Location: Wheal Maid Valley, Redruth, Cornwall
Event: 27-28 April 2013
Report: Andrew Whitehouse/Snowdon Sports
Photos: Andrew Whitehouse
Third in the opening round, Grant Ferguson (Superior Brentjens MTB) took victory in the second round of the British Cycling National Mountain Bike Cross-Country Series near Redruth on Sunday.
The 19-year-old Scot, from Peebles, crossed the line ahead of team-mate Kenta Gallagher in second, while Hamish Bachelor (Fluid Fin Racing Team) completed the podium in third spot.
Gallagher attacked almost straight from the start of the seven-lap race, and Ferguson was on his wheel with the Bachelor brothers Hamish and Seb not far behind.
The four stuck together and worked well together to leave the rest of the riders behind.
Seb Bachelor tangled with a backmarker, and lost touch with the other three, who ploughed on to take the podium spots.
At the bell Ferguson attacked on a small climb to the finishing circuit, and held that lead to the line.
“I started quite well then Kenta got a gap a gap and it split quite a lot, but then came back together with the four of us. Hamish did quite a lot of work,” explained race winner Grant Ferguson.
“I knew I didn’t want it to come to a sprint so I wanted to try and go early, so I went on the climb up to the finish, got a bit of a gap and then held it. It’s the first time I’ve won an elite race, so it’s super!”
Dorset’s reigning World Endurance Champion Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon Racing Team) secured a comfortable victory in the elite women’s race at round two of the British Cycling National Mountain Bike Cross-Country Series near Redruth on Sunday.
The 35-year-old from Poole, who spends much of her time racing in Europe, crossed the line alone and more than three and a half minutes ahead of her nearest rival after five laps of the 5.6-kilometre course at Wheal Maid Valley.
Second spot went to defending series champion Lee Craigie (Cannondale Racing) who was 3-36 off the pace, while Hargroves Cycles’ Beth Crumpton completed the podium in third.
With large sections of the course laid out to single track overtaking was difficult anywhere apart from the finishing straight, and from the off the strong riders hit the front.
Serbian national champion Jovana Crnogorac (Orange Monkey) was an early leader, with Craigie and Bigham not far behind, as was Crumpton.
Bigham took over on the front on lap two – clearly not fazed by breaking her front mech and having to ride the whole race on her big ring.
By the next time around she had a minute over her rivals Crumpton and Crnogorac, and continued to pull out more time as she processed to victory.
“It wasn’t without its problems I can tell you!” said Bigham afterwards. “On the first lap my front mech broke so I had to ride on the big ring for the whole race, which gave me a bit of leg burn! I had a few other problems, but I felt strong.
“At the start I completely missed my pedal for about ten seconds and I was right at the back, but I feel pretty strong at the moment. I love humpy jumpy courses, they’re really good fun.
“I love downhill sections and power climbs. I like loose courses like this and this is what I’m used to racing on in South Africa.”
Jonathan Pugh (Cycletec) took victory in the Masters category, and Philip Morris (XCRacer.com) was second in a repeat of the one-two from the opening round of the series at Sherwood Pines back in March.
The pair dominated the six-lap race, with Morris first to hit the front and Pugh struggling to stay with him at first.
But they soon came together, and Pugh edged clear lap by lap to eventually take the win by almost a minute from his rival, while Paul Newnham (Team Leslie Bike Shop) completed the podium in third.
“Phil Morris came out for the first lap and I couldn’t get by him and was hanging in there, but by the second lap I had him, then got a gap. I felt comfortable and stretched away,” said Jonathan Pugh afterwards.
“It’s a brilliant start to the series to win the first two rounds, that was my goal. This is a great technical course.”
Alice Barnes continued her winning form in the junior female race, the Scott Contessa rider secured her second win of the series with a dominant race finishing her four laps in 1.11.51 some four minutes to the good of second place Imogen Buick and 5.34 ahead of third spot Isla Short.
Team Certini's Kim Long took the honours in the Grand vets riding home in 1.03.43, six minutes ahead of Elizabeth Clayton and a little under thirteen minutes ahead of Crosstrax's Hilary Bloor.
Nicky Healy took the top step in the Expert Female category fending off Hollie Bettles and Helen Clayton who finished second and third respectively. Donna Morris took the victory in the master female race whilst Fiona Innes rode to an impressive win in the sport category.
A fairly small field in the veterans race saw Caroline Goward finish her three laps in 57.55 just a little over a minute from Jane Cumming. Third spot went to VC Lincoln's Helen Macgregor.
A tight race in the female juvenile saw Emily Wadsworth take her second win in the series but was pushed to the line by Abergavenny's Megan James who crossed the line a mere nineteen seconds adrift.
Daniel Tullett continued his winning streak by taking the victory in the juvenile race but the Hargroves Cycles rider didn't have it all his own way, a strong challenge from Cardiff JIF's Tomos Nesham kept the gap between the two riders to under two minutes after three laps. Harry Yates looked impressive on the tough course and secured a respectable third.
A mighty tussle in the youth race saw Frazer Clacherty hold off a strong challenge from Matlock's Arthur Green. The Scarborough youngster rode a fine race to secure the win ahead of the usual race favourites. Calum Magowen took the third step on the podium.
Another close race in the youth girls race saw Martha Gill take a fine win holding off Abergavenny's Ffion James by seventeen seconds and third placed Amira Mellor (Holme Valley Wheelers).
You take your chances when you can and Nutcracker's Michael Thompson did just that to secure the win in the junior race.
With Billy Harding crashing hard on the opening lap and retiring from the race Thompson rode an impressive race holding off Iain Patton by some two minutes and Malvern's David Creber.
One second is all that split first and second place in the expert male race and two seconds between second and third spot. Lee Gratton (Run & Ride) squeezed the last ounce of energy from his legs to hold off Scott Clipstone (AW Cycles) and third placed Dexter Hurlock to take the victory after six close laps that really could have gone to any of the first three across the line.
Ross Flashman took the victory in the sport race riding across the line alone a minute ahead of Matthew Dewis. Flashman completed his five laps in 1.21.08. Third spot went to Ashley Evans(Run & Ride).
Marc Chamberlin did his series chances no harm at all taking a hard fought win in the veterans race, improving on his seventh spot at Sherwood the private member held off a strong challenge from Paul Hopkins to complete his six laps in 1.32.26 a little over a minute to the good of the Merida Factory rider. Hargroves Crispin Doyle took the last step on the podium.
A smiling Pete Harris again waved to the crowd to complete his day in the grand veteran race. The Pearce Cycles rider finished his five laps in 1.23.36 some 2.20 ahead of Jewson's Tim Stowe and 2.33 ahead of Ian Wright (Forme coaching-Pactimo).
Vic Barnett eventually dropped John Lloyd on lap three of the Super vets race to take his second victory in the series. The current World Champion looking comfortable on the testing circuit and having the legs to finish his four laps in 1.19.29 just over two minutes on Lloyd.
1 Grant Ferguson (Superior Brentjens MTB)
2 Kenta Gallagher (Superior Brentjens LTB)
3 Hamish Bachelor (Fluid Fin RT)
4 Sebastian Bachelor (Fluid Fin RT)
5 Rab Wardell (Trek UK)
6 Oli Beckingsale (Endura Racing)
7 Nick Craig (Team Scott UK)
8 Dan Fleeman (Forme Coaching)
9 Steve James (Hargroves Cycles)
10 Ramon Sagues Portobella (Blue Motors)
1 Sally Bigham (Topeak-Ergon RT) 1:20:44
2 Lee Craigie (Cannondale Racing) @ 3:36
3 Beth Crumpton (Hargroves Cycles)
4 Mel Alexander (Contessa Scott)
5 Jovana Crnagorac (Orange Monkey)
6 Maddie Horton (Certini)
7 Rebecca Preece (Contessa Scott)
8 Jessie Roberts (Torq Performance)
9 Kerry Macphee (Rock n Road)
10 Mercedes Pacios Pujado (Blue Motors)
1 Jonathan Pugh (Cycletec) 1:32:30
2 Philip Morris (XCRacer.com) @ 59sec
3 Paul Newnham (Team Leslie Bike Shop) @ 2:24
4 Rob Purcell (Neon Velo)
5 Chris Lever (Cookson Cycles)
6 Kim Little (Gillingham & District Wheelers)
7 Grant Leavy (Forza Cycles)
8 Graham Sheldon (Clive Mitchell Cycles)
9 Peter Kench (Banjo Cycles)
10 Martin Graham (Dirt Wheels)
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