• Hannah Collingridge

British Cycling XC National Series Round 4 - RR23 Race Report.


Team RR23 battling it out at the British Cycling National Series Round 4, Cannock Chase

27-29 May 2022, Cannock Chase


It was a return to home turf for the team with the national round at Cannock. It was also going to be the busiest round so far in the series.


Points were up for grabs in the national rankings and the local Chaser Racing team promised to be on site with their own very special support. A giraffe. Yep, that’s right. How to make an XC race much more exciting: bring an inflatable giraffe. Plus chainsaws, cowbells and airhorns. It was going to be a loud one with full support for the girls.


The course was its usual tricky Cannock self – lots of tight singletrack through the trees, roots on every corner, not very much flat ground at all, the need for concentration all the way round, working out tactics for feeding and overtaking. Let’s see how they got on.


 

Aelwen (Juvenile Female)


Aelwen Davies, British Cycling National Series, Round 4

My preparation leading up to this race was good and I had fuelled and slept well over the weekend. Warm up was okay, and so I was ready to go for it on the start line.


I had a reasonable start and got into the front by the time we left the arena and into the forest.


After the A & B split, I didn’t feel so good. I tried to ride it off whilst going backwards through the field, but after the first lap I was really struggling so stopped at the pits. Race over.


Huge congratulations to Zoe Roche for winning the series. Very well deserved. Congratulations to Mazie Harper and Daisy Wilkinson for their podium positions too.


Sorry Gareth. I’ll do it for you next time


Next, onto Woody’s. We go again…


- So not what Aelwen had planned, and it would have been awesome to take the title fight to Cornwall and the final round but that is how racing goes. Still another round to go to grab the series runner-up position though.


 

Evie (Short Course and Youth Female)


Evie Strachan, British Cycling National Series, Round 4

Enjoyed another great weekend of racing, as I started off with the short track on Friday evening. It was a really fast race course, and a hard pace for 20 minutes but I had an awesome time with it being a larger field this time. [Last time she did short track there were only four of them – ed].


Saturday was the practice day which I did with Daphne. The course was very dry and flowed really fast - with a few big climbs too, there didn’t look like there would be much rest in the laps.


On Sunday morning I was a little nervous for the start but was fine after soon being gridded.


At the start of the race I got away well but dropped a few places after clipping a tree round one of the first turns. I managed to pull back the places through the next few sections and

got to one of the front groups, where I then spent the rest of the lap battling with teammate Becca and another racer.


Lap 2 I managed to pull back a couple more riders in front and ended up having a great time battling with them into the last lap.

I emptied the tank and gave everything up the last climb to pass a rider I’d been battling with and was super pleased to finish 5th. The atmosphere was incredible all weekend which really helped, with so many people watching and cheering, there were even air horns, chainsaws and Geoffski the inflatable Giraffe watching!


Overall, I had a good weekend racing and can’t wait for the next round at Woody’s!


- That’s another 5th place for Evie this season. Going to be an exciting final round in Cornwall.



 

Becca (Youth Female)


Rebecca Woodvine, British Cycling National Series, Round 4

Round 4 National XC at Cannock, what a weekend! Rode the course on Saturday and had mixed feelings about it. I knew it was going to be hard, barely anywhere to recover and some full-on rooty trails which were going to be tough towards the end.


Had a good dinner the night before (once I got the cooker working) and a good sleep so was fully prepared for a hard race.


Had a strong start and moved up the field in the first 2 laps. Sat in a group of 4 for most of the race fighting for 4th.


Due to not drinking or eating during the race, I lost the group and settled for 7th. Super happy to see where I can be if I put my mind to it and race with a fighting attitude. Next race, Woody’s and can’t wait! :)


- So, 7th for Becca, some lessons about fuelling learned and thought about, and her highest result so far this season. She’s had a 10th, 9th, 8th and a 7th so getting into the stride of the season.



 

Daphne (Junior Female)


Daphne Jones, British Cycling National Series, Round 4

Last weekend me and the rest of the RR23 team travelled to Cannock for Round 4 of the national MTB series. The course was fairly flat [really? I hardly spotted any flat bits on the course checks – ed] with lots of winding single track that could easily catch you out if you weren’t careful [yes, that bit is right – ed].


I was pretty nervous going into the race as it was the home round and I had a lot of people coming to watch me.


The race didn’t start exactly to plan with me missing my pedal at the start and then being involved in a crash early on which put me into last going into the first lap. But I kept calm and worked hard to fight my way back through the field. It was probably the hardest I have dug in a race but I was just focused on catching the rider in front.


I ended up finishing the race 6th place which I’m very happy with and felt super strong on the bike.

Feels like my form is starting to come along nicely. Looking forward to the last round of the series in couple of weeks’ time. Big thanks to Run & Ride / Mayer Active for organising such a good event.


- Daphne is aware that starts are not her strong point, to say the least, and is working with coach Max to sort herself out. Still 6th in a very strong field was a great result.


Sadly, this weekend no dads were racing despite brave words beforehand. #bemoreduncan this week was more about cups of tea. We have the final round of the XC later in June before the Champs in July to sound off the XC season. Plenty to go for yet.



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