HSBC National MTB XC Series Rd3: Aske Estate, Richmond 14/05/17

Whyte Bikes & Wheelbase: Thanks for helping me out of a hole!

Whyte Bikes and Wheelbase (Darlington) really came to my rescue at the end of last week, I took my race bike out for a quick test and after a gentle climb my gears wouldn’t sink, after investigation it turned out I had damaged my rear axle in a previous ride and it gave way on my test ride – Thursday night before racing at the weekend, I guess better than in a race but not a lot!

Friday morning, after a few phone calls, Whyte Bikes came to my rescue shipping a new axle up to Wheelbase in Darlington and on Saturday the Wheelbase service team pulled out all the stops and fitted the new axle having checked it for further damage. My Whyte 209C wheels were back in action. A big thanks to my mum as well for co-ordinating and taking my wheel to Wheelbase – it sounds like a great shop for a visit and their HQ is in the Lake District at Staveley.

WHEELBASE Lake District (HQ)

Mill Yard, Staveley, Cumbria, LA8 9LR

Tel: 01539 821443

WHEELBASE Darlington

100 Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7LB

Tel: 01325 352255

Aske Estate is located at the top of a hill above Richmond, quite a climb for our large twin axle caravan but exciting for me as I love racing up hills as I have a good power to weight ratio! On arrival, Friday evening, I walked the course, plenty of climbing, technical climbing 😊 and a few short technical drops but nothing I felt uneasy about.

Saturday morning, I revised until the lunch practice session and I then got to ride the course with Ian Field, which was great as I got to fine tune the more technical sections with him. A bit more revision and then a final lap to see if the course had changed during the afternoon races. The course was very dry and although rain was forecast this shouldn’t affect the course too much so my fast tyres stayed on.

Sunday, the usual routine pre-race. Up at 6 to eat, then turbo warm up with gridding at 8:45. A fast start, straight into a steep long climb, to the top in 3rd place. The leading pair gradually pulled away leaving me with a lonely ride for 4 laps. Time checks each lap confirmed I was about 15 to 20 seconds in front of 4th place. After a hard, solo effort for an hour I crossed the line in 3rd.  My second MTB podium in consecutive National races and putting me up to 2nd overall in the series.

Back to revision, with a series of GCSE’s this week starting Monday morning but the Midland Champs on Sunday to look forward to!


Russell Prodger