Report: Welburn dominates at Fforest Fields


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Round three of the Welsh Mountain Bike Series (WMBS) took place in the idyllic setting of Fforest Fields campsite, near Builth Wells, last weekend. After clear skies and bright sun for the practice day on Saturday, the weather wasn’t quite as idyllic for race day; but the rain did hold off for most of the day as venue owner George had promised.

A classic venue known for it’s big climbs and “old-skool” courses, Fforest Fields has seen plenty of MTB events in the past and for the last few years has been home to a round of the Welsh Series. Initially organiser Scott Bugden had planned a course including two climbs of the hill each lap but with one of the descents proving very slippery on the final course recce the decision was made to remove the descent and therefore one of the climbs. It was still a tough lap with one monster climb, lots of cambered, rooty single-track and no real rest anywhere.

As always there were races to suit everyone from Under 8’s to Grand Vets-a point really brought home by the 63 year age gap between the youngest and oldest competitor on the day.

All the riders deserve congratulations for racing so hard on a tough course. Alex Welburn (Forme Bikes UK), Melanie Alexander (Scott Contessa Syncros) and Jonathan Pugh (Cycle-Tec) all dominated their races, powering away almost as soon as the whistle went and leading from start to finish. Happiest rider of the day has to go to Robert Rogers (Birkenhead North End CC) who was clearly very pleased to win the Junior race.

Thanks to everyone involved in helping out at the event. Commissaires Liz Slater and Ian Jenkins, Jay and Maddie from Fully Sussed and the John Lloyd racing crew who supplied marshals and signing on staff. Thanks also to local bike shop Cycle-Tec who (along with John Lloyd) supplied Under 16 prizes and mechanical support, Ananichoola who continued their support of the Women’s prizes and USN, official nutrition partner of Welsh Cycling, who supplied prizes for the senior men categories. Lastly, a huge thanks to George, Katie and Will at Fforest Fields for letting us invade their beautiful campsite and race bikes around it again.

Results from all the races can be downloaded here and overall series standings here. There were some big changes in the overall standings after this round and it could all change again after Round 4 so make sure that you are there to be in with a chance of winning the fantastic prize of up to 4 night’s accommodation in some of the best MTB country in the UK!

The final round of the series is at Margam Park on Sunday 19 May. The course will be the same as the planned course for the British XC round in July so it’s a great chance to come and give it a try in advance.

The final round will also incorporate the Welsh Championships. If you wish to be in with a chance of winning the Welsh Championships  you must pre-enter two weeks in advance, there will be no exceptions. This does not apply to Under 8's, 10's and 12's.