Tensions were high as the racers set of in pursuit of the highly coveted National XC Championship title at Aske, Richmond in North Yorkshire, with last year’s winners successfully defending their titles.
Both Liam Killeen and Annie Last, our best chance of medals at the London 2012 Olympics in just over 12 months time, rode brilliantly to claim the national titles despite heavy rain making racing conditions tough.
Killeen was neck and neck with his closest rival through the early stages of the race, Oli Beckingsale, and the due were handlebar to handlebar on the last climb of the first lap, with the closest challengers Lee Williams and Paul Oldham adrift by a matter of seconds.
As the race wore on however Killeen was able to open up a gap and steadily maintained, and increased slightly, this advantage all the way to the chequered flag.
The win marks Killeen’s fourth consecutive national title, making him indisputably the nations best XC mountain biker racer of recent years.
In the women’s battle for the title Annie Last, currently enjoying a fabulous World Cup series, was dominant in her victory. She moved into first place early in the race and her nearest rivals, Nikki Harris and Lee Craigie, were unable to answer Last’s pace.
Full results soon…