• Hannah Collingridge

2022 National XC Championships, Kirroughtree - RR23 Race Report.

Updated: 7 days ago


Team RR23 battling it out at the 2022 National XC Championships, Kirroughtree Forest

25 July 2022, Kirroughtree, Scotland


Last race of the national XC season and what a way to go out. Galloway Hillbillies and SCX has put on a challenging course with newly cut singletrack. Then it rained all day on the Saturday and fresh cut loam became slippy mud with interesting roots. Fair to say it offered up a challenge.


Poor Evie messaged as we were all travelling there that she’d just tested positive for Covid so no Champs for her. Gutting news. Next year, Evie.


Meanwhile, how did the rest of them get on? Pretty well it has to be said.


 

Aelwen (Juvenile Female)


Aelwen Davies, 2022 National XC Champion, Kirroughtree Forest

First, I was properly motivated this weekend. Having had a horrible time at the road champs in Scarborough a few weeks ago, I was raring to go!


It was a nine hour drive to Kirroughtree due to lots of delays, but we made it in time to watch the last few laps of the women’s and all of the men’s Short-Track Champs which was really exciting. It was lovely to see everyone and we had a nice few hours together.


On Saturday morning we all met up for course walk with Paul. It was a really long way up to the top of the course, and the last stretch to the very top was steep and slippery. The descent looked fun with lots of A, B and C line choices, but nothing that concerned me for the race. Course practice I did with Tulsi Baxrania (WXC Racing), one sighting lap and one at pace, during which it poured down and we got soaked! Still, I thought the course held up well, and I wasn’t overly concerned.


During the afternoon we hung out, ate our customary pizza and had lots of laughs.


Sunday morning was a really early start. The weather was holding out, but the reports overnight were that the course had become unrideable in sections, so the event organisers had been hard at work so it could be ridden safely.


Warm up done. Tyre pressures set. We were on the start line. Both my coach Max and Nick Craig come over to have a few comforting works with me. The whistle went and I missed my pedal! Not panicking I was soon clipped in and cut through the pack to lead up the long climb.


Leading to the top, both Zoe and I had already gapped the others. Dropping down the descents we went steadily, but fast enough so that by the end of lap one we were 40-seconds clear. Then we hit the climb again and I pressed on.


Before I knew it Zoe had dropped off, so I went full-gas to the top then descended like I know I can, fast and smooth thanks to my awesome Scott Spark.

Coming back into the arena I knew I’d done it, so eased off to enjoy the moment. Thanks Kirroughtree, that felt good! [Looked pretty good, too]


It’s been a season of mostly ups, with a few downs, but overall I’m happy. We’ve bonded as a team and they‘ve helped to keep me motivated. I’m so looking forward to next weekend (last round of the Welsh MTB Series) where I can show off my new stripy top. It’s going to be great.


Thereafter, I have the Omnium National Champs (Derby), Track Championships (Newport) and School Games (Derby/Loughborough/Leicestershire) at the beginning of September, where I have the honour to have been selected to represent Wales again. Our Welsh MTB-Champs are mid-September, so I can’t put the bike away just yet.


- What a win. 'Smashed it' comes close to describing that race. Very well done Aelwen – what a season you’ve had. And it’s not even over yet.


 

Becca (Youth Female)


Rebecca Woodvine of RR23 at the 2022 National XC Championships, Kirroughtree Forest

Buzzing, happy and over the moon is an understatement on how I’m feeling after the National Champs.


Walking the course, I realised the course was super similar to my local in the wet, which made me excited but super nervous.


The morning of my race was exactly the same just a lot more calm. Woke up, had my normal breakfast, got dressed, wandered over to the tent with more than plenty of time, headphones in and waited.


The start whistle went. I had a good start, sat in the bunch most of the hill, then moved up before the descents. The course was running a lot different to practice, so I just focused on being in control and giving it my all on the climbs.


Second lap, everything went to plan. Pushed hard on the climb and made gaps on the descents. I managed to catch quite a few girls on the last lap, finishing the race in 5th, 20 seconds off 4th.


Couldn’t be happier with my result after having a slow progression through the season, 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th then having a DNF at Woody’s. Massive thank you to everyone who has helped me this year, with it only being my 2nd full season of MTB, all the support has been much appreciated big or small.

I must also mention... it was a cracking weekend, from talking to Olympians about trees to laughing my head off in Paul’s van with Daphers. Was a cracker to say the least!


- Brilliant way to finish the season, Becca. So good to see you progressing through the year.



 

Daphne (Junior Female)


Daphne Jones of RR23 at the 2022 National XC Championships, Kirroughtree Forest

MEGA weekend in Scotland for National MTB Champs. I travelled up on Friday and set up camp with the rest of the team ready to watch the Short Track in the evening with some of the top elite riders. It was really great to watch them in action.


The XCO course was a proper old school style loop with super fun loamy and loose descents made technical and slippy by the challenging weather conditions.


The day started off well with Aelwen bringing home the U14 Female National title and Becca having a storming ride to finish 5th. My race started strongly and I was sitting in 5th towards the end of the first lap. A heavy crash then occurred which set me back a little bit but not too much and luckily no harm done apart from some bruising. Managed to cross the line in 7th which I’m over the moon with.


Super happy to end my season on a high and on such a fun and exciting course. Would ride it again if I could!

It’s been an awesome first season with the team and the support has been incredible, so much work goes in behind the scenes. So big thanks to all the sponsors, coaches and everyone else who have made it possible to race this year. Also a big shout out goes to my Dad (#bemoreDunc) for stepping up and taking over the cycling support crew this year – it’s been a big learning curve for both of us and although he might not admit I think he quite enjoys this MTB stuff. I'm now really looking forward to some rest before going full steam ahead into the CX season.


- Cracking way to finish the XC national series, Daphs. I think Dunc does secretly enjoy this stuff as well.


So while that’s the National XC season wrapped up there’s a couple more local races for the team and then we head towards CX season.



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