearce and Killeen had dropped some 13 seconds on the leader but Fletcher, sitting in fourth, was beginning to crawl back towards the top three.
Ferguson increased his lead to 43 seconds as he crossed the line for his final lap and barring any problems the victory was his to lose.Killeen held on to second but it was Fletcher who had bridged the gap and came into the arena to take third. Vader had fought hard to climb back to fourth while Pearce took fifth.
Anne Tauber (Habitat Mountainbike Team) took a fine win in the Elite women’s race. The Dutch rider hit the front early in the opening lap along with Isla Short (Novus OMX Pro Team) to make a useful gap away from the chase group of Beth Crumpton (Boot Out Cancer) and Lucy Grant (Peebles CC).
Joanne Clay (TORQ Performance) and Jane Barr (Velocity Stirling) were sitting a few seconds off the chasers.
As the race got into a rhythm, Short broke a skewer jamming her back wheel against the frame, forcing her to pit to get the problem sorted.
Tauber, seeing Short’s misfortune, capitalised and opened a gap which couldn’t be closed down by anyone.
Crumpton and Grant also saw Short in the pits and attacked the field. Clay was sitting in fourth while Maxine Filby (Cannonade Gilrs) had made her way up to fifth.
Kerry MacPhee (Rock and Road) and Lucy Allen (Mazing Tree) were unable to make any inroads on the now slippery surface due to heavy rain.
Barr had slipped slightly back to eighth. Short was back on her bike and was fighting through the field after having to start back in dead last, eventually taking a fine 10th place.
Tauber was unstoppable, her lead giving her extra minutes on the rest of the field. Taking the final lap alone, the Dutch girl didn’t put a foot wrong and took the chequered flag over two minutes ahead of Lucy Grant and almost four minutes to the good of Beth Crumpton. Jo Clay and Maxine Filby completed the top five.
Sean Flynn(Edinburgh RC) took a fine win in the Youth males race after a 4 lap battle with a select group that included Ben Tulett(Beeline-Gener8), Sam Caulverwell(Guernsey Velo), Harry Birchall(Certini) and Tim Shoreman(Dales CyclesRT). The opening race of the day had arguably the kindest weather which made the course fast and dry and presented no real problems with the steep Corby drop. Flynn made his move entering the final stage of the race and rode across the line a handful of seconds ahead of Tulett. Culverwell took the sprint for 4th.
Malvern Cycle Sport’s Harriot Harnden proved too strong for the rest of the youth girls field. A fast opening lap ensured she had a gap that, barring any incident was un bridgeable. Sram Development’s Poppy Wildman took second some 2.1/2 minutes down and the only rider under 5 minutes to the leader. Emily Ashwood(WXC Racing) completed the podium.
Certini’s Freddy Birchill took a solo win in the Juvenile boys, setting the pace in the opening lap Birchill was untroubled all race, Jamie Johnston(Pro Vision) the only rider to get close to the eventual winner. Tim Freeman(Dreigiau Coed Y Brenin) took 3rd. Anna Flynn took the win in the Juvenile girls race proving too strong for Maddie Wadsworth(Beeline Bikes RT) and Charlotte-Louise McGreevy(WXC World Racing) who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The veterans race proved to be a close race from the gun to the flag. A strong field that saw Dave Collins(Hope Factory) moving up to the category and a returning Stu Bowers(SCOTT Racing) ignited the start line. A select group dominated the 6 laps, Collins, Bowers, Paul Lloyd, Marc Chamberlin(Cotswold Cycles RT) and Paul Hopkins(Merida Factory Racing) were amongst the lead group that swapped the lead throughout the race.Coming into the final lap a group of 7 were locked together and it looked as though there could be a 7 man sprint for the win but it was Lloyd who had the legs to ride into the arena a bike length ahead of Chamberlin and Collins to claim the win.
Tim Gould(Zepnat.com RT) made light work of the new course in the Grand Vets race. Taking an early lead Gould paced his race to take the win some 47 seconds to the good of Mark Chadbourne(Ridebike.co.uk) and over a minute to third place Richard Cross.
Ray Crosthwaite(Pedalon.co.uk) took an easy win in the Super veterans race finishing over 6 minutes ahead of Andy Firman(Cycle-Tec) and Southdown Bikes’ Ian Petherbridge.
In the Veteran women’s race it was Bolsover & District’s Maddie Smith who took to the top step again. Taking the lead on the opening lap Smith couldn’t be reeled in. Caroline Goward(SCOTT Racing) took second and Nicky Hughes(Specialized Racing) completed the podium. Sarah Bardwell(Club Beicio Mynydd Dyffryn) took the win in the Grand Veterans race ahead of Sue Mcintyre(Walden Velo) and Marianne Heffron(www.Zepnat.com)
Jacob Phelps(Muddybumbikes) claimed the victory in the large, expert race after a close race with Robert Rogers(Birkenhead NE CC) and Jonathan Shuster. Phelps had a quick opening 2 laps which neither Rogers or Shuster could bring back, the winner finishing just over a minute ahead of the 2 chasers. Rosie Brown(Westbury Wheelers) took victory in the Expert Womens race, holding off Hannah Saville(www.cxmagazine) and Emily Quantrill(Kings Lynn MTB) into 2nd and 3rd.
Harry Yates(Hargroves Cycles-Ridley) won the sprint with Malvern Cycle Sport’s Stan Pritchard to take victory in the Junior race. The pair were together from the gun, neither giving a bike length to each throughout the race. Ross Harden(Malvern Cycle Sport) took third. Charlotte Broughton(Team Ford EcoBoost) took the win in the junior girls race. Broughton rode away on the opening lap and increased her lead lap on lap. Sitting in the top ten of the elite race by the second lap, the rest of the field had no answer and were left to fight it out for the lower places. Anna Kay(Nutcracker Racing) took 2nd and Klaudia Bajolek(Scott/Eurocycles.com) took the final spot on the podium.
Dean Barnett writes
If Vic Barnett was a stick of rock the wording through the core would be ‘hard work equals reward’.
Vic landed a massive reward in the World Masters Mountain Bike Championships in Vallnord, Andorra as he secured the Gold medal for riders aged 70 years plus, this was his 7th World title.
Prior to the championship Vic, the current World Masters Cyclo-cross champion, was looking to repeat a unique double by winning both off-road racing titles, a feat he previous achieved in 2006.
The Welland Valley Cycling Club President had meticulously planned his training and racing prior to the championship. He has suffered in road-races and mountain bike events where he has at times been the oldest competitor by years, sometimes decades. Undeterred his long term aim was to produce a strong performance in the Worlds.
Vic arrived a couple of days earlier in Andorra so that his body could adjust to the effects of racing at altitude and he could also ‘dial’ in the course so that he knew every possible racing line. The course utilised the fantastic setting of the mountainous region and featured stiff climbs up to over 2,000m and flowing descents.
From the start line Vic rode a controlled race very aware two laps of the tough 4.5km circuit was going to require a trickle of power instead mini explosive bursts. Starting with the younger age groups Vic settled towards the head of the pack as they negotiated rocky sections and dense forest tracks. In one section Vic jammed his chain in his frame requiring him to free the chain using his hands ahead of a major climb which required the riders to sit as far forward in the saddle to stop the front wheel lifting off the ground.
As Vic descended back into the finish area to get a time check and fresh bottle from his wife Ann he was already 3 minutes ahead of his nearest rival.
On the second lap Vic was fighting to pass slower younger riders when he clipped a rock sending him sideways and tasting the dirt. He regained his composure and consolidated his lead to complete the remainder of the lap trouble free. As he entered the finish straight Vic took his time to saviour the applause of the knowledgeable spectators and punch the air with delight as he crossed the line.
Next year the Championships will be held in the Czech Republic, Vic has already indicated he would love to be on the start line to defend his title but more importantly is looking forward to racing next summer in the coveted world rainbow bands.
The next few weeks will see Vic prepare for the up and coming Cyclo-cross season.
MASTER +70 (2 laps)
BARNETT, Victor – UNITED KINGDOM – 00:43:57
FRANÇA,Valdemar – BRASIL – 00:49:49
PARERA, Miquel – SPAIN 00:53:20