Round 5 of the British Cycling Eastern XC Mountain Bike Series was held near Chelmsford at a location owned by Radical Bikes. The venue is used predominantly for jump bikes, which meant a course full of constant ups and downs, tight-twisty turns and a real overall body workout!
To add to the challenge, there was a heavy downpour halfway through the afternoon race which had a significant impact on the riders’ ability to get round in one piece.
Revel Outdoors had another good turnout, represented across most classes from Juvenile to Grand Vet. Richard Muchmore achieved the best result with 2nd place in the Grand Vets, while Jamie Wightman was the fastest rider completing 7 laps in 1h 53m.
Racing kicked off at 10am – Jack was out on a bone dry course in beautiful sunshine and looking far happier than he did in the mud of round 3! This time he returned with a beaming smile on his face, after a sprint finish and a dead heat on the line he was happy with 19th.
With the action for the others kicking off at 2pm, the riders set off early for a practice lap. From my view stood on the side lines, they really took their time doing 3 miles! But all returned ok and ready to race.
With the limited space on site, gridding was “cozy” with a short straight leading into a right hand sweeper, so being near the front was a massive help. Luckily every class got away without incident, and the first 2 laps passed without incident. The short nature of the course meant lap times were around 16 minutes, so everybody was coming round far quicker than usual. The excitement of the first 30 minutes of racing was soon changed with a heavy shower, which made the lap very sketchy and more challenging than before. Suddenly riders were coming through showing signs of crashes!
To their credit the Revel riders soldiered on, some losing a place or two as confidence took a hit, but a few shone in the conditions, flying up through the order and going very well. Richard Muchmore seemed to find another gear, and even through all the mud, he didn’t stop smiling!
Sadly for Will, his race finished a lap early, after an impact with a tree at speed, on a root covered section left him with a set of nasty looking bruises and ripped top. The others all made it safely over the line, and looked really pleased to have finished.
- Jack Styles, 19th Juvenile
- Jamie Wightman, 5th Master
- Stephen Heathcock, 11th Master
- Will Mitcham, 15th Master
- Justin Sanderson, 27th Veteran
- Richard Muchmore, 2nd Grand Veteran
- Garry Houghton, 5th Grand Veteran
Jack Styles (Juvenile): “Much more fun than Ickworth, and with a sprint finish too, im just gutted I picked the wrong gear!”
Justin Sanderson (Veteran): “It was ok at the start then it was grim, with it being so twisty at times it was all I could do too keep upright!”
Garry Houghton (Grand Veteran): “What a challenge, great fun to start with, then the rain just blew the race apart! That pesky Muchmore bloke beat me, a course for the small rider!”
Stephen Heathcock (Masters): “Im glad that’s over! It was a nightmare once it got wet, keeping going and staying on took a lot of mental effort, good fun though.”
Jamie Wightman (Masters): “The rain was good for me, I started picking off a few riders and seemed to be able to find grip where others couldn’t…..”