Riders from the South West ventured up to Sherwood Forest to compete in the first round of the National MTB Cross-country Series competition hosted by British Cycling. The event, held over the weekend, was attend by over 600 riders from across the UK representing both local clubs and even national teams from Portugal, Holland and Belgium.
The course run over 5 kilometres was mainly flat with some tight section in the trees, meaning riders would have to choose carefully when to overtake. The weather played a big part in the race as continuous rain meant the track became muddier and riders had a difficult time remaining up right and keeping warm. George Armstrong from Taw Velo Bike It lined up with over 60 riders in the Youth race. Covering 4 laps, George found himself in the same race as the National Champion, Daniel Tulett of Specialized Racing, who dominated the race straight from the start. The tough conditions challenged all the skills of riders and George finished a respectable 38 overall out of 64 starters.
Fellow rider Gabriel Cox from Certini pushed himself to the max and finished 23 overall. Southfork had 2 riders in the longer 5 lap race, reduced from 6 due to the appalling weather conditions. Over a 100 riders lined up in the Elite, Junior and Expert male categories, 88 riders started in the Expert race with Southfork being represented by Matthew Loake and Edward Worthington. Both riders has a tough race battling through the large volume of riders. The course became slippy with mud being thrown up from other riders wheels this meant seeing was also becoming a challenge. Both riders made excellent progress through the field with Edward finishing 23rd and Matthew 30th.
The next round of the National MTB Cross-country Series heads to Plymouth for a 3-day event, starting on Friday 17th April with a moonlit race.