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RaceFace Circus of Dirt Series report

Winners in the first RaceFace Circus of Dirt Series
Mostly dry conditions awaited competitors in the first round of Circus of Dirt

Round one of the RaceFace Circus of Dirt Series went off without a hitch on Sunday 10th April. With fantastic sunshine and warm temperatures many riders were set for a dry, dusty race but with the course set in a steep sided Cornish valley there were a few slippery sections that left more than one rider with an early end to their day.

In an event that was fitting to RaceFace’s ‘North Shore’ heritage the course design was tough, with steep, technical, leg exploding climbs, fast flowing rooty singletrack and only a few short fireroad sections to allow any sort of recovery. Despite a lap being only 3.5 miles many riders were struggling to get under 25mins a lap, testament to the track’s technical nature.

The morning kicked off with the new Enduro events, these one or two hour events were introduced to the series in reply to the growing number of riders that just want to enjoy riding new trails. What better way to spend your summer Sunday morning than a mini-road trip and a couple of hours ripping up a woodland track that, in this case, very few people had ever ridden before. With a few spot prizes thrown out, some mediocre commentary and the smell of bacon wafting across the track – the Enduro seemed like the place to be if you really didn’t care about warm-ups and training regimes.

Rich Toze one of the Enduro riders had some good things to say about the 2 hr enduro “I like to have a go at racing not being one of the guys that is likely to make it onto the podium it gets kind of frustrating when you have to keep getting out the way of faster riders and getting the duff lines. The idea of the Enduro at RaceFace Circus of Dirt is perfect for people like me, I get a free run at the track before the XC whippets have ruined it and I can ride around for 2 hours on a trail that I would never normally ride. It’s all the good bit of racing but without the energy gels and result sheets, like a ‘fun category’ race that is, for once, actually fun. I am looking forward to the rest of the series now”

No sooner had the Enduro finished than the XC racers were getting ready to get started. A hundred or so riders made up the mass start with most of the big guns of South West XC lining up with the hope of bagging a whole bunch of BC ranking points. With a tough narrow track it was going to be a manic sprint for the first section of singletrack but as it turned out the long fireroad start was ample to shatter the field in both the first wave of elite/expert, sport and junior riders and then the second wave of vets/grand vet and master riders. It was business as usual for the South West’s Southfork team that took wins in the Vets race (Pete Dawe) and Masters (Matt Loake), John Whittington (CNP-Orbea) showed some immense strength in Expert/Elite to win by a clear minute whilst Carla Haines (WXC World Racing) took the womens with a really strong ride.

Stephen Hodge (Koo Bikes) was pleased to take a win at this race and stick it to the ‘Dark Knight’ of South West XC “After a frustrating result in the Cyclo-X friendly Sherwood pines, it was refreshing to race on a true XC race course, i.e. a course with as tough climbs as it had descents! Beating Simon Young’s time by just under 2min was the icing on the cake”
More pics, full results and online entry for round two are already available on www.shredevents.com

The Podiums

Expert / Elite Male 1 John Whittington, CNP-Orbea 2 Sean Frost, votwo/USN
3 Liam Glen, University of Bath CC
Expert / Elite Female
1 Carla Haines, WXC World Racing
Grand Vet Male 1 Steve Whitehouse
2 Garrett hill, uk-biking / prendas
3 Steve Long
Grand Vet Female 1 Kim Long
Juvenile – Male
1 Finley Clay, Fully Sussed
2 Jack Hewlett, Taw Velo
Youth – Male 1. Ed Welsh
2. Harry Forshaw, Fully Sussed
3. Ciaran Barker

Masters – Female
1 Kim Harvey, Bristol MTB Club
2 Millie Wilson, Filthy Foxes

Masters – Male
1 Matt loake, southfork racing.co.uk
2 Graham Sheldon, Clive Mitchells Truro
3 Steve Ferguson, Team Certini-McCaulay’s
Masters – Female
1 Kim Harvey, Bristol MTB Club
2 Millie Wilson, Filthy Foxes

Masters – Male
1 Matt loake, southfork racing.co.uk
2 Graham Sheldon, Clive Mitchells Truro
3 Steve Ferguson, Team Certini-McCaulay’s
Sport Male 1 Stephen Hodge, Koo Bikes
2 Steven Birch, Bike Shed Exeter
3 James Porter
Veteran Male 1. Pete Dawe, Southfork Racing.co.uk
2. Simon Young, Shred National Trust
3. Andy Gordon

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