Round three of the Gorrick Exodus Spring Series took place on Sunday 13 March at a dry, fast and tough Yateley Heath.
The course was a far cry from the previous two races, with longer laps providing a real test of fitness and bike handling skills. Many riders experienced the bonk at some stage on a lap that included some sharp climbs, tight singletrack and even a water splash!
Jay Spetch (Team Torq) took his second win of the series placing him firmly at the top of the Youth points table. Matthew Hill (Primera) was on his
wheel throughout the race though, coming in just six seconds later.
In the Super Masters, winner Scott Forbes (PedalOn) teased second-placed Paul Lasenby (Marin UK) for three laps and then decided to crank it up, pulling out nearly three minutes on the final lap. Jason Emery (PedalOn) took third.
Rob Lee (Extreme Endurance) was again taking no prisoners in the Masters, coming home a minute clear of his nearest rival Lloyd Bettles (Numplumz.com). Damian Baker (Cyclesport Fizik) held on for third.
In the Veterans Mark Cracknell (AWCycles.co.uk) got back to winning ways, ahead of Ray Crosthwaite (PedalOn) and David Nelson (Beyond Mountain Bikes).
Norman Butler (BikeGuatemala.com) made it a hat-trick of wins this weekend when he took to the head of the Grand Veteran field. Leading out from the front and never looking back he left it to Michael Thyer (Beyond Mountain Bikes) and Stuart Gough (Portswood Cycles) to battle it out for second and third respectively.
Chris Denman (Beyond Mountain Bikes) took first in the Open race, but it was second-placed Alex Darby (Rigid Not Frigid) that won the £50 prize courtesy of Bumpybikes.com for completing the fastest second lap of the race. Oliver Pepper (One Speed Revolution) continued his good form, making it three third
places in the series.
In the Sport race George Budd (Titus Cycles UK) finally got the win he wanted. Neil Macloed (Sigma Sport) tried to keep with the flying Budd, but
failed after the effort made him sick on lap two. Lloyd Pallett (Oxford Uni) rounded out the podium places.
The Expert/Elite race saw many of the south’s top racers battling it out for the cash prize and with no Robert Enslin, John Veness (Evans Cycles) pressed
hard for his second win of the series. After three laps, neither second placed Richard Wood (Extreme Endurance) or Ian Legg (Principia), third, ad
the legs to stay with Veness, who maintained an outrageously high tempo throughout the race.
It was a Team Specialized one-two in the Expert/Elite women’s race as Jenn O’Connor took top honours for the third time this year ahead of team-mate Kate Potter. Gemma Carter (VC Deal) was third.
The women’s Super Masters was won by Nicky Jones (Berks On Bikes), Anita Hibberd won the Master’s race and took to the top of the points table and Viv Hazelton (Beyond Mountain Bikes) won her second of the series in the Open women’s race.
The final race to take place was the Berks on Bikes sprint, where BOB riders raced off against each other over one lap, which was won by Clive Ely.
Yateley Heath certainly provided a wake-up call for many of the riders this weekend. The long 5.75mile course weeded out those who had, so far, relied
on last year’s fitness and selected the few that had the strength in depth to take a points position. The next round is on 3 April at the new Deepcut course and by then we’ll know for sure who is going to be in contention for series honours.
Just don’t go eating too many Easter eggs…