Duncan Ferris and Tyde D'Souza took the elite men's and women's British Cycling MTB Four Cross Series titles in Falmouth on Saturday and Sunday, on a weekend that saw changing conditions influence the outcome of the season-long contest.
After a great season so far, the 2015 Schwalbe British 4X Series has seen action at every round and plenty of drama in the race for the series number one plates at the end of the year.
Rounds four and five were held at Falmouth in Cornwall and would provide the perfect track for the series finals. Set in the rolling hillsides on the Falmouth coast, the track is quite simply a work of art. Will Evans built this track with the help of Falmouth 4X club and now a couple of years after its opening, the track is ridden in and is in superb condition.
On Saturday it was round four. The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunshine, no wind and warm temperatures. The track was perfect! Long start straight, big berm corners, off cambers, pro line doubles, rocks and log drops. This track has it all and after practice everyone was ready for racing.
With a good turnout of riders including Australian Blake Nielson in the elites, the motos got underway to start qualifying the riders through to the finals later in the day. Nielson was flying but Duncan Ferris, Nathan Parsons and Will Evans were looking hungry for the win.
The Fun categories are the best thing about British 4X racing. Anyone can turn up and race in big fun. It is the starting point for all riders who are looking to race 4X without the need for a race licence etc. Big Fun was won by Angus Vowles with Rubén Masi in second, Jodhus Morton in third and Ryan Humphreys in fourth.
Louis Partridge rode a perfect weekend taking the win in Rippers ahead of Tyler Partridge, George Madley and Luke Madley. Juveniles were dominated by Shane Davies who took the win ahead of Ted Dalleywater, Tom Bell and Callum Rhead.
It was great to see Aaron Dalleywater take the win in Youth ahead of Charlie Currie, Matt Griffin and Riley Jenner. In Juniors, Joe Wallbridge won from Stuart Burrows, Rhys Jenner and Macaulee Moore.
Onto Seniors and one of the crowd favourites, Dan Wagstaff took the win ahead of Ash Brown, Chris Beckett and Lewis Ashe. The masters yet again provided a lot of entertainment! Lee Ferry, just back from injury showed what could have been through the year as he took the win from Stephen Russell, Chris Smith and Chris Cumming. Vets and Jason Jessop continued his winning ways taking round four from Jonathon Walters, Cheyne Greenwood and Ben Rafferty.
In the women's small final it was Hannah Escott who took the win to give her 5th for the day and the final step on the podium. In the main final, newly crowned National Champion Natasha Bradley was looking to take the win again. Against her in the final it would be Tyde D'Souza, Megan Wherry and Heather Kay. Into the first turn it was close but young Tyde got the holeshot. Natasha battled to find a way past early on but a mistake would end her day finishing fourth. Tyde took the win from Megan and Heather.
So finally onto the elite men. The small final was won by Leon Rosser after a great race with Dave Richardson, Alex Metcalfe and Luke Cryer. Leon won to give him fifth place for the day and valuable points towards the overall. So it was time for the last race of the day. Blake Nielson lined up in gate one, Nathan Parsons in two, Duncan Ferris in three and Will Evans in four. They fired out and into turn one Nielson had it from Parsons. Nate tracked Blake all the way to the finish and across the line it was a photo finish but Blake took the win from Nathan, Duncan Ferris in third and Will Evans in fourth.
This result bunched up the points at the top of the table with Nathan taking two points from Duncan in the final. It was all to play for on Sunday.
Sunday morning rolled around and the weather had made a u-turn from Saturday. Rain and light wind was here and it was going to make the track tricky for everyone. A small change to the track would add a little spice as well as the track changed from grippy on Saturday to slippy on Sunday.
The motos again ran well but unfortunately in the elite men's race for the title, it was all over. A crash for Nathan Parsons ended his day and with it his chances to win the overall series.
After the motos the fastest riders had qualified through to the finals. The gate dropped and the winners of round five were:
Big Fun - 1st Rubén Masi, 2nd Ellis Rogues-Byrne 3rd Joshua Morton
Rippers - 1st Tyler Partridge, 2nd Louie Partridge, 3rd Luke Madley, 4th Callum Greenwood
Juvenile - 1st Tom Bell, 2nd Callum Rhead, 3rd Shane Davies, 4th Red Dalleywater
Youth - 1st Aaron Dalleywater, 2nd Charles Currie, 3rd Oscar Powell, 4th Matt Griffin
Junior - 1st Stuart Burrows, 2nd Rhys Jenner, 3rd Joe Wallbridge, 4th Macaulee Moore
Senior - 1st Dan Wagstaff, 2nd Ash Brown, 3rd Jordan Scott, 4th Ben Jones
Master - 1st Lee Ferry, Stephen Russell, 3rd Chris Cumming, 4th Chris Smith
Veteran - 1st Ben Rafferty, 2nd Jason Jessop, 3rd Cheyne Greenwood, 4th Jonathon Walters
In the small final Hannah Escott took the win and with it fifth for the day. In the final it was Natasha Bradley in one, Tyde D'Souza in two, Megan Wherry in three and Heather Kay in four. The gate dropped and it was super close into turn one. Bradley held the inside and took the lead.
With the others battling Bradley pulled a lead that was enough to see her take the win but it was not enough as local rider Tyde D'Souza in second place did enough to win the 2015 Elite Women's Schwalbe British 4X Series overall title.
A fantastic result for Tyde and it is great to see the young women now coming through and shining. The future of British women's 4X looks extremely good. Megan Wherry took 3rd and Heather Kay took 4th on the day.
So it was the elites at the end of the day. The small final was won by Blake Nielson to give him fifth overall for the day. The main final and the final British 4X race of 2015. Duncan Ferris in one, Will Evans in two, James Whitby in three and Leon Rosser in fourth. The gate dropped and Ferris took the lead. Under pressure from the three riders behind all the way as they chopped and changed positions all the way, Duncan Ferris took the win and with it the 2015 Elite men's Schwalbe British 4X Series overall title.
A fantastic result for Duncan and it is a great reward for all his years of racing. James Whitby ended the season as rookie of the year in elites after taking his best ever result in second with Will Evans in third and Leon Rosser in fourth.
2015 British Cycling MTB Four Cross Series champions
Elite Men - Duncan Ferris
Elite Women - Tyde D'Souza
Veterans - Ben Rafferty
Masters - Stephen Russell
Senior - Daniel Wagstaff
Junior - Joe Wallbridge
Youth - Arron Dalleywater
Juveniles - Shane Davies
Rippers - Louie Partridge