6 riders braved the thunderstorms, and biblical rain, needing Neil's promised retractable roof to stop calling out for Noah. Unfortunately, neither Noah nor the roof appeared, so racing it was.
Conditions as you can imagine were intense. It was a frantic start with the pre lap prequisite sighting lap out of the way, it left Paul Renshaw in the lead as Paul Kneen ran over the start line with a crank in his hand. A quick fix and he was away, losing 50 seconds to Renshaw in the process. Matthew Clague and Liam Mazzone were duking it out in their own little battle with Matthew taking the early lead with a lap 40 seconds faster than Liam. The sports class saw Lee Quaggin easing out a 90 second lead over Alex Parkes.
The course had a mix of everything, short sharp inclines, declines, twisting singletrack and a moorland section before some more quarry lines took you into the final woody steep sided singletrack before spitting the riders back out onto the finish line and the race HQ (a lovely warm van, courtesy of Paul Kneen).
Lap 2 saw Kneen closing in on Renshaw, adrift by 19 seconds, Matthew putting another 40 seconds into Liam and whilst Lee powered past, on a mission. When Alex arrived at the HQ he sat and chatted to the commissaires, whilst being reminded he was actually competing in a race !
Lap 3 and Kneen had passed Renshaw, taking 40 seconds out of Renshaw. Matthew had edged even more time out of Liam, and Lee was cracking on. Lap 4 saw the race settle down with the same order as before, but during the lap Matthew had a puncture and was out of the running. Lap 5 saw even more drama as Kneen's crank finally gave up the ghost.
Renshaw won completed 6 laps in just over the allotted one hour, whilst Liam finished second (1st 16-18) a lap down with 35 seconds to go before the hour was up was called in (indicating he could have done another lap...). Paul Kneen had done enough to finish in an overall 3rd position (2nd Elite). Lee was 4th (1st Sport) Matthew finished 5th (2nd 16-18), whilst Alex was 6th (2nd Sport).
All riders had an absolute blast, and a massive thanks must go out to Neil Helks for putting the route out and setting the whole event up in the first place. Shame on all you mountain bikers that didnt come out because it was raining.... Red Cross also deserve a massive thank you, as does Chief Commissaire Steve Omeroed and finally Paul Kneen for a fantastic work place in the face of doom.
Results (full are in the forum, and have been provided to Manx Timing Solutions for an update at their end)
|Paul Renshaw, Elite, 01:00:38, 6 laps
|Paul Kneen, Elite, 00:38:21, 4 laps
|Liam Mazzone, 16-18, 00:59:37, 5 laps
|Matthew Clague, 16-18, 00:33:17, 3 laps
|Lee Quaggin, Sport, 00:52:08, 4 laps
|Alex Parkes, Sport, 00:53:13, 3 laps