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Denis Smith reports on a weekend of Friday Night Summer Series and British Masters Cycle Racing mountain bike action at Wibtoft.

We arrived at Wibtoft for the FNSS on Friday at 5pm and did a recky  of the course, a lot of you will know the course and how fast it is, I started near the back as I wanted to save myself for the BMRC on the Saturday, it was quite a change from going flat out and I quite enjoyed it, my lap times increased each lap and I finished 5th in the supervets.  I then learnt that the BMRC race the next day would be run in the opposite direction, I was gutted as I had all the corners dialed in, anyway as it worked out the clockwise direction was better for the ditch section in the second spinney.

The British Masters Cycle Racing championships started at 1pm on Saturday and was a whole different procedure to what we normally do as the women went off first, then the eldest men down in age groups, I had started with the group lower to me 70/75 and assumed I was competing against them for a jersey, one of these two was Bob Ford who was quite a good road racer and he passed me on the first lap and rode away from me.

I assumed that was it and that I wouldn’t see him again, from here it got very busy catching the ladies up and passing them and also being passed by large volumes of younger Vets, I kept a decent pace going and was surprised on the 5th lap to catch him and passed him but it wasn’t over as he clung on and retook me, so then the race was on and I had to hang on, he was faster up the straights but I was able to pull him back through the two spinneys.

On the sixth lap which I assumed was the last, we were catching a lady and I sprinted past them both hoping he would get held up by her as it was on a bend, we had about a third of a lap to do and now needed to keep him at bay which wasn’t too hard on the single track but on the long downhill section I heard the bell go for the last lap and knew I couldn’t hold this pace for another whole lap and at the first wide section he came by and I hung on finishing about 8 seconds adrift.

At the prize giving I was listed in my own category and hadn’t needed to do all that dueling but saying that, it had made it more interesting.  The only sad part of the day was I wasn’t entitled to a jersey even though I had won my category, it would appear as you get older you get penalised for being in the minority.

Well done Denis, sounds like a cracking weekend!

Thank you to all involved in organising these events.

Photo by Dave Furneau

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