British Mountain Bike Series Round 5 - Rider Comments
Newnham Park, 26 September 2009
Words & Images: Joolze Dymond
Link: Round 5 Report
After the day's racing was done, Joolze Dymond caught up with some of the riders:
Kate Potter - Elite runner up: That was a brilliant race, I couldn't have ridden any better, Annie is such a good rider and I really would like to be 18 again! I reckon I did as well as I could have done against such great competition and I'm really pleased to have got in the top 3. My main concern today was just keeping ahead of Jenny (Copnall) and Mel (Spath) so I could tie up the series win. As it turned out it was amazing just being able to keep up with Annie today, I couldn't shake her on the climbs and she descends like a demon, she just made me hurt the whole race. At the end of the day there are still plenty of things I need to improve on but it was an amazing race and really enjoyable in a painful kind of way. It's been a long season and I've come a long way so it's great to finish on a high.
Annie Last - Elite Winner: It's been an amazing year and to get my first Elite win in my first year is fantastic. Kate and I were together for the entire race, we both had digs to try to lose the other in quite a few places but it came down to a sprint in the end. That was a proper race, full on the whole time and to win at home is excellent. I've done so many races abroad this year that I haven't really been here so this is a good end to my UK season (I still have two more races before I get a break!) I'm looking forward to next year where for the first time I can concentrate solely on my training and racing, it will be an exciting time for me and I can't wait to see what I can achieve.
Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flescha: My little boy should have been here then I would have gone faster! I wanted to do any racing I could as having had Bjorn... just 6 months ago it's a bonus to be able to race at all so soon after his birth, so I take everything as great fun and practise for next season. To be honest it's great to be back in Plymouth, as that's where it all started for me really and now I can see this as another starting point for me, this time as a new mum!
The course was excellent and they should bring the World Cup back here again, it's really fun to ride and it's technical and you have the speed plus some tough climbs it's a great course. For me not being able to do any technical training for the last 12 months, I had a good practise today and a lot of fun, it was well worth the travel and I'd love to come back and ride this again, for sure!
Maxine Filby - Expert winner: That was amazing and probably the toughest race I've ever done. I knew that Emma and Jessie would be right behind me every step of the way so I couldn't afford to let up the pressure any time. Going out on my last lap I began to think I could relax, but suddenly realised that no I couldn't! It's amazing, as I hate climbing! All those climbs were just so painful, so horrible and I knew both Emma and Jessie were good at climbing.
I was shocked with my start as I found myself out in front a lot early than I thought! My original plan was to stick on Emma's wheel for as long as I could, but as it turned out she wasn't there so I had to ride my own race and it was brilliant. Those 4 laps had to be the hardest I've ever doe, I kept looking at my heart rate monitor and it was just banging away, oh and I didn't crash which is a real bonus.
Grant Fergusson - Youth Winner: That was a good race, on an excellent track. It could have been a close run thing for the overall title as I messed up at Dalby so it was still open between the 3 of us, so I knew I had to be up there to secure the title. I feel good just now so I had a great race and was surprised I managed to open up such a good gap. I really enjoyed the climbing that played straight into my hands and the pipeline was awesome, so fast, it just made the course even more challenging!
Anne Murray - Vet winner: I had lady luck on my side again today, Nicky (Hughes) is a fantastic cyclist, I always have a foregone conclusion that she is going to beat me, unless Lady luck steps in and she did again today, with Nicky unfortunately puncturing. It's been almost 10 years since I raced before and it's all very competitive compared to when I first started, everyone is so fit and there are a lot of talented riders out there. It was a great race though despite the travel, it's a long way from Inverness to here, but well worth it all the same.
Ruby Miller - Junior Winner: It was so much fun out there the whole course was just excellent. I loved the downhill sections and the climbs were challenging but enjoyable and it was so good to finish my career as a mountain biker on a high note. I was feeling a bit down coming into the weekend, I think I had a bit of a cold, but after doing the Team Relay last night, which was so much fun, I feel so much better. I may very well come and do a few more Team Relay's next year, as they were such a laugh. Today I didn't really feel any after effects; I got into a nice rhythm and went from there. I'm sure I'll miss the mountain bike series, and to be fair I'm not going to give up totally, I'll probably keep my hand in but I'm going to concentrate mainly on track and road now.
Allie Northcott - Master winner: That was a shock; I haven't been on a mountain bike since the last Soggy Bottom earlier in the year! I usually concentrate on road racing, I love it, I'm spending all my time on the bike I've even got a training plan!! It was rude not to do this race though as I only live about 5 miles down the road and of course the Shred guys are all here, so it had to be done. I rocked up and thought I'll give it a go and see where I come. Top of the first climb I thought actually, lets have a bit of a poke, so I did and away I went and that was it. I could see Kim (Hamer-Hurst) behind me see wasn't going to let me go easy, I kept looking round on the climbs and there she was, it was only on the last lap that I managed to shake her off my tail. I might come and have a few more goes at this now, I quite fancy that National Masters jersey, I missed out on the road one this year by a second, so my main aims are gonna be trying to bag that, mountain biking is so much harder than road! But it feels good when you win!
Steve James - Junior Winner: I'm feeling really good at the moment. I was a bit disappointed with my performance at the Worlds and my form seems to have come back since then and I had a nice warm up yesterday in the Team relay. My plan wasn't to start fast it was to see who went to the front and sit on their back wheel, but I felt so good going up that first hill that I decided to take advantage and go out there and test myself to see what I could do. I was out there on my own for pretty much the whole race, Luke (Gray) was within touching distance for the first lap but after that I didn't see anyone and just kept pushing on and having a good time. I set myself little targets, picking off elite riders ahead, so that was fun. Coming into this last round neck and neck with Kenta over the series title was interesting, we had a little chat about who would win the series, he jokingly mentioned he'd let me win the series as he had the National jersey, but he didn't really enjoy himself out there and wasn't any real threat to me in the end.
Oli Beckingsale - Elite Winner:
That was pretty painful out there today, a nice course but a difficult course. There were two hard climbs and you could recover after them, so for the first few laps I was going pretty hard on the hills, but I realised I had to go even harder if I wanted to shake off the two Czechs, take myself well out of my comfort zone and recover, so I started doing that and managed to get rid of one of them eventually and then a little bit of luck for me saw the other guy puncture leaving me out on my own. I felt pretty strong out there and a nice end to the series. It's a bonus being a cat 1-race means more points and I needed to do a good ride to secure the overall series, so it's been a great weekend for me. The Pipeline was an interesting feature that courses need really, it was fun, though I'm not sure about all those empty gun shells they made it pretty sketchy in places. One more race left before I can take a breather and have some time off before I get stuck in all over again it soon comes round again.
Kristian Hynek: Yeah I was feeling pretty good out there and Oli was going very strong out there, I was able to keep up with him but 2 laps before the end I punctured and I lost contact with him. I had to stop twice to fix the wheel and on the last lap I was running on empty in the tyre, so my season has just been unlucky, this race was unlucky, so I'm hoping next year will be better for me! I'm glad that my team mate managed to get 2nd as that's good for the team, hopefully next year we'll do better. The course was fine, very fast, nice climbs not too fast, I prefer them a bit longer but it was nice, not too technical but very enjoyable. Worth the long trip but worth it as the course and the country is very beautiful, we hope to be back next year to do some more.
Martin Delves - sport winner: I guess I've run away with most of the races this year and my plan was to at least a few of the races I didn't expect to win most of them, so to end with the series win is a bonus. I've had an amazing season really all round; taking wins in virtually everything, so yeah all good. I move up to expert next year so I hope to continue the theme. It was a good course with a couple of good climbs it could have been a bit more technical for me but it was a good course all round. I rode my own race and blew away the competition, so roll on next year to see if I can build on a great season.
Phil Morris - Master Winner: hat was a tough race out there for sure, I decided to go off from the start pretty much as quickly as I could to see who would come with me. It quite quickly narrowed the race down to the 4 of us, myself, Matt Barrett, Matt Dennis and Steve James. By the third lap Steve had lost contact then come lap 4 Matt Dennis gave me the shout and told me to put the boot in so I did and went for it opening up a gap which I managed to keep hold of. It was close as right at the top of the last climb my pedal came out and then I started getting cramp, I knew if I could just get to the descent I was there, so yeah really pleased especially as it's the last race of the year and everyone is at their best so yeah really happy. I'm just pleased to finish my season on a high, the start of the season was just one disaster after another, so it's been a great day on a cracking course and it's always good to win!