Racing returned to Newcastleton for 2022 with a new course, after storm Arwen destroyed parts of the forest track. The creative course builders added in some new technical features including a quarry drop and a walled garden. With only a week since Round 1, it was going to be interesting to see riders fared on a very different feeling course. This was going to have to be a tactical game.
It was a closely fought race in the Sport Male category this week with Tom and Sam Stephenson (both Lakes RC) battling all the way round, Tom just breaking away on the final lap to win. Marco Ruggeri (Rapha CC) had another great ride to take third. In Male Open it was Richard Tarling (Fishface Cycles) who led pretty much from the line, chased by Stephen Wallis (Rugby Velo) who held off Bruce Dalton (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus).
In the Women’s Open Adele McAleer (Velo Culture) in her first MTB race took the win from Emily Wilkinson (West Lothian Clarion CC) and Luselle Davies (Coalville Wheelers).
In the evening short track event, Sam Howes (Sleaford Wheelers) took the win, but it was Josh Smith who won the annual Rock UK staff race, and Robin Atkinson, who had raced the open as well, took the Vertebrate Publishing spot prize for travelling the furthest to race.
In the first of Sunday’s races, Aelwen Davies (RR23) on a new bike took her first national win ahead of Zoe Roche (WXC Racing), and it was Mazie Harper who took third, bettering her position by one place this week.
Leon Atkins (Welwyn Wheelers CC) won the Juvenile Male category with Curtis McKee (Scott Quanta) in second, continuing his good run. After being outsprinted to the line last week, Gus Lawson (Edinburgh RC) came a solid third. Daisy Taylor (Royal Albert CC) had another convincing win in Youth Female with Bethany-Ann Jackson (WXC) in second and Florence Greenhalgh (Pine Sport) taking third just ahead of Lucy Allsop (Welwyn Wheelers CC). In Youth Males Ewan Dix had a brilliant race to take the win ahead of Alfie Amey (GKR Racing) in the sprint. Alfie Davies (The Bulls) took third place again.
It was another switch round in the results for the male Veteran category. Chris Buchan (Pentland Racers) stormed to the win with Marc Chamberlain (Hunt Bike Wheels) in second, and Alan Gunner (Verulam CC) getting home ahead of Tony Fawcett (Scott Racing). Nick Craig (Scott Racing) again won the Grand Vets but this week did take a couple of laps to shake off the shadow of Ian Taylor (Shibden) who took second. Paul Nutton (Shibden) took third. In the Super Vets Grant Johnson had another cracking race to win, with Pete Harris (Pearce Cycles) in second and Bruce Rollinson (All Terrain Cycles Ride) picking up third.
Annie Last, fresh back from Brazil, had a convincing win in the women’s Elite race. Anna Flynn (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus) and Elena McGorum (Peebles CC) continued their battle from last week. Anna took advantage of a mechanical on Elena’s bike to take second with Elena making her way back to third. Jo Thom (Torq) took fourth, and Jane Barr (Velocity 44 RT) fifth.
It was another great race in the Female Juniors. Emily Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing) continued her form of last week with another win. But behind her this week it was Phoebe Roche (WXC) who claimed the second place, Kacey Eyeington (Derwentside CC) third, with Christina McGorum (Peebles CC) and Beatrix Kiehlmann (Royal Albert CC) taking the other podium spots. Certainly a category to keep an eye on this year.
In Expert/Sport Christina Wiejak (Saint Piran) took this week’s win convincingly with Grace Inglis (Muckle Cycle Club) second and Amy Drysdale (Army Cycling Union) in third. In the female Veterans Emily Smith was flying until a tree root caught her out, so Mel Paddington took the win this week (after stopping to see if Emily was badly hurt) with Verity Appleyard in second and Karen Heppenstall third. Virginia Roberts Albion Cycling Co) won the Grand Vets with Clare Hoskins (Cardiff JIF) second and Caroline Harvey (Peebles CC) in third. In Super Vets Carolyn Spiers (Kendal) continued her form of thriving on technical sections of track.
In Elite Men Cameron Orr (Team Inspired) took the win after his impressive display in Brazil last week. It took him quite a few of the seven laps to shake off Charlie Aldridge (Scott Racing) though. Behind them Corran Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing) and Cam Mason (TRINITY Road Racing) had been battling for several laps. Corran managed to get away slightly to take the third spot, and Cam Mason just pipped Joseph Blackmore (Team Inspired) for fourth after Joe had rather impressively caught that group back up on the last lap. Exciting racing from all concerned. There was also exciting racing in the Junior Men’s race. Huw Buck-Jones (Backstedt Bike Performance) took the win from Max Greensill (Hope) after a sprint on the final field. Bjoern Koerdt (Shibden) went one better this week to pick up third, Nathan Smith (Hope) was fourth and Oliver Akers (Scott Racing) picking up fifth. In the Expert Men, Lewis Martin dominated the field, leading from start to finish. Sam Howes (Sleaford Wheelers) had a great race to pick up second and Flynn Gregory (Derby Mercury RC) got another third place.
Another great weekend of racing with the weather being a little kinder and warmer this week. Thank you to the Mayer Active team for organising the race, and Rock UK for supplying the venue and much of the accommodation. Thanks to all who volunteered and those who helped in any and all ways. Thanks to Crank It! who ran another of the under 12 skills sessions before their ride round part of the course which was a great success. And thank you to support from Schwalbe Tyres and Vertebrate Publishing (www.adventurebooks.com) for the series support.