Report: Nutcracker Series Round 1

Report: Nutcracker Series Round 1

Home » Mountain Bike (MTB)

Bookmark and Share  Follow on Follow        British Cycling on Facebook  Follow British        Cycling on Twitter Visit our        Youtube Channel Visit our        images on Flickr

Report: Nutcracker Series Round 1

Regional XC Racing Home | Official Website

After two weeks of what seemed like endless rain, Nutcracker organisers Bikelicker Events were more than disheartened when trudging around Camp Hill in the mud on Saturday marking out the course. However, come Sunday morning, fortunes seemed to change as the sun shone brightly in the sky and stayed that way for the rest of the day!

Over 130 people pre-entered into the inaugural round of the new and long-awaited Nutcracker Northern XC MTB Series, with a further 60 entries on the day, bringing the total number of entries to just shy of 200. Not bad for event one!

Riders began turning up just after sunrise, keen to sign-on and test ride the 4.5 mile course, designed specifically by Technical Director Adey Dent. With more of an emphasis on natural terrain, rather than man-made singletrack and fire tracks, the course suited those riders with a higher level of aerobic fitness and high cadence stamina as there was no rest anywhere on the course. Unfortunately, the weather had taken its toll on the terrain and what, two weeks before, had been a bone-dry and almost dusty course turned very wet and sticky after two weeks of relentless precipitation.

Racing began at 10am with the Senior Novice, Youth and Juvenile category. Only a handful of competitors chose to race in the novice category, which would complete two laps of the course over the duration of around 1 hour 15 minutes. Youths would also complete two laps and Juveniles and women one lap. The Novice category was won by Richmond Cycling Club's Matthew Wilkinson, who commented on his first race and first race win ever:

"What a fantastic race! It's my first ever attempt at competitive cycling and I was dubious as to whether I'd be any good. I just chose my gear and settled into a nice cadence. Conditions were tough - but they could've been worse and to be honest, I was expecting worse. I was a bit demoralized when I was passed by a young whippet who looked like he was about 12 years old, but felt better afterwards when I was told that he currently stood within the top five ranked Youth riders in the country! I'll definitely be back for Nutcracker 2 at Aske - can't wait!"

First time racer Sarah Rose was first Novice lady over the line and, despite her multiple punctures whilst on the course, she reported of a fantastic experience, which she hoped to repeat at other events in the series.

The Youth category was won by Jack Humphreys with a superb average lap time of around 25 minutes. There were also a handful of Juvenile competitors and the category was won by Robert Armstrong.

Rumour had it beforehand that National Trophy Cyclocross Champion Paul Oldham fancied a ride - and it turned out to be true! Both Paul Oldham and Dave Collins of Hope Factory Racing were on the start line for race 2 at 1130. As the siren sounded the start of the Experts and Elites categories, they both pulled away from the rest of the field almost from the line.


By mid-race and about lap 3 (after 13 miles) they had managed to build a gap of almost 10 minutes on their nearest competitors and that was after stopping nearly every lap to wash the mud from their bikes in a small lake adjacent to the course! After lap 4, Collins was dropped by Oldham, presumably having spent longer washing his bike in the lake, and Paul put the hammer down to pull away by several minutes by the finish. Final result in the Elite category: Paul Oldham, from Dave Collins, both of Hope Factory Racing, followed shortly after by Nic Smith. First Elite woman home was Kate Potter with no such luck for local Northallerton-based Jessie Roberts following her recent streak of victories in the University championships and other events. Expert category was won by Niall Frost from James Williams in second place and Tom Bell in third.

By far and away the biggest turnout was for race three, with over 120 riders jostling for position on the start line. Due to the difficult course conditions, British Cycling commissarie Pete Sutton made the call to reduce the race distance for some of the categories, in light of the longer than anticipated lap times that had been recorded by the Experts and Elites earlier in the day. Categories on the start line at 1400 were Juniors, Senior Sport, Masters, Veterans and Grand Veterans. A good race was had by all, despite the less than desirable course conditions. Junior and Master men completed four laps, whilst everybody else completed three.

Entry is now open for Nutcracker 2 at Aske and organizers are promising less mud and more hills. Enter on line now via the Nutcracker Website.


1 Paul Oldham
2 Dave Collins
3 Nic Smith

1 Niall Frost
2 James Williams
3 Tom Bell

Elite Female
1 Kate Potter
2 Cait Elliott
3 Jessie Roberts

Expert Female
1 Danielle Rider

Sports Male
1 Nick Butcher
2 John Hopkinson
3 Ian Lee

Masters Male
1 Stuart Wearmouth
2 Neal Crampton
3 Alan Nixon

Veteran Male
1 Noel Clough
2 John Wilkinson
3 Jonathan "Jofty" Watson

Veteran Female
1 Ruth Thompson
2 Lorna Rider
3 Christine Lewis

Grand / Super Veteran Male
1 Duncan Stuart
2 Bruce Rollinson
3 Stephen Braziez

Senior Novice
1 Matthew Wilkinson
2 Chris Peareth
3 Gavin Hancock

Junior Male
1 Hamish Fletcher Cooney
2 Jack Clarkson
3 Sam Farrar

Youth Male
1 Jack Humphreys
2 Edward McParland
3 Mike Thompson

Youth Female
1 Zoe Armstrong

Juvenile Male
1 Robert Armstrong
2 Stephen Lee
3 James Edmond

Juvenile Female
1 Gretel Warner
2 Caroline Humphreys

Under 12 Sprogs
1 Angus Brown
2 Adam Lewis