National XC Mountain Bike Championships
Wasing Estate near Aldermaston hosted the 2012 National XC mountain bike champs.
Despite what appears to have been a relentless season of wet and muddy race conditions the team found a relatively dry track with the sun out. The course is a pedalling course, with no big hills but a continual effort. The course has a mixture of surfaces and a few technical sections to keep you on your toes. In practice the day before one team member (who will remain nameless) face planted over the log sections.
Carole and Liz were off first in their respective categories. Liz had ridden well on this course earlier in the year, but knew that due to illness over the last month she was going to have a struggle to repeat her performance. Despite a lack of training managed a great 5th place. Carol pushed hard all race and was rewarded with a 5th place for her efforts.
In the men's team we were joined by Simon Willats who was back from a very successful trip into Europe (competing and winning at some very prestigious European Enduro rounds). Stu King was first off in the Masters. As always a very quick start saw the field disappear quickly into the distance. Stuart battled hard and came in 9th. The vets race saw another large field of riders. Simon Willats ran out of laps, not being gridded meant he was held up in the single tracks and had to spend the whole time playing catch up. It was an incredible ride to come 5th and who knows how it would have gone with a few more laps. Ro Tilley put in his normal strong performance to come 4th and Mark Chadbourne was very pleased to win a National Championship again after close racing at the front.
In the Grand Vets Steve Moors came 5th. He was delighted with his ride particularly as he managed to take the scalps of some earlier round winners.