Inter-Regional MTB Championships
Location: Hadleigh Farm, Essex
Event: 4-6 October 2013
Report: George Gilbert
On day two of the Inter-Regional MTB Championship, the 14 teams representing the 10 English Regions, Scotland (North and South), Ulster and Wales competed in a Handicap XC event and Dirt Sprints.
The Handicap XC, seeded off the results of yesterday’s skills competition saw lots of exciting battles throughout the field as the trade-off between skill, strength and endurance played out.
In the girls event, Ffion James of Wales overturned a 30s deficit on the start line to win from Elena Melton of Scotland North and Martha Gill of the North West.
In the Boys event, 5 riders were on the front of the grid and Frazer Clacherty of the North East and Will Gascoyne of the East Midlands used their advantage to finish first and second, however Mark Mcguire from Scotland North pulled back 20s on the leaders to take third place.
The Dirt Sprints were a brand new event for MTB, similar to BMX racing in its intensity and format, but held over challenging and hilly terrain and without the benefit of a starting ramp.
Charlotte Broughton from the East Midlands was imperious throughout the girls races, winning every single one of her qualifying motos and then the semi-final and final with ease. Hannah English from the South and Ffion James from Wales were always In the mix however and duly finished second and third in the final.
As yesterday, the boys races were incredibly close and saw numerous photo-finishes throughout the competition. In the final, Dan Tullett of the South East won from Scott Woolley of Yorkshire by a tyre width in a thrilling sprint finish. Ulster’s James Curry took third spot – their team’s first ever podium position in the Inter-Regional MTB Championship.
In the overall competition, Scotland North extended their lead at the top of the table and now look untouchable for the overall title and the North West, in second place, also seem to seem to be secure in their position.
The contest for the overall bronze medals however could go any one of 10 ways with East Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire, South West, North East, Scotland South, West Midlands, South, Central and South East all within striking distance of third place. Ulster and Eastern are also close behind and could easily move up the leader board tomorrow.
With the overall standings finely poised, the third and final day of the Inter-Regional MTB Championship will see the overall winners crowned and medal positions decided by the teams contesting a full XC event over the Olympic MTB XC Course.
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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.