Location: Boggart Hole Clough Park, Manchester
Event: 26th July 2011
Report: Jason Wiltshire
Round 5 and back to Boggart Hole Clough in somewhat drier conditions than last time MTB Madness visited.
A smaller field turned out for this round, possibly due to the school holidays along with an absence of any cyclo-cross and female riders, but the racing was aggressive nonetheless with Adrian Lawrence returning after his absence, some new faces and Tom Albutt fresh from his recent Brownback's win.
The race started quickly on the dry course and towards the end of the first lap small groups were already starting to form. Lawrence and Hopkinson were slightly in front of a pack that included Albutt, Wells, Hunt, Evans and Humphries. Tonge burped a tyre on the first lap and was languishing slightly behind before stopping to inflate.
The battle up front was one that was to last the whole race as Lawrence and Hopkinson worked together to build a sizeable advantage over the rest of the field. Albutt managed to stay within seconds of them for a number of laps but could not bridge across. Behind, Hunt was pressing on in fourth and seemed comfortable until a crash towards the end of the race dropped him back a place. This was seized upon by Daniel Wells who had ridden a consistently quick race throughout.
Evans was forced back with a mechanical midway through and it was mechanical problems that were to decide the final outcome as Hopkinson had front changer problems in the latter stages. In a show of sportsmanship, Lawrence waited for Hopkinson but once realising that they were both in danger of being reeled in by Albutt, Lawrence pushed on for the win.
It was a race that saw some of the most hotly contested battles of the series and the action returns to the Chorlton Water Park for round 6, scene of the biggest round to date on a fast and technical flat course.
1. Adrian Lawrence (Team Bglobal)
2. John Hopkinson (Aire Valley Racing Team)
3. Tom Albutt
4. Daniel Wells
5. Roy Hunt (Colnago - Microshift - Skins)
6. Graham Bryce (G M C Fire Services)
7. Jack Humphreys (Wheelbase.co.uk/Cannondale)
8. Paul Kelsall
9. Joseph Heywood
10. Mark O'Connel