Blink and you’ve missed it…the ‘off season’ for some of our riders has been and gone and they’re back at it! Last weekend saw the first round of the Southern XC MTB Series at Matterley Basin near Winchester. A new course layout for the venue that has been used many times for the Southern Series made for a tough first race back. Magspeed were well represented with Sean making his debut in the Magspeed kit, Sam Smith, Stu and Scotty. Lee was supposed to be making his debut in the kit but was sadly ruled out with illness.
First up was the Sport race and Sean and Stu lined up in what was probably the biggest field of the day! Both riders managed to get caught up in the busy first technical section on the newly designed course and had work to do from then on. Stu (along with Scotty) had only returned from his Mallorca trip in the middle of the night, so a lack of sleep and a week of big miles and big hills was taking its toll! A long 4 laps for our head ‘cross pitman but he battled on and never stop pushing, right to the line! Meanwhile Sean was ploughing through the field and come the end of the race he was getting into his stride and, given a few more laps a top 10 would have been on the cards! A decent first outing for our Sport category boys, roll on round 2.
The afternoon session saw the Expert and Juniors hit the tough Matterley course with quite different course conditions under tyre, with the muddy course of the morning now dry and much faster. The Elite/Expert race started off first with the Vets and Juniors off shortly behind and, after a short nap in the van, Scotty was feeling slightly more awake and got off to a decent start with Sean not far behind (Sean got dispensation to head out with the Experts as well!) Not long behind our Junior Sam also got off to a strong start but after being ill in the week and still not feeling 100%, he wasn’t sure how long it was going to last! Scotty slotted into the top 10 and after a lap, started to move forward, then after lap 2, moved up into 2nd position and within another lap he was in no-mans land and a couple of mechanical issues meant that the win was out of the question, but he was safely in 2nd, where he then finished…a solid start to his MTB campaign and he surprised himself after a busy week of riding and guiding in Mallorca! Sean soon realised how hard two MTB races in a row were and battled hard until he blew big style and called it a day. Our boy Sam, as he expected, did fail a little and slipped back to 4th place, but used his head and didn’t push too hard when he wasn’t on top form, riding within himself and used the race as a build up for this coming weekend’s first round of the National Series in Sherwood Forest.
So…it’s here already, a new season!
See you on the start line.