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Go-Ride Racing goes Off-Road

Go-Ride Racing goes Off-Road

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Go-Ride Racing goes Off-Road

Tees Valley School Sports Partnership & Riverside Trailblazers Go-Ride MTB Race

Race 1 - Flatts Lane, Normanby, 9 May 2009


Above: Riders wait patiently for their turn to time trial


The first of the two-race Tees Valley SSP & Riverside Trailblazers Go-Ride MTB Race Series took place on Saturday 9th May in windy but sunny conditions within the Flatts Lane country park in Normandby, Cleveland.

37 riders lined up to take part in 2 races based within the park: a 2k TT followed by a Cross-Country Mountain Bike race, which for the older age categories included a steep climb to take them onto a finishing circuit at the top of the park. Of the 37 riders present only 2 had ever raced before, highlighting the interest of newcomers to the sport and there eagerness to start competing.


Above: Some of the younger riders line-up for their time trial

The TT kicked off at 10:30 on a 2k out and back MTB circuit which took in a challenging climb to lead the riders back onto a path the park ranger had designated for race use for the day. The U16 age group went off first followed by the U14, U12 and U10 groups at set intervals. There were some excellent times with Ben Hetherington clocking the fastest time at 03:49, not bad for an U14!

With all the riders through the finishing gate and the times calculated, the next race would be the U16 closely followed by the U14. The route they took followed the first half of the TT course, they then tackled the major climb of the day before closing with 4 laps of the technical, rolling and open finishing circuit. The climb soon split the U16 riders and they came onto the circuit in 1s and 2s to battle with the howling wind which had developed on the course. A great ride by Dominic Sparrow in his first mtb race took the win and the overall title for his age group as he had also recorded the quickest U16 time in the TT.

A similar story unfolded in the U14 race with the climb playing a major part in the race breaking up the field by the time they reached the finishing circuit. Jonny Gardiner took the race win with Ben Hetherington taking the overall with 2nd place in both the Cross Country race and the TT.


Above: Above and below, rider line up for their XC races


All the race marshals then moved to the finishing circuit for the last 2 races of the day, the U12 and U10 races. The under 12's tackled 4 laps of the circuit with the U10's having 3 to deal with in the increasingly strong northerly gale which seemed to bother the marshals more than the competitors! It was a great day for the Belshaw family with brothers Alex (U12) and Joe (U10) taking the overall in both age categories as well as both 1st in both the TT and Cross Country.

The day was a great success, with riders and parents really enjoying the event and cheering on all competitors. British Cycling are looking forward to seeing all the riders again on Saturday 6th June at Carlton Bank for round 2 of the Tees Valley SSP & Riverside Trailblazers Go-Ride MTB Race Series.

Special thanks must be given to Jonathan Green, the Ranger at Flatts Lane, Louise Sherrington, Competition Manager for Redcar and Cleveland SSP and all the marshals. Without their help the event would not have been possible.


Above: For novice racers, the riders all performed superbly!

Go-Ride Racing - It's Working Already
After the weekend, we heard that Jack Tennyson (U10), who had never raced before, was so inspired by the Go-Ride Racing experience that he travelled with his family to Dalby Forest the following day to compete in the U12's race at round 2 of the British Mountain Bike (XC) Series. Go-Ride Racing aims to act as a spring board to Regional and National Competition and in this case it was certainly successful. Well done Jack!

More info on Go-Ride Racing - What is Go-Ride Racing?

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