Updated: Victory for Jake Ward in MBUK Open Eliminator
Sixteen-year-old Jake Ward stamped his authority on the amateur dual slalom at BikeRadar Live yesterday afternoon, posting the fastest time in qualifying and then seeing off all comers to take the overall victory.
Ward won the Mountain Biking UK Open Eliminator with a time only six-and-a-half seconds off downhill world champion Gee Atherton’s winning pace in the pro race the previous day – despite it being his first ever race victory. It means he will go on to compete against the pros at next year’s event.
“I’m speechless!” he said. “I’ve never won a race in my life. It’s sick! Competing against the pros next year will be so cool – I can’t wait!”
Second place went to Alex Metchalf, while “Mop Head” (Peter Goddard) beat Mike Yard in the small final to take third overall.
Honourable mentions have to go to American film-maker Clay Porter, who was knocked out in the quarter-finals, and the only female competitor, Suzanna Lacey, who held her own in qualifying but ended up losing to Mop Head.
Shift+R improves the quality of this image. shift+a improves the quality of all images on this page.: jake ward, alex metchalf and mop head on the podiumOli Woodman/BikeRadar
Jake Ward, Alex Metchalf and Mop Head on the MBUK Open Eliminator podium
MBUK open eliminator:Oli Woodman/BikeRadar.com
The racing was tense and thoroughly action packed throughout