The Basildon course is brutal. It is essentially hill repeats, but you have to go at race-pace on the ‘recovery’ sections.
Hill climbs are what Andy Nichols does, and it showed. The hills were not enough to shake off Dean Shannon though, and the roadie got the better of Nichols in the sprint for first place. The lead group of six riders, who had been together for much of the race, splintered in the closing stages but provided an exciting spectacle for much of the hour. Sean Dunlea was the early pace setter in this lead pack but the Junior rider had to let the Senior men go and be content with first Under 18. Greg Simcock was victorious in the male 40+ race which is run alongside the Senior competition. He came in tenth overall, one place but thirty-five seconds ahead of second-placed Veteran Kevin Knox.
Delia Beddis didn’t have a dinner plate-sized rear block to take advantage of this year but she still stormed to a convincing victory, her distinctive style cutting its way through the Veteran men’s field. Behind her Jayne Williams carried the fine form that saw her win age category gold at the World Duathlon Championships earlier this summer to take second spot (and first veteran), and Imogen Buick came in third with the right sized wheels but the wrong sort of bike. She heads to Norway with the aforementioned bike for the final mountain bike cross-country World Cup of the season next week.
Dave Copeland moved up into the Veteran 50+ category this year and surprised no one with the win. Behind him a close-fought battle raged for the remaining top ten positions. Paul Driver and Michael Bowen took second and third spots, the latter by only one second from Stuart Lockyear.
Cai Davies was the convincing winner in the Youth male race, Pierce Bacon took the Youth male U14 win and the Youth girl U14 race was won by Sophie Holmes.
Sorry I can’t tell you a great deal more of what happened but I was attempting to race myself. A distinct lack of magnificence leads me to think I may be able to report more thoroughly in the future…