Phil Pearce and Jane Barr secured the overall title after the final round of the 2017 HSBC UK National Cross Country Series in Builth Wells.
Pearce finished fourth and Barr fifth in their respective rounds, with Frazer Clacherty and Evie Richards sealing victories on the day.
BW Cycling’s Pearce went into the final round of the series with an unassailable advantage over the rest of the field, and admitted that the knowledge had relaxed him before the start.
“With Grant [Ferguson – he was at the World Cup in Canada, where he finished 46th] away I couldn’t be beaten so I came here knowing the overall was safe,” said Pearce, who finished ahead of Dave Fletcher (Sherwood Pines Cycles / FELT) and Jason Boutell (KTM Impsport RT) in the overall standings.
“That probably relaxed me a bit too much for the race, but I had a decent race getting fourth and it was fun to race without the pressure.
“The course was different today, great for spectators but I think it was more like a cycle cross course, but it is what it is and you have to ride what’s presented to you.”
Clacherty (100% ME) set the early pace, and remained at the front throughout the race, with Liam Killeen (Malvern Cycle Sport) finishing second and Tom Bell (DELV) third.
In the women’s competition, Barr secured her first ever national series win after finishing fifth.
Richards (100% ME) attacked from the off, and produced a dominant display on the day for her third win of the series, but she could only finish second overall to Barr, whose consistent form has paid off for her.
She was fourth for much of the race, but Amy-Jo Hansford (Mud Sweat & Gears) passed her with two laps to go and she had to settle for fifth.
Ffyon James (Abergavenny Road Club) and Kerry MacPhee (Rock & Road) landed second and third on the day behind Richards.
In the overall standings, Richards finished second and Sophie Halhead (BW Cycling) secured third.
But it was Barr who was celebrating her series win, and put this step up to an increase in confidence rather than an overhaul of her training techniques.
“I really wanted to go out there and enjoy the course and have a bit of fun racing,” she said. “I knew there was a bit of pressure because of the series but I did go out to enjoy it and get the bike round.
“This is my first National Series win so I’m so pleased to win the overall, I’ve always been hovering just outside the top 5 but this year everything has come together for me.
“I haven’t changed my training but I have found a lot more confidence riding the technical sections and I think that has made all the difference in my racing.”