Southern XC Champ

It’s been another week of fun for the Team Orange riders, across all different disciplines – which we love to see! A couple of riders headed to the last round of the Southern XC at Pippingford Park, Sam headed to the penultimate Castle Combe criterium series race, and Sam and Stu also took part in the last round of the Western League summer Cyclocross Series at Deerhurst. The lads at The Ark organised a bikepacking/touring trip last weekend, the aim of which was to have fun and just enjoy riding – it’s not always about the racing! Although, of course, a little sprinting may have taken place, whilst fully kitted up with camping kit!

First up in the jam-packed week of fun was Deerhurst and the final Western League Summer ‘cross. A hot and dry July Sunday meant for some tough racing in the fields near Tewksbury and our boys were there to show off the orange kit, with Stu in the senior race and Sam in the Junior category (sadly Henry couldn’t race due to being ill, but did a fine job of cheering the boys on!) The course starts with a big climb which always breaks the race up and on Sunday it did just that, with our Smithy hitting it hard to get an early lead and never looking back! Behind, Stu had a slightly slower start, choosing to use his endurance legs to come good towards the end of the race. There were lots of punctures occurring on course, including one for our man Stu early on in his last lap… meaning that he had to take to his feet and run all the way to the line, not for a minute thinking of giving up! A decent day for the lads, an overall win for Sam, and Stu surprised himself with a podium placing, coming in 3rd – cracking stuff!

Sam also headed to the Castle Combe motor racing circuit for the penultimate race in the Castle Combe Summer Series around the two mile course under some lovely conditions once again. After his win last week in the same race, he was now even more of a marked man, but he didn’t let that make any difference and Smithy brought home another podium, with 3rd!

The final round of the Southern XC Series was held at Pippingford Park on what is probably the most challenging circuit of the series with lots of ascent and descent and, like last year, very hot and sticky conditions. Stu and Scotty headed to the race on the Saturday evening and camped at the venue, therefore they were ready to roll early in the morning for the first practice session. When race time came, Stu was off first in the Sport men’s race and with a packed field it was a busy course. After a fast start, the race was soon spread out and Stu used his endurance skills to gain places throughout the race all the way to the line.  He was definitely ready for a sit in the shade after a hot ride – which also included a lap or so of rain, just to mix things up!

The last race of the day was Scotty’s. Although he’d had a few weeks away from the races, Scotty was determined to complete the series in the hope of gaining a decent overall series result. It was a FAST race, but our man got off to a half decent start, settled into a good rhythm, and soon started picking off places. After lap 2, he’d slotted into 3rd position, and managed to keep the pressure on until halfway around the last lap when his legs decided to switch off somewhat! Then it was a fight to the finish, in which he lost two places to finally cross the line in 5th place – not quite what he was hoping for, but still a solid result. When it was time for podiums, the boys headed over and awaited the overall series results. To his surprise, Scotty was called up last, as series winner!! A consistent series had paid off and Scotty won the Expert Southern XC Series 2019, to go with his Southern XC Champ trophy, to round off a decent summer for Chalmers.

Bike Packing (touring) into Wales The Ark/ Magspeed style…see below 🙂

This past weekend saw the National XC Championships take place at Cannock Chase. There will be a report coming soon, to see how our three representatives in the colours of Team Orange got on!

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