A slightly rejigged version of the classic Newnahm park course hosted round two of the NPS series at the weekend, and the missing Pipeline descent was not the only change in the race.
After years of seeing the same old boys – Nick Craig and Barrie Clarke mostly – dominate the podium it was great to see some younger (although by no means new riders) on the top step.
Sue Thomas used her recent international and World Cup experience to lead from the gun, rapidly pulling away from Tracey Brunger and Jenny Copnall, to gain time on every lap and finish 3 minutes 20 seconds clear. Excitement was lost in second place too as the prospect of a repeat of Thetford’s Brunger v Copnall finish line sprint was stopped by Tracey puncturing, although she still managed thrid and retains the leaders jersey.
In the mens elite race, Tim Morley charged away to an early lead, but a five man chasing group (Killeen, Beckingsale, Clarke, Craig and Sturgeon) reeled him in on lap two, before Killeen and Beckingsale went off the front. The two battled all the way to the finish, with only a wheel length putting Liam Killeen ahead at the line in a superb two up sprint. Barrie Clarke came in 54 seconds later but still retains his series leader jersey.