Dan Evans (Rhos-on-Sea) topped the podium in the first race of the Hope XC Series, when 131 riders signed on to attempt to tame the Lee Quarry course.
Despite poor weather during the course setup, the volunteer team still managed to mark out a full course with the rain clearing by 9am amid rumours of blue sky.
Tom Bell and Adela Carter (WXC HTB Team) both pushed hard from the gun in the men’s and women’s ‘Racer’ divisions, with Bell quickly establishing a five-minute lead before destroying his rear wheel on the fourth lap – but vowing to return for round two on July 24.
Evans went on to clinch victory, with Jiri Kelkner (Wheelspincycles) second and Tom Albutt (Joyriders MTB Holidays) third, while Carter lapped the field to claim a comfortable victory with former winner Verity Appleyard (Team Appleyard) and Susie Goddard completing the podium.
Mark Richmond (Jo Cycles) took the honours in the Weekend Warrior category, claiming a hard-fought win ahead of George Flinton (Big Bear Bikes) and David Beeley (Big Bear Bikes), with only 75 seconds splitting the top five riders.
In the trade team competition, Leisure Lakes director sportif Matt Chester decided to lead the way for his team taking to the saddle in a head-to-head with David Beeley the owner of Big Bear Bikes.
Beeley won the one-on-one race but Chester’s stronger team put Leisure Lakes into an early lead for the ‘Trade Trophy’. The Charle the Bikemonger singlespeed category was won by Ian Palmer (Planetfear.com), putting in a strong top ten Racer performance.
The SRAM ‘Have-a-go Heroes’ category saw a tight race with Paul Alfrey (Duckwim Racing) taking first place and Tom Willis winning the sprint for second place from Ashley Bonsall (Allspeeds Ltd).
The SRAM ‘Have-a-go Heroine’ category saw four women take to the start line with Beth Holden riding clear for the win and Kathryn Robinson taking second from Helen Convery, using the lessons from the previous day’s free coaching.
The Polaris Bikewear-sponsored ‘Lads’ and ‘Lasses” categories for younger riders again ran with a high quality entry, Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos-on-Sea) took the win in the Lads and Geena Fraser (NWMBA) in the Lasses.
Race two is on July 24 and pre-entry is still open on www.xcracer.com