Hope XC Series Season Finale report

News from the final race of the Hope XC Series at Lee Quarry from the Brownbacks:

“The final race in the 2011 Hope Technology sponsored series saw over a hundred riders taking on the challenge of the quarry trails. The weather held to keep the trails dry and the racing for both the race win and the final push for series glory was tight in all the categories.

Simon Croft taps it out - pic by Daniel Cowell

The Leisure Lakes Racer category were off first and Jiri Klekner (Wheelspin Cycles) stormed into an early lead with race 2 winner Tom Albutt (Joyriders MTB Holidays) pushing hard to keep in contact. Chasing hard after a broken chain in the first five metres and trying to overcome 8 lost minutes, John Hopkinson (Aire Valley Cycles) thrutched himself through the field and on to the third step of the podium. The battle between Jiri and Tom was settled when Tom finally cracked on the last lap losing 3 minutes in the final run to the chequered flag. Jiri’s win also gained him the series prize with Tom equal on points but the deciding factor was the final race position. In the Cooksons Cycles sponsored Racing Diva’s Steph Fountain (Saddle Skedaddle) lead from start to finish holding Deborah Goodall (Big Bear Bikes) off. Steph also claimed the series prize of a set of Hope SPXC6 wheels.

The Big Bear Bikes sponsored Weekend Warrior category saw a very close race between Ben Howe (unsponsored) and George Flinton (Big Bear Bikes) with the pair closely matched. A huge final lap effort by George finally sealed the victory by 11 seconds. David Beeley the proprietor of Big Bear Bikes rode his Trek 29er consistently to finish in a strong third place nearly three minutes ahead of the closest rider. Ben’s second place saw him take the the honours in the series competition for a Hope Technology brakeset. The Big Bear Bikes team domination of the trade competition saw them take home the trophy for a second year.

The SRAM Have-a-go Heroes category was won by Simon Croft (Nicholas Salon) who has improved in every race of the series. The SRAM Have-a-go Heroine category saw Melody Dark take her first win with a massive effort that left her barely capable of talking at the finish. The Polaris Bikewear sponsored “Lads” category for younger riders again ran with a high quality entry and a number of strong young riders, Dylan Kerfoot Thompson (Rhos-on-Sea CC) took an early narrow lead only to drop out of the race with two punctures on lap three. This left Edwyn Oliver-Evans (Harrogate Nova) to take an emphatic win lapping the rest of the field. This win also sealed the series competition for Edwyn with him taking home the Hope Vision 1 light.

Thanks and appreciation go to the Buff sponsored marshals who benefited from their Buff in the quarry breeze and took home a basket of prizes including Singletrack Magazine subscriptions, Hope goodies and CRUD catchers. The DHP11 sponsored sign-on/ timing team did a sterling job under great pressure. Thanks also to Lancashire CC for use of Lee Quarry and the local residents who tolerate the early morning disruption. A big thanks to the early bird course marking team who turned up at 07:00 to assist with the course setup.

The team are busy planning for 2012 and aim to build on the last three years of success. Thanks go to the 2011 sponsors who provide the rider prize funds and support prize equality for the women.

Want to part of the fun and get a free Buff then join our marshalling team info@brownbacksracing.co.uk

www.brownbacksracing.co.uk

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