Mums were left alone with their flowers and boxes of chocolates on Mother’s Day as their offspring deserted them in search of speed, glory and a nice burger at the Aston Hill Black Run race.
Anticipation was increased by a slightly delayed start, and by the time things kicked off at 11.15am the atmosphere was buzzing, with some 175 riders making the most of the sunny weather and fantastic trail conditions.
Cafe in the Woods were serving up great grub from the back of their VW Camper, flags and pit tents were gently flapping in the breeze, and Monster were handing out freebies to the sound of a rocking sound system.
The course was running beautifully and an injured John Holbrook made sure the locals’ advantage was limited with some re-routing to include some fresh, loamy lines. Conditions were tacky with plenty of grip, so carving corners and chucking up roost was the order of the day.
Hardtails were first off with Ben Deakin (Royal Marines Commando/Muc-Off) showing us how to keep it on the ragged edge of control, blitzing the hill in 1:42.58 and beating his nearest rival by nearly 12 seconds, putting him 17th overall at the end of the race.
The other categories followed, fast and furious, with Harry Molloy getting the fastest run of the day and taking the Expert/Elite category in 1:34.16, beating Nathan Vials (Borderline Solid UK) by 0.34 and Oli Bunton (Funn, Superstar) by 0.53.
Aston Hill committee members Rich Abbott and Nicky Belton (Mud and Snow) stormed to first places in the Vets and Ladies categories respectively. Youth rider Jono Jones won his cat and beat all the Juniors bar Sam Wakefield (Swiss and Swallow) with a 1:39.89, making him ninth fastest on the day.
Connor Fletcher won a rather sparse Juvenile category, Dan Burchell romped home to win the crowded Seniors and Anthony Gaskin was crowned winning Master. Mikrotime did their usual sterling job and the complete timing list can be seen at www.mikrotime.com/mtb/ast2010/ast1001.html.
Prizes were handed out courtesy of sponsors Nema Clothing (Chocolate Distribution), Troy Lee Designs and KaaBoom (Fisher Outdoor Leisure), Bell (Madison), Dees Cycles of Amersham, Cycle Care of High Wycombe and Descent-Gear, along with trophies made by Rich Abbott from genuine Aston Hill wood.
The next race at the venue, near Wendover, Buckinghamshire, is the Eastern and Central Champs in September on an as yet undecided course. For more details, visit www.rideastonhill.co.uk.