Stephen Haley - British National XC MTB Series - Round 1- Sherwood Pines
April 19, 2015
A large Jersey contingent travelled to compete in the opening round of the British National XC MTB Series on the last weekend in March with a variety of results. The course at Sherwood Pines is relatively flat, but with no respite during the lap, it is by no means an easy venue to race. The tight singletrack between the trees was running fast on the Saturday but conditions changed through the weekend for the worse, to expose lots of roots and holes which slowed the lap times.
Saturday saw practice of the course along with racing for two relative newcomers to mountain biking. Velo Sport Jersey rider Steven Haley and Ryan Poingdestre of the Caesarean Cycling Club competed in the sport category, which saw them tackle 5 laps of a relatively dry course set in the forest of Sherwood Pines. Haley, after a disappointing seeding and start managed to fight his way through the quality pack of riders and get into a settle in to a good rhythm for his first two laps of Sherwood Pines to set himself up well for an impressive result of 11th place. Poingdestre seeking the challenge that competing abroad brings, had a good start and rode a consistent race throughout until his final lap where the distance got the better of him, still managed to finish in a creditable 47th position amongst a field of quality riders.
Sunday saw the weather take a big change for the worse, which made riding conditions exteremly muddy and slippery. The first race saw two JCAYA youth riders, Luc Monpetit-Le Brun and Emily Bridson tackle a large field of experienced and older riders. Luc competing in his first ever national series race started at the back of the grid(55)out of 65 riders. Luc rode consistently over the four laps using his technical skills in the woodland sections to finish 31st overall. Emily rode in a competitive class to finish a good solid 7th overall. Ladies island games riders Helene Mon-Petit Le Brun & Katherine Liron were also competing in their First National race of the season, Not put off by the conditions, described by the girls as an ink rink, gave them great race experience and preparation for the Games. Helene had a good start to the race managing to keep in front of team mate Liron for the first few laps to finish 6th overall. Katherine despite some tech issues due to mud in chain causing her to stops several times had to complete the race in big ring finished strong to finish in 5th overall.
Junior JCAYA rider Ollie Lowthorpe had an impressive start off the and had a fast pace for the first few laps, but in the detorating muddy conditions his pace slowed to an eventual finish of 22nd.
Racing in the same muddy conditions as Lowthorpe Commonwealth Games riders Rhys Hidrio and James Patterson were yet again contesting in the expert class for the Caesarean Cycling Club. Hidrio managed to pick up where he left off last season with a great start from the second row and was running in 5th place until a frame failure during his second lap meant he was unable to finish the race. Patterson was unlucky to be seeded 66th out of 88 riders so had it all to do from the start but was compromised by other riders around him causing a crash on the start straight. Once clear, he worked his way through the field with considerable pace until his saddle snapped on lap three yet still carried on with the mud causing havoc with gears and brakes to finish 32nd place.
All the riders would like to thank their respective clubs for supporting them in their UK racing. Rhys Hidrio and James Patterson would also like to thank Condor Ferries for their continued and greatly appreciated support.