Peaty and Rach Atherton win the national DH, Beckinsale wraps up the NPS XC and Craig and Jackson win inaugural Marathon Championships
Saturday and Sunday played host to one of the biggest weekends of MTBing in the UK this summer. As well as the Downhill National Champs in Ludlow, there was NPS XC racing and the inaugural UK Marathon Championships at Margam Park in Wales.
Steve Peat broke his shoulder early this season, practising the 4X track at Fort William so it was good to see him back on his bike to take the National Champion title off the shoulders of young Gee Atherton, who bizarrely, didn’t show up to defend his title. Peaty ripped down the dusty, sun-baked hill in Shropshire to take the win, one and a half seocnds ahead of MBUK/Santa Cruz’s man in form, Marc Beaumont.
The senior women’s event was a close fought battle between Rachel Atherton and Helen Gaskell. At the bottom of the hill, Rach was two tenths of a second ahead of Gaskell to take the win and her first national jersey as a senior.
British Cycling have a huge gallery of race images so head over there for results and pics – British Cycling website.
Over in Wales Oli Beckingsale sewed up the NPS XC series taking his third win of the domestic XC season on one of the best courses out there. The five mile loop comprised three big steep climbs and four very different descents, from twisty, grassy singletrack, to 35mph fireroad, to steep rutted rock infested downhills that made your eye balls rattle so much you couldn’t see. With over 800 riders in attendance for the weekend, it seems that with courses like these in locations like this (right next to the M4, 20 mins from Cardiff), XC and marathon racing is coming back into people’s consciousness as something fun to do with their weekends – and we couldn’t agree more. We spoke to a number of World Cup riders after the race and they agreed that courses like Margam Park, Builth Wells and Plymouth put many World Cup courses to shame – well done inevent for another quality race.
Go to www.xcracer.com for full results and pictures from the event.
On Sunday, Margam Park played host to the first ever British Marathon Championships. Scott team riders took their second win of the weekend with Nick Craig completing the four laps of 25km first, ahead of James Ochterlony and Ian Wilkinson. In the women’s event Caroline Jackson took the win ahead of Elizabeth Scala. MBUK race snapper and reporter Joolz Dymond is currently writing up her report for the British Cycling website so check there for the full results and a gallery of photos.