Inter-Regional MTB Championships
Location: Hadleigh Farm, Essex
Event: 4-6 October 2013
Report: George Gilbert
The first day of the Inter-Regional MTB Championship, held at Hadleigh in Essex, site of the London 2012 Olympic MTB event, saw teams of riders representing all 10 English Regions, Scotland (North and South), Ulster and Wales all compete in a skills test.
This skill based event was held over seven stations, each testing a different aspect of bike handling – accuracy of turning, wheel placement, balance, smooth delivery of power and so on – with riders scoring points for how much of each part of a progressively harder course they could complete without any errors.
In the Girls competition, Martha Gill of the North West only dropped a single point to take first place. She was head and shoulders above the rest of the field with only Elena Melton from Scotland North able to come close in dropping just 3 points. Third place was taken by Ffion James of Wales, 4 points down.
The Boys competition was incredibly tight with 5 people each only dropping a single point across the entire event. The tie on points was then split by a short time trial over a very twisty course – again testing the riders skill, rather than strength.
The Boys competition went right down to the wire with first and second just 0.27 seconds apart with Will Gascoyne of the East Midlands taking top honours over Josh Brooks of the West Midlands, and Frazer Clacherty of the North East rounding off the podium only 1 second further adrift.
In the overall competition, Scotland North have taken an early lead, but with the South West, East Midlands and Scotland South all close behind. The middle of the field is however completely open with the North East just nudging out West Midlands for fifth spot, but Wales, South East, North West, Eastern, Yorkshire, Ulster and Central all within striking distance of each other, and South only a few points further adrift.
With everything still to play for, tomorrow morning sees a handicap cross-country event with riders seeded on the grid from their positions in the skills test. In the afternoon the riders will compete in a Dirt Sprint, racing against each other multiple times in BMX style motos, over a short technical but high speed course.
The competition concludes on Sunday with a full XC event over the Olympic MTB course to determine the overall rankings and which team is crowned the 2013 Inter-Regional MTB Champions.
Please credit www.britishcycling.org.uk and link back if you use any of our race results.
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.