Pedalsport Race Series – Round 4 Report

Joolze Dymond reports:

You probably wouldn’t associate the phrase, ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’ with fun, but it’s a phrase that perfectly sums up the venue for the new MTB race series organised by Pedalsport. Based at Rockingham Quarry, the venue delivers a cracking 4km course that ducks and dives it’s way around the quarry taking you on a mini adventure that includes the moonscape quarry floor, coupled with grassy moors, complete with far reaching scenery, plus a few surprises along the way to keep you full on the rivet the whole way round.

Designed with complete novices in mind, the course is completely ridable and gets more technical the faster you ride it, with a roller coaster of dips, sweeps and climbs thrown in for a complete workout of man and machine!
Round 4 of this grassroots event attracted a handful of faithful followers, it seems once you’ve tried it you can’t wait to get back. As the series develops this amazingly crafted mtb haven of fun will most definately be one series you’ll not want to miss!

First up to test themselves and their rivals were the ever eager under 14’s, sporting quite a few young ladies also keen to get in the mix. Riding a shortened version of the senior race, the youngsters gave it their all over 4 laps with Tom Pidock taking a hard fought victory over Bryan Barrett.

Next up it was time for the seniors to see who would emerge victorious over 6 laps of the full demanding but fun course. Chris Thompson saw his chances scuppered even before the race got a few feet from the start line as his chain broke, leaving him watch distraught as his rivals belted off. Dan Cook was first to make his mark, taking an early lead, but young Jack Clarkson was having none of it and despite a slow start made serious headway catching Cook by lap 2. Then as the race progressed it was a definite case of experience over youthful exuberance as Clarkson made a few schoolboy errors leaving Cook to stretch his advantage coming home to take the win with a 37 sec advantage.

Cook and Clarkson are now neck and neck with two wins apiece in this excellent series, who’ll take the spoils at round 5? Well you’ll just have to come and find out for yourself, oh and you may as well bring a bike and see if you can thwart their winnings ways!

The next event kicks off on the 5th August, under 14’s 7.00pm & seniors 7.30pm, everyone welcome. For more details contact Mark Rushby – mark@pedalsport.co.uk

Rider comments:

Tom Pidock
I’ve done two of these so far, there’s been 4 so I’ve missed 2, but I’m glad my dad found out about them as I really like mountain biking and I’m quite good at it. I had a good race after a bad start, I managed to catch up the leaders but then I fell off, but I got back on then I won by quite a bit!

Jack Clarkson
Yeah that were a good race, I enjoyed it, it was good fun. I’m pretty new to the sport but it’s great. I do prefer ‘cross but do the mountain biking in my spare time.
The venue here is superb, such good fun, the banks and gullies are great, I’ve ridden all the events so far here and now have two wins and two second places, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do on the last round. It’s a hard course with nowhere to rest, it’s only takes about 6 mins but it’s hard, that grass on the top is so slow and the climb to the finish is a killer! I gave Dan a real hard time but I lost it on a couple of the soft banks, so I’ll be practising those for the next round so I don’t get caught out again!

Dan Cook
These are an hour’s drive for me there and back but well worth the journey time as they’re so enjoyable. I love racing and I love local event likes this, you meet lots of like minded people and it’s really good. It’s a demanding course considering it’s just 40 mins they pack a lot in! It’s physically and mentally challenging and there are a couple of bits that just keep catching you out and the views from the top are great, not that I pay too much attention to them when I’m racing!
The way the course criss crosses really makes the racing exciting as you can always see someone, that elastic never really breaks and that just makes good racing.
Jack’s a good rider and really gave my a good race tonight, he’s got a lot of potential I haven’t said this to him yet but if he was going to work on anything he could do with picking up a little bits of technical, he needs to look where he’s going rather than look where he doesn’t want to go and well he’ll have me next year, no doubt about that!
I don’t come here expecting to breeze it, Jack is a formidable rival and this is my first year back at racing after a 15 year break so I didn’t have any expectations but I’m going better and better as is Jack.
Races like this are fundamental to the sport; the sport doesn’t exist without stuff like this. This is a fun way to get started, you get to know people and its fun and for me it’s about everyone, not just the rider. The amount of work that’s gone into the series has been brilliant and it’s important to me that I can come along and support them as much as anything as this will help encourage others to come along and the sport will grow.
Races like these are great for everyone, you don’t need to be fast, you don’t need to be good, you just need to come along and have a go and this circuit is challenge enough just to get round enjoyably, it’s not about winning it’s really about being part of it.

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