National Trophy – Crawley

Well THAT was a muddy old weekend! Mud for all this time as it seems to have been just the Sunday races so far this National Trophy season that have been the muddy races. Saturday kicked off with the Veteran races and we had our full compliment of vets racing this weekend, with Tracey and Sally back after missing the Scottish round along with James back for more in the V40 Men’s race. Then Sunday saw Phoebe back to the National scene in the Elite Women’s race and then in the final race race of the weekend, Nick, Scotty and birthday boy Sam, who was 18 on race day!

It was Tomo’s time to shine after the previous weeks show of form at the local leagues and he was hoping for a good showing in this the fourth round of the series. Even with a few mishaps in the bomb hole, our man managed to start the weekend off well for Team Orange with a top 10 result and more like where he’d like to find himself, nice work Tomo!

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Both our Veteran women were raring to go on the tough, technical and muddy Crawley circuit! Both Sally and Tracey got decent starts and soon found themselves at the pointy end of the race, both battling for the lead and thats exactly where they would be until the end and BOTH coming away with the win in their respective categories, mint!

Lots of overnight rain just added to the already muddy and boggy circuit at the South Of England Showground. Phoebe, Nick and Scotty made it out on course for the first warm up and it was apparent that it was going to be a slog of a day at the races! Phoebe was up first for the team in the Elite Women’s race. Starting near the back due to not being at the last two National rounds meant for a lot of work to do…but she smashed it and made her way through the field, picking off a good chunk of riders and with that a solid result!

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Last race of the day, the Elite Men/U23 race and the scene was set for a TOUGH race (the conditions as much as the addition of what felt like most of Belgium – 20 Belgian pros here for the race!). Sam, Nick and Scotty all managed to get decent starts and then as they left the gravel start section of the race, crashes littered the first corner, bringing down Nick in the process. Nick was then dead last but luckily everyone was off and running and also the race seemed weirdly in slo-mo as the conditions were SO wet and boggy, so he was soon back to the rest of the riders! Sam was in the thick of it and Scotty not too far behind and it was one big slog around course. But within a few laps, problems for lots of riders and Sam was one with an unshipped chain and that wasn’t the last time that would happen for the youngster. Heading into the bomb hole section Scotty was the leading Magspeed rider with Sam close behind and then it was his turn for a problem…a crash being his ‘chosen’ mid race problem. Crashing hard on one of the steep descents and then nearly getting run over by the birthday boy himself. Then as he tried to get up, all wasn’t too great and it took a good while for Scotty to get going and with two battered legs he was finding it hard to walk properly. A limp back to the pits to swap bikes and try and get to the finish…a clean bike, a steady ride to the finish line (or so he thought) – nope, not today, a snapped off mech hanger finally put an end to his day (properly) and a long walk to the finish line! Meanwhile further ahead, Sam and Nick rolled in, not quite the results they were hoping for, but strong and decent rides nonetheless!

A weekend of two halves quite literally, a great start and then ending with a ‘character building’ Elite Men’s race. A solid pit crew on the Sunday in the form of Stu, Henry, Phoebe (when not racing!) and the newest addition Grace (see you next time Grace!?!) to get us all through the muddy madness… WHAT a team!

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