GORRICK SPRING SERIES ROUND 1
Words: Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team
With the original Gorrick Spring Series Round 1 cancelled it left a gap between races for the team but with big ambitions for the season ahead the extra training time will hopefully pay off somewhere down the line. Over the last month the riders have continued to build a solid platform for the season and have recently started to integrate some speed work into their training. Whilst still early in the season last weekend’s Gorrick race acted as a good form guide ahead of the team’s first international trip to Spain for Andalucia Bike Race at the end of this week. Plans don’t always work out though and Tim was forced to miss the Gorrick race so Ben had the lone responsibility of putting on a good showing.
Off the start the long fireroad section took the riders at speed away from the arena towards the foggy hillside where a maze of fun trails were laid out to put together a 20-minute circuit. The well-groomed Gorrick race track was dry enough to run Schwalbe Racing Ralph summer tyres despite the recent wet weather. Entering the first section of singletrack Ben was in the leading group of three, which quickly established a gap over the chasing bunch. Ben found himself at the front of the pack for much of the first lap until a small lapse in concentration left him with a few seconds to make up, a mistake whilst setting up tyre pressures had left his tyres over inflated, making the bike much harder to handle.
Ben quickly regained contact with the 2 other leaders, ex national champion Jody Crawford and young under 23 rider Issac Pucci. As Ben pushed the pace on the front Jody was dropped on a climb leaving just Ben and Issac out front.
Having done much of the work on the front during the early laps opening up a lead, Ben wanted Issac to sit in the wind for a while, Issac was having a strong performance but on lap 4 as he led most of the lap the pace dropped enough for Jody to regain contact.
Onto the final lap the leading trio, including Ben, were still all together, an attack by Ben on the final climb was quickly covered by Jody, the extra speed dislodged Issac from the group. With the finish approaching the sprint for the line began, Jody went left and Ben went right. Ben had the quicker line but couldn’t quite pull level leaving Jody with his nose just ahead as they crossed the finish line.
Ben had this to say following the race, “It was important for me to test myself ahead of our trip to Spain. I was motivated to win so did lots of work on the front to create a lead group and was feeling strong. Jody regained contact on lap 4 and I planned to make my move on the last lap on one of the climbs where I felt I had an advantage over Jody and Issac. Jody made it pretty hard to get past covering my attack on the climb and following that there wasn’t enough space for me to overtake in the finish sprint. Jody is a quick rider though and ex national champion so I can be happy with second place.”
The Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team’s next race is Andalucia Bike Race in Spain which starts on Saturday 23rd Feb and last 6 days.
Again big thanks go to John from Vermont Images for his hard work keeping the team fed each lap and taking some great images. Thanks also to Mountain Trax and Vauxhall plus all our other sponsors for their very generous support.
Full results from the race can be found here.