Nine Gorricks in 2005 and thanks to some excellent judgement by Jon Lucas and his team not one drop of rain has passed at any of the events from February through November.
Sunny spells and superfast trails was the story at Crowthorne (13 November), where riders took on a four mile lap consisting of long flowing singletrack, a couple of fireroad climbs and some exposed rooty bits in the form of “the corkscrew”.
Max Gurdler took a lead only Marcus Haynes (Tutto Bici) could follow on lap one of the Youth race, but Gurdler’s early efforts took their toll and Haynes pulled back to take the advantage and the win by a slender four seconds.
The first lap of the Supermasters saw a trio of riders locked together in a sub-19 minute lap chaingang. Gavin Rumbles (Luton CC), Darren Shepherd (Tri UK) and Mark Hutt (Houndslow Wheelers) were the early leaders. Lap two saw Rumbles pull away and Lloyd Bettles (Numplumz) joined the chasing group. By lap four riders were tiring and Hutt dropped off the back finishing fourth. Shepherd lost on the line to Bettles, who grabbed second, with Rumbles first home with a minute to spare.
Jon Prescott (Cycle Surgery) was swift to the head of the Masters field, amassing a 30 second lead within lap one. Mark Neill saw an opportunity and launched a lone attack on lap two, catching the tiring Prescott. Prescott held out for the win, with though, Neill second by a pinecone and Les Taylor (East Street Cycles) third.
Steve Jones (AW Cycles) took a break from organising races in style when he won the Veterans category. By lap two Steve Farmer (PedalOn) was resigned to second place, but never in danger of dropping into the clutches of third rider Jack Peterson (Numplumz). In the Grand Vets, Norman Butler (BikeGuatemala.com) continued his superb year of results with another win.
The younger riders dominated the Open category, with Matt Hill (15 years old) taking the early lead and never looking back. Behind him was Jake Moxham (just 14), who beat competitors old enough to be his dad. Further down the field there was even a special guest appearance from freerider Chris Smith (GT Hyundai). He finished a creditable 69th in a mammoth field of 102 riders.
The other race in Open was between Southampton and Solent Universities. Luke Webber’s (Solent) heroics (sixth Open finisher and first Uni rider by six minutes) were not enough to win overall, which Southampton Uni achieved with a combination of consistent times.
Paul Davies (Norwood Paragon) signalled his return to form, winning the Sport race on his classic rigid singlespeed, despite taking a chunk out of his knee when hammering the hills. Gerald Tudor (Beyond MTB/Maxxis/Exposure) recovered from a big fall in the corkscrew to take second, with another singlespeeder, David Farmer, third.
George Budd (Beyond MTB/Maxxis/Exposure) made the early running in the Elites, but by the end of lap two Chris Minter (PedalOn) had made a move only Graham Warby (Aston Hill) could follow. The two stayed together until the finish where Minter took the win just up on Warby. Budd held off a late charge from Tim Dunford (Hargroves Cycles) to grab third.
In the women’s races Abi Greenaway showed up in her new Charge Bikes colours and finished first in the Elites. Louise Bardsley (Reading Athletics Club) won Sport, with Emily Joyce winning Open.
Gorrick will be back for its 15th year of racing in 2006 with the Exodus Spring Series and the ‘100’. Entry forms will be available soon on the website, www.gorrick.com, which also has dates for the events. Thanks to everyone who has supported the races, making it the best series to ride bar none!