Will Evans took a first victory of the HSBC UK | National 4X Series series while Tyde D'Souza increased her lead atop the standings with her second win of the season, in Harthill.
Orange Maloja rider Evans – third in the 2016 series – rode a faultless final after impressing on his route to the showdown.
While Dirtbike School’s Tyde D'Souza was untouchable on her route to the final before going on to prove her class and take a deserved victory.
Earlier in the day there was a victory for Oscar Powell in the junior series, as he matched D'Souza’s record in taking his second win of the season.
The Dirtbike School rider sailed through her qualifying motos to reach the semi-finals, with three wins from three starts.
And she made light work of the penultimate round to make her second final of the season, where a fast start saw her take the first two bends in the lead.
She was being chased hard by Unit Cycles Katy Curd’s Megan Wherry, though, and only had a bike length’s advantage when hitting the pro line.
But D'Souza held her line on the bottom part of the course to take the win ahead of Rona Strivens and Ami Grindley.
“The final was hard work, I found it a bit windy on the pro line but it was ok,” she admitted. “It was good to see more women racing today, it makes things a bit more competitive.
“I didn’t have an easy race with Megan chasing me down, coming over the pro line I could hear her back wheel hitting the floor, I could almost hear her breathing, she was so close but that spurs me on when I’m racing, having someone chasing me down”
Evans on top
Evans made his way to the Pro Elite final via two second places and a first in the motos, and progressed to the final for a showdown with Connor Hudson, 2016 Harthill winner Luke Cryer and Duncan Ferris – last season’s series winner.
But his competitors stood no chance when Evans overtook Hudson midway through and picked the best lines to hit the pro line at the head of the field – never looking back to establish a winning lead well before the finish line.
“I thought the race was stacked,” said Evans. “With Luke who has had World Cup success over the last few years and 2016 series winner Duncan in the mix, I knew I had to be fired up.
“It was a charge from the gate and I knew coming out of that second turn I had to put the power down to keep those guys behind me, so I’m pretty chuffed with the result.
“The weather was forecast to be pretty windy today, which can be an issue on this track, but although the wind did pick up during the afternoon it really didn’t cause any great problem for us –
but once you get into the zone you tend not to notice what the weather is doing, anyway.”
Two from two for Powell
After success last time out at Chicksands Bike Park, 417 Flyupdownhill rider Powell was full of confidence in Harthill.
And it showed as he stormed through his qualifying motos – winning all three races to progress into the final without incident.
He then had luck on his side in the final four as he managed to avoid a three-rider spill on the top section of the track, before all but rolling down the rest of the course to take the victory ahead of Fin Keogh and Matt O’Brien.
Men’s Pro Elite
1. Will Evans (Orange Maloja)
2.Connor Hudson (Kore Components)
3.Luke Cryer (Unattached)
4.Duncan Ferris (DMR Bikes)
Women’s Pro Elite
1. Tyde D’Souza (Dirtbike School)
2. Megan Wherry (Unit Cycles Katy Curd)
3. Rona Strivens (Highland Bikes RT)
4. Ami Grindley (Dame Cycling-Quiana IT)
1. Oscar Powell (417 Flyupdownhill)
2. Fin Keogh (Dirtbike School)
3. Matt O’Brien (Unattached)
4. Alex Piper (Carrick Riders)