Round 1 of the Essex Summer Evening Series kicked off with the same course used for the Potash Spring Classic but run in reverse. Due to heavy rain on Monday night the course became quite wet and slippery in some of the technical bomb hole sections forcing many riders to get off and run. The series started a little earlier than last year allowing enabling organisers to run the first round in the dark spicing up the action.
Russ Welch of Travers Bikes picked up from where he left off on Sunday, taking the lead in the Adult Male class from the gun and steadily pulling out a gap throughout the race, eventually finishing over 3 minutes clear. It was much tighter battle for second with Jake Darragh (Hadleigh MTB Club) chasing hard in the early stages before being overhauled by Stu Carmichael (Flitch Bikes) who eventually finished 2nd on his single speed followed closely in 3rd by Paul Champness (Hadleigh MTB Club) who had a race long battle with Ian Robson (Ipswich) in 4th.
The under 16 male category was a clean sweep for the Hadleigh MTB Club with the team filling all 3 places on the podium with Harry Bates in first and Adam Cavalla beating Joe Champness into 3rd by just 17 seconds. Jo Hitchen took the honours in the Adult Female class riding for Wings for Life over Jane Brockman who regularly helps out with British Cycling duties at the Essex Summer Evening Series. Kess Claxton (Travers Bikes) won the under 16 female category putting in some impressive lap time beating many of the adult men.
The 2nd round will be held at the 2012 Olympic MTB track in Hadleigh on the 17th May. http://www.traversbikes.com/eses.html
• Update to the above results, After checking the signing on sheets after the event it was noted that Alex Kings started in the wrong category. Although 16 on the day of the event, he was still 15 on the 1st Jan at the start of 2016 (British Cycling rules, your category is decided on your age on the 1st day of the year). He finished within a minute of the under 16’s winner but because of the staggered start neither were on the track together, race organisers decided to award them joint first place in the event and towards the overall series.