Liam Killeen claimed victory in the opening round of the RRP Midlands XC at Cannock Chase.
Killeen, Commonwealth champion in 2006, set a blistering pace early-on which could only be matched by David Fletcher (Boardman Elite) and Dave Collins (Hope Factory Racing).
But the Giant rider pulled away after two laps of the 6.2km course to take top spot on the podium.
With all the women’s categories starting together, there was the opportunity for an expert or junior rider to take on the elites – but Matthews (100% Me) quickly showed her class, leading from the front and stretching out a lead over the chasing pack.
Mel Alexander (xcracer.com) took second, while Maxine Filby (Baines Racing/Silverstone Cycles) completed the podium.
Round two heads to the private Birchall estate near Chesterfield on May 15. Enter online here.