Hope XC Race Series Race 2 report - Bike Magic

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Hope XC Race Series Race 2 report

Photo: Chris Turner (www.enjoyphotography.co.uk)

After the great success of the previous race on the 6th September the bar had been set high for the Brownbacks team. The introduction of a new course and low cloud reducing the quarry to a grey swirling backdrop led to a late course setup giving riders little time to familiarise themselves with the route and the challenges ahead. The cloud lifted 30 minutes before the start to the relief of all and the scene was set for another eventful race.

The redesigned course would push the riders hard with little relief from challenging climbs and fast technical descents. The main course took more than its usual toll of early casualties as rider after rider underestimated the quarries trails and crashed out at “Caltrops”.

The Minx-Girl sponsored women’s categories saw a strong entry and some class technical riding, Lizzie Bowler led after the first lap but dropped out with a broken rear mech. Elaine Powell (Life Cycles Bolton) then dominated the race to win the Mountain Diva Category finishing 2 minutes clear of Jo Holden. The constantly smiling Gill Crane (Clifton CC) stepping up a category came third holding off a continually improving Katie Palmer. Taking the honours in the Have-a-go Heroines was Carrie Price in her first race at the quarry.

Michael Coward (Velo 29 Cycling Team) won the Leisure Lakes sponsored men’s racer field pulling away from Gareth Taylor (Yatescycles.co.uk) who took the first lap prime. Tom Bell (LUCC/Torq/Stif) the previous weeks winner could only manage third. Showing how hard the racing is, a number of the racers retired after crashing including a broken frame, double punctures and Graham Smith (Leisure Lakes) retiring after losing his saddle on a bike he had built straight from the box that morning. Tom Albutt again took the honours in the Blazing Saddles (Hebden Bridge) sponsored Weekend Warrior category with Mike Hodgson and Matthew Holstead (Lifecycles Bolton) taking second and third respectively, mechanicals seeing off the other contenders.

The Have-a-go Heroes category is fast close racing with the top 5 separated by only a minute. Nicholas Dinsdale (Clitheroe Bike Club) making up for the previous race coming out on top, with Richard Simms (Richardsons CC) pushing hard but not able to catch him before the line. The new On-One sponsored “Lads” category for younger riders ran with a small but quality field with strong competition for the prizes. John McCellar (North West MTB Centre) piped the previous weeks winner Benjamin Mossman and with sprints for the line even for the lower placing all the riders showed plenty of spirit.

Race 3 is on the 18 October and pre-entry is still open. A new course designer should see some more changes to shake things up and there is the added attraction of trade stands from Leisure Lakes and Blazing Saddles, on-site catering and plenty of car-parking for riders and spectators.



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