Hope XC Race Series: Race 1 Report

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Photos courtesy of steveballphotography.co.uk

After the great success of the races in 2009 the bar had been set high for the Brownbacks team. The construction of new trails within the quarry has presented the team the opportunity to build on the 2009 courses and introduce new challenges and despite the rain on the Saturday the day of the race saw broken cloud and a dry course with only a strong wind troubling the riders and the organising team. The marshalling team were glad of their sponsored Buff and Express Asphalt hi-viz jackets to keep them warm on the more exposed bits of the course and the scene was set for another eventful race. The course pushed the riders hard with little relief from challenging climbs and fast technical descents. The main course took its usual toll of early casualties with mechanical issues but the race remained incident free with Rossendale and Pendle MRT reporting no customers.

Nick Butcher (Yokshire Velo) won the Leisure Lakes sponsored men’s racer field pulling away from Jack Carkson (Pedal Sport CC) who took the first lap prime. There was a strong battle for the rest of the podium places with Dave Powell (Ragley) fading after a fast start to be overhauled by David Bentley and Stephen Leigh both riding for Leisure Lakes. Elsewhere in the category there were numerous battles for the minor placing with two former winners of the Weekend Warrior category Craig Holden (Pendle Forest CC) and Tom Albutt (Joyriders MTB Holidays) battling neck and neck for most of the race. Paul Langley took the honours in the Blazing Saddles (Hebden Bridge) sponsored Weekend Warrior category overhauling Chis Dwyer (Fanylion Racing) mid race with Mike Aitchison (Big Bear Bikes) taking third. Leisure Lakes under Director Sportif Matt Chester were clearly taking the Trade Trophy competition seriously with 5 riders entered and a dominant presence on the course. With four more rounds they have a clear early lead to recover the trophy from holders Wheelbase.

The Bardon Aggregates sponsored Racing Diva’s saw Molly Whittal and Joanna Holden renew their rivalry from the 2009 races. Molly dominated this race with Joanna of the pace and never really in contention. The sponsorship from Bardon Aggregates sees prize parity with the Racers with £200 of Leisure Lakes vouchers up for grabs at each race and the series prize of a pair of Hope Technology wheels.

The Astounding Adventures Have-a-go Heroes category saw a couple of riders clearly ahead of the others on the easier course. Raymond Honour bagged the first prize of a training course provided by the sponsors and a promotion up the categories to Weekend Warrior, Gary Williamson also let his fitness show and bagged second place and box of Torq bars. The rest of the category saw close racing with riders battling hard against the wind. The Polaris Apparel sponsored “Lads” category for younger riders ran with a small but quality field with strong competition for the prizes. Harrison Cahill (Leisure Lakes) lapped the rest of the field. With sprints for the line even for the lower placings all the riders showed plenty of spirit.

Thanks and appreciation go to the marshals and the sign-on/ timing team who gave up their morning lie-in to let others race, additionally to Lancashire CC for use of Lee Quarry and the local residents who tolerate the early morning disruption.

Race 2 is on the 27th June and pre-entry is still open. A new course should see some more changes to shake things up and there is the added attraction of trade stands from Leisure Lakes and Astounding Adventures, on-site catering, facilities and plenty of car parking for riders and spectators.


Have you entered the “Event of the season” yet..?

Singletrack Classic Weekender, Lee Quarry, Lancashire, July 3rd-4th 2010

  • 3 different races
  • 1 bike
  • The ultimate “all rounder” event

A weekend of Trials, Downhill and XC racing. One entry fee – all three events.

What makes this event different from any other on the calendar?

The idea of the event is a light hearted competition to find the best all round mountain biker and for riders to work out where they stand in a test of skills, speed and endurance. The aim of the Singletrack Classic Weekender is to have a fun weekend of bike riding, good natured racing and a lot of socialising…

The disciplines:

There will be three events in the Classic Weekender that will lead riders to an overall position. It’s roughly based on old skool races, where one entry fee got you entry to three disciplines. The only difference being that in this event, all your performances count towards a final, overall position.

Classic Trials

Modern trials riders are fantastically skilled, riding impossible obstacles. However, this event is aimed at mere-mortals. There will be five simple, taped off, sections to ride, resembling ‘normal’ mountain bike obstacles (with a couple of ‘modern’ additions – things like ‘a log to ride along’ and ‘some jumbly rocks’). Once ‘on course’ you have 15 seconds to ride each section. A foot down, crash or leaving the course is an instant ‘kill’. A clean ride between the tapes is a ‘clear’. For every ‘kill’, you will earn a time penalty for the following day’s cross country race, added up after the five sections.

Classic Downhill

Downhillers, again, are fierce riders, capable of clearing huge gaps and big drops. The downhill race at the Classic Weekender will be for more mortal riders, and doable on any bike from a hardtail to a monster DH bike. Just remember that you’ll have to race whichever bike you choose in the following day’s XC. Smooth all-round riding will get you a better time than just being fearless. Once again, the penalties won’t be too severe, and the penalty for not doing a discipline at all will be far stiffer. Even crashing or puncturing will get you a better score than not turning up.

Classic XC

The Sunday will host the cross country race. The start will be handicapped so that riders with perfect scores from the Saturday will start on time, followed a minute later by riders with a minute’s penalty, and so on until the riders with the maximum penalty score bring up the rear. The race then goes on for four laps or so, with the winners of those races being crowned as the overall champion of the event, and the best overall mountain bikers in the land.

Weekender Ticket: £35.00.

Your one entry fee gets you entry to all of these events. They MUST be competed on the SAME BIKE.


Comments (4)

  1. (Just to point out I didn’t fade, I wasn’t paying attention*)

    I did another 60 miles after the race :-p

    *admittedly this is probably worse…

  2. the registration team carefully put category stickers on all the numbers so you know who is passing you!

    see you next race

    (with all that energy do you fancy course marking and pack down 😉 )

  3. I’d be happy to help out! (though it would involve getting up even earlier, owch!)

    keep up the good work – the courses and organisation have been spot on so far!

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