Southern XC round 5

 

The final round took place in a less than summery Alton. Despite the inclement weather riders arrived in their droves to get a bit of XC action, including quite a few that travelled a fair distance in order to get some quality racing under their belts before the ‘cross season kicks off pretty soon!

 

With a 6 km course laying in wait, riders could only guess at the fun to come; plenty of fun singletrack snaking its way along, bumping over tree roots and surfing through mud, whilst dropping into a number of bomb holes along the way and occasionally feeding into some tough short but sharp, near tractionless, climbs. In its history as an event venue, Alton has never seen a dry race and round 5 was to prove no different. The day itself was reasonably dry, with just a sprinkling of rain and a humid damp feeling that did nothing to alleviate the slippery muddy surface. As the day progressed, the many churning tyres just added to the polish on the roots and churned up the sticky mud to expose some the evil looking flints underneath, that claimed many victims throughout the day.

 

Vicky Munroe

 

Marathon specialist, Sally Bigham, dipped her big toe well and truly into the XC scene, choosing Alton as her debut XC race. Elite rider Maddie Horton was keen to make a race of it with Bigham, but a crash in the early stages of the race saw her sidelined, leaving Bigham to take victory, with a commanding lead of 18 mins over WXC rider Jessie Roberts. In 2011 Bigham will be stepping up to full time pro status, so we may very well see her at quite a few more XC races next season. Despite a lack lustre race for Carla Haines, coming in 3rd, she had still done enough to capture the overall Elite Women’s series title.

 

Master rider Jo Munden made it 4 wins out of 5. Despite another tough battle between herself and close rival Emma Bradley, Munden took her 4th win underlining the overall series win by just 15 secs.  Hannah Minter took the series win in the Open Women’s race, despite conceding the race win itself to Vicky Munro. In the juvenile girls race Ffion James racked up her 5th win to take the series, ahead of rival Gretal Warner.

 

Sally Bigham

 

For a full list of results of Round 5 and the overall Series standings please visit www.southernxc.com   The final event in the Southern XC calendar will be in a few weeks, where the Southern XC Champs will be decided at yet another fun course – Pippingford.

 

 

Words & images - Joolze Dymond.  Full gallery of images can be seen at www.joolzedymond.com

 

 

 

 

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