Oli Beckingsale took a comfortable win on Sunday at the first round of the 2013 pedalon Southern XC Series.
Held at Matterley Basin near Winchester, the series kicked off with a new course built by UK-Biking in the valleys opposite the famous motocross track. Big climbs played to Beckingsale’s strengths and he won by over won minutes in 1:30:55 for five laps.
Ade Lansley (pedalon) and Ben Thomas (Mountain Trax - Vauxhall) resumed their usual battle for the elite win but again Lansley had to settle for third as Thomas pulled away in the last few hundred metres. George Budd (Salsa Racing) showed that the school holidays really help tired teachers with an excellent fourth place backed up by Mike Cotty (Cannondale) in fifth. A very strong field of 18 elite male riders showed great support for the series.
Sally Bigham won the women's elite race, her lap times were very respectable against the morning men's times and shows she can mix it with the guys as she did at the Gorrick last week.
Emily Iredale (Cycleworks/Specialized) claimed second after moving up from Masters this year. Louise Robinson (XCRacer.com/Four4th) snapped up third as last year's series winner (and CapeEpic racer) Rachel Fenton struggled with poor tyre choice.
In the expert male category, Jon Cruikshank made a big improvement from last year, to take the win in a sprint finish from Richard Phillips-Schofield and James Porter. This looks like a very competitive category this year with fourth and fifth placed riders Scott McCarron and Philip Webb, both new Experts this year, only one minute behind.
In expert female, Agata Tamulewicz (WDMBC) won by over three minutes from Helen Clayton (Lichfield City CC)
Rob Purcell (Neon-Velo) took a comfortable win in the master male discipline from Aidan Bishop and Ash James, who moves up from open this year.
In the sport male, local rider James Braid (Team Wiggle) won by over two minutes. In the open male, team mates Dean Camier and Derek Wilson (Motorhouse Racing) improved on last year’s results to take first and second in a field of 79 racers.
Sam Stean, on the British Cycling Olympic Development Programme, showed strong form to win by three minutes from Sutton CC rider Liam Earl and Joe Griffiths in junior male.
Gretel Warner (WXC) took her first win after moving up from youth to junior female. In youth male, Oliver Lowthorpe from Jersey took the win.
Abigail Van Twisk made a good defence over her series title youth female but Holly MacMahon is closing the gap.
Fifty-four riders lined up for the veteran race but old favourites Paul Hopkins and Lewis King battled at the front. Crispin Doyle, just moved from masters gave them a good contest but faded on the last lap to finish fifth.
Caroline Goward (Team Scott) moved up from masters to win the Vets female. In the grand vets male, James D'Arcy beat last year's series winner Robert Jackson and SMBC's own Steve Jones in a record field of 24.