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XCO Pre Worlds Race - 2
Fort William, Great Britain, May 20, 2007
Weather mixes up pre-worlds
By Helen Findlay
There is a saying in Scotland, if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes, some different weather will come along. The same seemed to apply to race results this weekend.
With cash prizes and UCI points on offer for elite riders, in addition to a chance to race on the World Championships course, the quality of the field at Scottish XC Round 3 at Fort William weekend was high. In the elite women's race we had the South African champion Ivonne Kraft, Czech champion Teresa Hurikova, Scottish champion Dagmar Borrowman, New Zealand national series winner Fiona Macdermid and leading British rider Amy Hunt.
Fighting it out in the elite men were British champion Ollie Beckinsale and most of the top 10 riders in the British Mountain Bike Series, including Scotland's best XC racer Gareth Montgomerie. Wild card of the day was Michael Weiss from Biking Cyprus International MTB team.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a one lap time trial on the race course to select the British relay team for the World Championships. The rain had been on and off all day, but mostly on, and kept the riders shivering on the start line. Amy Hunt was the fastest woman, getting around her lap in 26.31. Fastest junior was David Fletcher in 22.59 with Ian Field lapping in the exact same time to be fastest Under 23 rider. We thought Paul Oldham's wife was going to run around beside him with the huge Hope Racing umbrella, but the tactic seemed to work, he achieved the fastest time of the day in 22.13.
The first race on Sunday was busy, with nearly 200 riders competing in 16 categories.
The course was more difficult than it looked, featuring a massive steep twisty climb that had plenty of technical sections and went on forever, and a cornery, bermy descent of newly built trail that was hard to ride at speed and caught a lot of riders off-guard. There were plenty of bikes that were carried off the course with multiple punctures and/or rear mechanics sucked into the back wheel.
British Masters champion Iain Nimmo (Squadra Porcini) won the masters, while Rachel Turner of Edinburgh Road Club took first in the master women. The vet race was won by Gavin Maclean of West Highland Wheelers and Coleen Foggo riding for the SXC's favourite bike shop Neviscyles. Hamish Hambo Creber for Sandy Wallace Cycles continued his demolition of the Juniors, Annabel Simpson from Raleigh ERV winning the Junior women. Anna Walker of Walkers cycles continued her run of form in the Sport women, and Evan Glasgow for Neviscycles in his first appearance at SXC won a hard Sport men's race. The expert races were won by Lee Craigie of HIMBA Square Wheels and Robert Friel of Raleigh.
Then Elite men's race started fast and was always going to be brutal. Michael Weiss led at the first lap, closely trailed by Ollie Beckinsale. There was a minute or so gap back to the next group, after which the riders came around in close bunches. Michael Weiss led the men's race going into the final lap. Some 10 minutes later the rumour came down from the marshalls that Beckinsale had come over the top of the climb first. Sure enough he crossed the line with his arms held high, to take a popular win. The best placed Scottish rider Gareth Montgomerie took fifth place.
In the women's race Ivonne Kraft took an early lead and maintained it for the entire race, with Amy Hunt a few minutes behind in second. Czech champion Teresa Hurikova had the bad luck to puncture while in third, and after running half a lap without repair, managed to hang in for fifth. Best placed Scottish rider was Ruth McGavigan who took sixth.
Next SXC round the Scottish Champs, June 24th at Glennifer Braes in Paisley.
Elite Men 1 Oliver Beckinsale (Giant) 1.52.00 2 Michael Weiss (Biking Cyprus International MTB) 3 Ian Bibby (Scienceinsport-TREK) 2.00 4 Ian Wilkinson (Scienceinsport-TREK) 3.00 5 Gareth Montgomerie (Singletrack/PipeDream) 4.00 6 Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) 5.00 7 Adrian Lansley (Pedal On co.uk) 7.00 8 Ross Creber (Trek VW) 10.00 9 William Bjergfelt (Kona UK) 11.00 10 James Fraser-Moodie (Pedal Power) Elite Women 1 Ivonne Kraft (La Carrera BTS Travel) 1.46.00 2 Amy Hunt (Trek VW) 3.00 3 Fiona MacDermid (Token Products) 7.00 4 Yolande Speedy 9.00 5 Teresa Hurikova (Ceska Sporitelna MTB Team) 11.00 6 Ruth McGavigan (Pedal Power) 16.00 7 Dagmar Borrowman (HIMBA Square Wheels) 17.00 8 Kate George 20.00 9 Katrina Brown (Deeside Thistle) 34.00 One lap down 10 Lesley Ingram (Pro Bike Sport)