Grant Ferguson and Anne Tauber win at Pembrey
Despite typical Welsh weather the racing at Pembrey Country Park for the opening round of the British Cycling MTB Cross Country Series remained fast and furious with close racing across all categories.
Race promoter Matt Page, sent in this report:
It was the British number 1, Grant Ferguson (Betch NL) who took the win in an incredibly close fought Elite Men’s race. As a UCI Class 1 event and with many international riders in attendance it was never going to be an easy race to win. At the end of the first of seven laps for the Elite Men the pack remained tight together, with barely a gap between riders as they rolled over Corby’s Drop, a technical feature close to the end of the lap. As laps progressed a small group formed at the front which included Liam Killeen, Milan Vader, Phillip Pearce and David Fletcher. It wasn’t until the 5th lap that Ferguson made his move, gaining a small advantage that he managed to extend to 48 seconds at the finish. It was Liam Killeen that took 2nd with David Fletcher 3rd, both showing good early season form. Milan Vader suffered a mechanical that cost him time and perhaps took him out of contention for the overall win, but fought back to take 4th and Phillip Pearce completed the podium in 5th.
The Elite Female race looked to be a two person race for the win from the end of lap one, Anne Tauber (Habitat Mountain Bike Team) and Isla Short (Novus OMX) close together and ahead of the rest. The duo battled with each other until lap 3, where a mechanical put Isla into the pits for a long repair, taking her out of contention. The issue left Anne Tauber clear and she kept extending her lead, winning by 2 minutes 10 seconds over Lucy Grant in second. British riders Bethany Crumpton, Joanne Clay and Maxine Filby completing the podium.
The close racing extended beyond the Elite categories, with the closest race of the weekend being the Veteran Mens race. A group of seven riders lapped together, trading blows as they lapped. The race ended up being decided by a sprint finish, Paul Lloyd the best placed going into the final corner.
The Series moves Newnham Park for Round 2 in just under three weeks’ time on April 23-24th.
About the British MTB Cross Country Series
Held throughout the year across 5 venues, the series is aimed at both amateur and professional riders.
The rest of the season looks like this:
Round 2 – Newmham Park, Plymouth. April 23/24th
Round 3 – Dalby Forest, Yorkshire. May 14/15th
Round 4 – Forest Fields, Mid Wales. 11/12th June
Round 5 – Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. August 6/7th
The series is overseen by British Cycling and organised by individual race promotors.