The British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) Mountain Bike Championships was bigger than ever this weekend (18-19 March 2006) in Shropshire, with a record breaking entry of nearly 500 student athletes.
Despite the harsh wintery conditions, wind and a lot of mud, BUSA mountain bike athletes raced valiantly against the elements on the Downhill and Cross country course.
The newly constructed Downhill course was the centre of attention on Saturday as men and women raced for victory. In the Men’s Individuals Championships top seed Philip Shucksmith (Cardiff) lived up to expectations by taking gold with a time of 1:31.422, beating Mike Gray (Bristol) by 2.869 seconds. In the Women’s Downhill competition Sue Mahoney (Bristol) defended her title by winning gold for the second year in a row.
The Men’s Team competition saw Cardiff (Philip Shucksmith, Tudor Jones, Tristan Goodley) take gold in a total time of 4:47.930 minutes. Manchester (Dave Duggan, Liam O’Ryan, Mark Hinchcliffe) took silver, and Swansea (Will Evans, Jack Malone, Tom Jenkins) came in third. Bristol were victorious in the Women’s Team Downhill Championships thanks to Mahoney and Ali McKerrow.
The Cross Country competition took place on Sunday with the World University Championships (2006) athlete Will Simmons coming up trumps in a time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 48 seconds, beating Mansour Youssef by 27 seconds.
Meg Bichard (Bristol) took gold in the Women’s competition in 1 hour 16 minutes and 38 seconds, leaving Lauren O’Neill (Swansea) seven minutes behind to take silver.
The Men’s Team Cross Country saw Leeds (Will Simmons, Tim Burnett, Matt Clinton) finish in first place, Edinburgh (Douglas Shearer, Geoffrey Martin, Gavin Shirley) come in second with third place taken by Loughborough (Mansour Youssef, Josh Morgan, Nicolas Ravachol). Bristol (Meg Bichard, Zoë Schnepp) took first place in the Women’s Team Cross Country competition.
The Cross Country Sport competition (Non-BUSA) took place on Sunday. In the Men’s competition Shucksmith took yet another gold for Cardiff, Max Jeffries (Bristol) came in silver and Adrian Morris (Loughborough) took bronze. In the Men’s Team competition Loughborough were victorious (Morris, Murray and Gibbs). Laura Brammer (Bath) came first in the Women’s competition, just beating Rachael Robinson (Newcastle), and Katie Hegmann (Sheffield) came in third. Newcastle won the Women’s Team Cross Country Sport event (Robinson and Walters).