Patience is a virtue, and after 21 years of trying, Paul Oldham (Team Hope Factory Racing) finally made it to the top of the podium in a National MTB Series event as he took the elite men’s honours at Sunday’s second round in Cornwall.
The 36-year-old, from Colne in Lancashire, finished 50 seconds clear of Steven James (Hargroves Cycles/Specialized/Trant/Next) after six laps of the 3.2-mile Wheal Maid Valley course, in Redruth, with a further 27 seconds to third-placed Grant Ferguson (Betch.NL Superior Brentjens MTB RT) who had the bad luck to puncture for the second successive round when challenging.
The first three set the early pace after Gareth Montgomerie had led the charge away from the start and they were 26 seconds clear of the rest going into the fourth lap before Ferguson punctured.
Oldham opened a gap on James on the fifth lap, leading by half a minute at the bell, with Ferguson battling his way back to take third place 17 seconds ahead of Dan Fleeman (Metaltek Cycling) with Mike Thompson (Team Hope Factory Racing) holding off Nick Craig (Pioneer Scott Syncros) for fifth as the latter worked his way up from outside the top on the opening lap.
Victory in the elite women’s race went to Bethany Crumpton who, currently riding without a team but supported by the North West Mountain Bike Centre, began to pull clear on the third lap on her way to victory by 1-03 over Kerry MacPhee (Rock and Road Cycles).
Tracey Moseley (Trek SRM Provision) finished a clear third after a mechanical problem put paid to the chances of Melanie Alexander (Contessa Scott Syncros) on the third lap, with Jessie Roberts getting across on the last lap to overhaul her Trek Bicycle Coventry teammate Maxine Filby for fourth place and last year’s junior champion Alice Barnes (T-Mo Racing) taking sixth place in her first mountain bike race since breaking her collarbone earlier in the year.
Dan Tulett secured his second victory of the series in the youth race. Tulett again rode a mature race, measuring his effort throughout the four laps and completing them in 1-03.29. Matthew Fratesi took a fine second spot to finish 2:14 down. Chris Rothwell took the third step on the podium.
Will Gascoyne didn't enjoy his race, puncturing on the second lap whilst on the winners wheel, his race effectively over, finishing one lap down.
Emily Wadsworth took the youth female race from Ella Connolly and Hannah English, the three girls again finishing as round one.
It was Certini's Harry Birchill who took his second win of the series completing his three laps in 51.58. Craig Rogers moved up one spot finishing in second 31 seconds down and Thomas Timberlake completed the podium.
Megan James took the honours in the juvenile female race but the fastest lap of the race ensured a fine second spot for Poppy Wildman, Hope's Lucy Horrocks was third.
Dylan Kerfoot-Robson took the junior race by one second from Mark McGuire after a close fought five laps. A fast start saw Kerfoot-Robson away from the gun first and setting a high pace throughout the race.
A select group also including Thomas Craig, Liam Earl and David Creber set the feel of the race in the opening laps but Kerfoot-Robson and McGuire had the stronger legs and Craig finished third almost 30 seconds adrift, admitting he didn't have the legs to compete for the win.
Isla Short again proved the dominant rider in the junior women’s race, the Thompson's Cycles rider again was mixing it up with the elite women leaders even though starting two minutes down. Ffion James took second some 2.38 down and Evie Richards took third.
Hollie Bettles continued her winning ways in the expert women race, the AJ Cycles rider again took the victory from Venessa Homes completing her four laps in 1:23.56 almost two minutes to the good of Holmes, Sophie Fennell took her first series podium finishing in third.
Alison Holmes secured the top step in the Veteran women’s race, beating Nicky Hughes into second by a mere 13 seconds. Clare Leaver didn't have the best of races finishing almost five minutes adrift but taking a podium spot and keeping her series hopes alive. Lichfield's Elizabeth Clayton took her second victory of the series with a strong ride in the Grand Veterans’ race, beating Kim Long into second spot.
Phillip Pearce secured victory in the expert race, finishing almost two minutes to the good of Clee Cycles' James Hyde finishing his six laps in 1:32.28. Joe Griffiths took third spot.
The Masters race was again tight, Phil Morris taking his first win of the series after holding off the challenge from Kim Little by 19 seconds, Robert Purcell couldn't match his victory at Codham, the Neon-Velo rider taking third.
VC St Raphael's Sam Humphrey took a fine victory in the Veterans race, proving to be the stronger of Jedi Cycle's Ian Taylor. Southfork's Lee Hayward finished third moving him up the standings after the previous rounds 16th spot.
It was all change in the Grand Veterans’ race with Peter Turnbull taking victory from Westbury Wheeler's Nigel Brown and Mark Chadbourne respectively. Ian Petherbridge secured his second win of the series just holding off Lynn Lines by nine seconds. Denis Smith took the final podium place.
1 Paul Oldham (Team Hope Factory Racing) 1-40-50
2 Steven James (Hargroves Cycles/Specialized/Trant/Next) at 50 sec
3 Grant Ferguson (Betch.NL Superior Brentjens MTB RT) at 1-17
4 Dan Fleeman (Metaltek Cycling) at 1-34
5 Mike Thompson (Team Hope Factory Racing) at 1-50
6 Nick Craig (Pioneer Scott Syncros) at 1-59
7Jason Bouttell (Velopro) at 2-27
8 David Fletcher (Orange Monkey Pro Team) at 3-16
9 Iain Paton (Pioneer Scott Syncros) at 4-47
10 Ian Field (argroves Cycles/Specialized/Trant/Next) at 5-25
1 Bethany Crumpton 1-47-32
2 Kerry MacPhee (Rock And Road Cycling) at 1-03
3 Tracey Moseley (Trek SRM Provision) at 2-00
4 Jessie Roberts (Trek Bicycle Coventry) at 4-03
5 Maxine Filby (Trek Bicycle Coventry) at 4-05
6 Alice Barnes (T-Mo Racing) at 5-27
7 Annie Simpson (Team Hope Factory Racing) at 7-17
8 Mercy Pacios Pujado (Tomas Belles Cannondale by Gaes) at 9-43
9 Iwona Szmyd at 9-43
10 Maddie Horton (Fully Sussed) at 10-46
Full results are available here
Series Standings after round 2 (provisional) here