25 Mar 2013

Sherwood Pines, BMBS Rd 1 Race Report

The met office was warning against all non essential travel, well as fas as we were concerned getting to the season opener was definitely essential travel!

There's a course under there somewhere
Most of the team met at Martins on Saturday nigh for a pre race pasta party and more importantly a bed that didn't involve putting up a tent in -8. Reports from those that had been over to pre ride the course talked of 5 inches plus of snow and some seriously cold winds, with the saturday races cancelled, things were not looking hopeful.
Cold weather warm up
The next day arrived with more snow falling but the forecast predicting it would stop by 9am, a quick check of Facebook/ Twitter seemed to suggest we would be racing today, bugger, better get on with it then.
On initial inspection there was more snow on the course than in practice but the mud seemed to have frozen, the question being how long it would stay like that, and of course which tyres to run?
Fie and Lou were up first and opted to play it safe running full muds for maximum grip. Lou started first in the expert class going strong for the fist couple of laps however having only just returned to competitive racing she found herself fading in the final lap. However the small womens field meant she still got on the podium in 3rd place. It was another small field in the womens sport race for Fie Innes but that didnt stop her from riding hard to finish in 2nd place, a great start to the season and something to build on.
The mens race started at 12 and by now the once frozen course had start to cut up pretty badly, most of the guys opted for an "intermediate knobbly"with Martin making the gutsy call to run semi-slick Racing Ralphs.
Dan Lewis was first off racing his first season in the elite class, he got a strong start but quickly found himself on the "rev limiter" forcing him to back off the pace. Once settled in though he put in a strong performance passing raiders throughout to finish 36th. Might finally be time to start warming up properly on rollers?
Si Harrison and Martin Pearson were up next starting from 4th and 5th rows respectively on a grid 10 riders wide the start was frantic and nothing short of terrifying. Martin got caught up in the melee but luck more than judgement saw Si find a line up the inside to get a better early track position. Martins decision to go for semi slicks saw him struggling for grip on what was now a very muddy course but he fought hard to the end to finish 33rd. A disappointing performance considering his recent run of form but hopefully one that will leave him hungry to improve when he returns from his forthcoming desert "holiday". Si had a much more satisfying day out, measuring his effort well he was able to finish strongly claiming 4 positions on the final lap to finish 20th. Room for improvement but a hopeful start.
Last up was Russ Holman racing in the sport class. Racing his first season with the team he coped brilliantly with the conditions posting very consistent lap times to finish 13th.

Someone loves their new Whyte!

Click here for the full British Cycling Report
Timelaps results here
Standard Si Harrison gurning pic:)
Pearson goes one gurn better
Russ looking serious
Know one likes you Lewis!

Elsewhere in the country, but in no less appalling conditions Lee Jordan and Fay Cunningham raced Rd 1 of the UK Gravity Enduro series at Afan. Up against the likes of Tracy Moseley Fay stormed to 6th place with Lee achieving 66th in the mens class up against over 130 other riders!

Want to get involved in any kind of MTB racing? Email depmtbsec@rafcycling.org.uk and we will get you started.