Will Evans picked up his second victory of the HSBC UK | National 4X Series after a thrilling third round in the hot and dusty track of Afan Bike Park in Port Talbot.
Rona Strivens took her debut win of the series in the women’s race, while Oscar Powell ensured consistency was to once again prove its worth in the junior event.
His third podium in three starts means he has all but cemented the series title, with Round 4 heading to Redhill, Gloucestershire, on June 25.
Evans maintains his edge
Evans eased into his semi-final with a win and second places in qualifying which saw the Orange Maloja rider up against Dave Roberts, while Charlie Currie and Luke Cryer also booked places in the final.
The top part of the track proved to be a tight affair, a fast gate saw the four riders bar to bar through the tight bends, under the bridge and onto the rock garden, the undoing of a clutch of riders earlier in the day.
Evans held a tight line, holding off a challenging Cryer onto the pro line. Taking the air off the jump onto the lower part of the track Evans had got enough time over the chasers to take his second win of the series and head up the leaderboard.
“I’m very happy with my second win of the series, happy with the way I rode although maybe a little too chilled on certain parts of the track but I produced the goods when I needed to,” said Evans. “I led the final from the start to the finish so I’m really happy with my performance here.
“Afan is one of my favourite tracks on the UK circuit, it doesn’t flow like a lot of tracks, it’s actually quite awkward to ride but I think that makes for good racing.”
Strivens hits top spot after keeping her cool
It was all about keeping a cool head for Strivens, as she took a maiden win of the HSBC UK | National 4X Series.
Strivens who hadn’t had the best of moto qualifying, sitting in fourth place at the top of the track but avoided the tussles and crashes to ease across the line ahead of Kelli Salone.
It was Hannah Escott who got the perfect gate, leading the race through the bends on the top of the track, looking the strongest of the four riders, Escott looked to have the race under control but a fall just after the bridge saw her race unravel and she had to be content with fourth.
The remaining three riders swapped the lead throughout the race but towards the bottom of the hill Strivens and Courtney Abbiss tangled bikes, with the former holding her composure to take the win while Salone avoided the drama to take third.
Powell on fire in Wales
Oscar Powell took three wins in his four qualifying heats to ease into the junior final, dominating to take the win from Fin Keogh as the pair posted their third one-two of the series.
Alex Piper and Matt Griffin took third and fourth respectively.
The next leg of the Series takes place in June, with Powell in particular boasting plenty to build upon heading into the next stage.
Men's Pro Elite
1. Will Evans (Orange Maloja)
2. Luke Cryer (Unattached)
3. Dave Roberts (Action Sports Timing)
4. Charlie Currie (NX2 MTB/Truro College)
Women's Pro Elite
1. Rona Strivens (Highland Bikes RT)
2. Kelli Salone (Dame Cycling)
3. Courtney Abbiss (Unattached)
4. Hannah Escott (Dirtbike School)
1. Oscar Powell (417 Flyupdownhill)
2. Fin Keogh (Dirtbike School)
3. Alex Piper (Carrick Riders)
3. Matt Griffin (Muc-Off)