Hope XC race series gets underway with first outing at Lee Quarry

Coming back for it’s fifth series in four years. Under clear blue skies 108 riders lined up to take on the demanding trails of Lee Quarry. The recent good weather had left the quarry dry and dusty and a light breeze provided some much needed relief in the summer heat.

Lining up on the steep start climb the excitement was palpable as riders waiting for the siren and the rush forward into the quarry. Standing head and shoulders above the other riders are the singlespeeders a breed of riders who strip away the technology and take mountain biking back to a pure experience where reading the trails and fighting gravity with legs, heart and lungs are the name of the game. Leading these riders with “more ears than gears” is Matt Brown (RWD Factory Racing) who stormed the quarry in a stylish ride on a vicious course as the leading one geared rider coming fifth overall.

The Leisure Lakes Bikes Racer category was dominated by Dan Evans (Rhos-on-Sea) who established an early lead and was never under real threat. Stephen Pomfret (Leisure Lakes Bikes) battled hard to catch Dan but crashing three times on some of the technical “off piste” and departing for hospital immediately after the presentations demonstrated that the quarry can bite even the most experienced riders.

In a strong Cooksons Cycles Racing Diva Category Amber Southern (Boneshakersbikes.com) ful;l of praise for the course and the all weather trails rode to a strong win surviving mid race problems to take the win by 4 minutes from Lizzie Bowler holding off Steph Fountain (Saddle Sedaddle) who had a strong last lap charge.

Jordan Southern easily won the Big Bear Bikes Weekend Warrior category with a 5 minute lead over Richard Macguire (Big Bear Bikes RT) with Lee Perie (Wheelbase.co.uk) a regular series rider putting in his best performance in 4 years and getting on the podium for the first time. The new DHP11 Sliverbacks categories for 40+ and 50+ riders had strong rides from Andy Conn (Bike Scene MTB Guisborough) and Steve Taylor (Sherwood Pines/ Cooperative Moto) who won their respective categories.

In the Bike Shack (Haslingden) sponsored Lads category William Lewis (High Peak Cycles RT) and Ben Lawson had a close battle for the lead in the first few laps with William eventually overhauling Ben to take the win. The Bamboo Bikes sponsored Jordan Bateman attratted a lot of attention with his bamboo frame but failed to finish retiring on lap 4.

A grateful thanks must go to the Buff sponsored marshals who gave up their Sunday morning to enable others to race .Race 2 is on the 1st July 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.

Race dates:

  • 1st July
  • 2nd September
  • 14th October

Online entry open via www.xcracer.com the downloadable postal entry form is here www.brownbacksracing.co.uk

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