Scotland Mountain Bike Teams First and Second

Scotland Mountain Bike Teams First and Second

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The third and final day of the 2015 Inter-Regional MTB Championship saw the 14 teams representing the 10 English Regions, Scotland (North and South), Ulster and Wales compete in a team relay and then two cross-country events over the Olympic XC Course in Hadleigh, Essex.  
 
In the overall team competition there was little doubt that one of the two Scotland teams would take the top spot, but it was Scotland South who just managed to hold off a late challenge from Scotland North to be crowned the 2015 Inter-Regional MTB Champions.  Whilst neither of the Scottish teams had the best individual riders (in terms of individual podium places, across all 9 events they only managed one second place, and two thirds between them), their strength in depth meant that they each regularly had several riders in the top 10.  As the Inter-Regional Championships is very deliberately focussed on being a team event, encouraging and rewarding the development of a broad base of youth talent, that sheer level of consistency saw both Scotland teams classed as run-away winners.
 
Nearly 100 points further back, Central took the bronze medals for their third place position, and West Midlands were a further 30 points back to finish comfortably fourth.  As expected from the overnight standings, the middle of the table however changed after every race - in the end, fifth to tenth place were separated by just 23 points, and every ride from every member of the team went down to the wire in determining the final team order.  Within that narrow range, there were then even closer battles between pairs of teams.  Yorkshire came out on top, just 2 points ahead of the North West.  South West were seventh, again just 2 points ahead of the East Midlands and the North East finished ninth, just a single point ahead of Wales. South East finished eleventh, and the closest battle of the day - between South and Eastern - resulted in a tie in points for twelfth, with the former getting the nod on countback.  Ulster then rounded out the final standings in fourteenth.
 
Congratulations go to all the teams for an amazing three days of racing; it is an enormous credit to the respective regions and nations that the standard of this event keeps on rising each year.  Thank you also to all the staff, officials and other volunteers whose hard work enable this event to happen and provide such an outstanding platform for the strength and depth of youth cycling talent we have to flourish.
 
George Gilbert, event organiser