(report by Darren Styles)
Sunday march 1st saw the very welcome return of the MSG Eastern Region Series for 2015. After enjoying its debut last summer, the Kings Lynn MTB Club were charged with opening the series, a task which must be said they did very well. The riders were faced with a lap that offered no time for rest, but ample opportunity to show off the silky skills honed over a winter of hard miles and training, oh and a few crashes.
Three things you need to know about Shouldham and the Kings Lynn Club:
1. Shouldham is the one place in Norfolk with some decent hills.
2. Kings Lynn MTB have a great attitude, and provide a fantastic place to ride bikes.
3. They serve up the best cake for miles! Dare I say it better than any of the Cyclocross venues over the winter!
The Revel Outdoors Race Team were represented by the following riders:
– Jack Styles (Juvenile)
– Jamie Wightman (Veteran)
– Justin Sanderson (Veteran)
– Iain Kemp (Veteran)
– Will Mitcham (Veteran)
– Darren Styles (Veteran)
See the pattern forming? Living proof that maturity has hit the team!
The lap itself was a tough one, leg burning climbs, singletrack that only ever seemed to go upwards and nowhere that offered anything like a chance to catch breath. In truth it was awesome, flowing and beautifully packed in from the morning races.
Jack started the ball rolling with a strong 13th place in Juvenile, a tough class that has to contend with the sport riders fighting there way through at all times. He really enjoyed it and summed it up well by wishing the race was a bit longer.
After a slightly delayed start, there was a chance to have a sighting lap for the team, not a bad thing on a chilly windy day.
Once gridding was sorted, it was time for us to be let loose. Veterans is what can only be described as competitive, and flat out from the start with a short uphill straight and some fast fire road. I could see from my point mid pack that Justin had made a blinding start, running near the front until he hit the headwind. The charge was on for the singletrack, and at this point it all slowed down. In front of me was Will flying through the undergrowth. Seemingly in control was Kempy, who muttered something about tape and laughed…at this point its fair to say we had got strung out a bit, yet the charge was on and any plans to ride to a plan had gone out of the window.
Towards the end of the lap disaster struck for Will who suffered a problem with his rear tyre/tube combo, forcing his retirement.
Each of us had our own battles as the race went on, 2 of us even managed to miss the all important A line at the final pit, meaning a slightly longer lap and more work to catch up ground.
Final results were,
– Jamie Wightman 11th
– Iain Kemp 24th
– Justin Sanderson 33rd
– Darren Styles 34th
– Will Mitcham DNF, but back for more!
“Gutted, after a strong winter, and ride at Winter Series 4 I was looking forward to my first race as a veteran, but luck wasn’t on my side today, Looking forward to round 2 now, Shouldham is unfinished business but a great place to ride and race.”
“Loved it, apart from the headwind as that was awful”
“Course was good as long as the weather continued to stay dry, which it did, but the blustery wind didn’t help and made hanging around at the start a bit on the fresh side. As usual a good start would be important and given that I was called up and gridded on the second row, which was a surprise to me, I had a great opportunity. The race went off well but I knew that my lack of bike and training time at the beginning of the year due to illness and injury was gonna affect my performance the longer the race went on. I enjoyed the race, course and the team camaraderie just a shame my fitness was not up to speed and getting dropped by the competition that I would normally have a good dig dong with was a tad frustrating! Its early in the season so hopefully the next few races will see a vast improvement in my finishing position and that i can get back quick enough to beat Darren Styles to the cakes!”
“Brilliant, really pleased with how it went, quite possibly the best course MSG have laid on in the last few years”
“Round 1 was going to be all about finding where I’m at. 5 laps was the goal and is something I have to work on going forward. The lap itself was great, and I had a few good battles which were a lot of fun, the only real issue was a wrong turn on lap 4 at the final pit where I had a detour onto the B line. A charge to the finish saw me make the gridding for round 2, which was a relief.”
“This was my first race as a veteran, and I was really pleased to come in 11th, given how competitive the category is. I loved the course, and am now really looking forward to getting more racing in this year”
Thanks to Dale from dalebatchelorphotography.co.uk for the brilliant pictures.