Mud Sweat and Gears Round 6 Ickworth 5th July 2015
Round 6 of the MSG series at Ickworth was quite a local venue for the King’s Lynn MTB Club riders. 13 entered the racing on what they thought was going to be a glorious day, first thing the morning the sun was out, it was very warm but how wrong they all were. The heavens opened just as the racing started, it then turned into a race of skills and attrition.
The combination of the clay soil and grass just stuck to everything both rider and bike, clogging up wheels, tyres and gears plus adding that unwanted weight.
The results were mixed, but the determination from all was immense just to finish the race.
Paul Ashby again dominating the Grand Veterans finishing a lap ahead of the 2nd place rider. James Murphy rested from his holiday produced his best result for the series. Emily Quantrill is getting stronger with each race finishing 1st in her category of Sport Female and 2nd overall. Dom Clark improving on his last result with 6th. All the club members who raced are gaining confidence and strength as seen in their results.
Millie Harris Under 9s
Dom Clark 6th open Male
Joe Allen under 9s 4th
4Richard Cook 15th Open Male
Paul Ashby 1st Grand Veterans
Linley Gales 17th Open Male
James Murphy 4th Sport Male
Mark Hollingworth 25th Open Male
Emily Quantrill 1st Sport Female
Kevin Beales 30th Open Male
Robin Lines 6th Junior Male
Roger Seals 50th Open Male
Jason Hunter 71st Open Male
The rider’s perspective.
Jason Hunter - Open Male
My intention was to go and support the club but a last minute decision to enter the competition was made. I had not been in a competition since 1st February which was the 5 by 3 event at Shouldham. After getting to Ickworth later than planned due to a “Sat Nav” complication I had no time to ride a practice lap so had no chance to “bottle it”. My intention was to go out there and have some fun but with the rain settling on the circuit the mud started to grip the tyres and conditions deteriorated quite quickly. Riders slipping and sliding all over the place. All I wanted to do was stay on the bike and do the best I could. During the second lap my tyres had gone from 2.2 inch racing tyres to fat bike tyres to the extent that I had to stop to clear out mud on a few occasions to allow the wheels to turn. All that said it was still a great event and pleased with finishing unscathed and not bottom of the group either. 72nd from a field of 76 riders.
Joe Allen age 7 his dads view - Under 9s
Joe’s course was wet and grassy with a big hill in it. He had a terrible start getting pushed out and caught in the tapes, getting back on he was in last place. Within 2 laps he had caught second place but on the last lap he was taken out by a back marker and with lots of guts and determination he got back on to finish 4th and very upset. We are so very proud of him, adults would have given up.
James Murphy – Sport Male
So having got some laps in when it was dry in the morning I found a completely different course waiting for me in the afternoon. A practice lap confirmed it would be a long race as my bike was already clogged with mud and carrying some extra weight!! Got a slow start off the line but managed to get up to 3rd by the first climb and held it until we slithered into the first single track. Having missed the last round I wanted a good result here to get some points back so I knew it was important to get to the finish. Despite having to stop twice to clear the mud as the wheels wouldn't turn, I managed to get through the first few laps and it started to dry and pack down for the final couple of tours, even managed to get my fastest lap on the last lap Bit of a race of attrition but happy to bag 4th, best result of the season so far and some good points ?
Emily Quantrill – Sport Female
Right, so after success at round 5, Thetford, I was really up for Ickworth and excited by the lure of woody single track and three bomb holes. A quick practice lap confirmed that it was going to be a hot, dry and fast race with a few long climbs chucked in to test the legs as the race progressed. The A lines seemed very doable and I was looking forward to it. Just as the first lap started, the sky blackened and it chucked it down and what seemed like a super-fast course soon became a mudfest to really test your bike skills. I had a pretty rubbish getaway at the start but managed to get near the front for the first climb sitting comfortably with the elite women. As the first lap progressed I managed to stick with Elite Hollie Bettles and get past her at the end of lap one. Although not in my category, I still wanted to see how I'd fair with them and see if there's a chance to compete with them next year. Energy still in the legs, I wanted to then try and catch Mel Paddington who I knew wasn't too far ahead currently sitting in 2nd place. As the rain got worse and the course became more slippy I soon caught up with her on lap 3. Buzzing by this point, I kept plugging away trying to stay up right in the treacherous conditions which felt more like motocross than xc racing. Last lap, completely covered in mud (me and bike) decided to take a few B lines to avert any catastrophes and nursed the bike home to take the sport win and 2nd women overall. Pretty chuffed with that and some more valuable points earned. Bike however, unrecognizable and need of some serious tlc lol.
Mark Hollingworth – Open Male
Having suffered from poor starts recently, I made it my priority at MSG Ickworth to reverse the trend. And it was better, I managed to get nearer to the front runners only to be caught up at the narrow bottle neck single track. The rest of the race was spent skating on mud to finish 25th and best result so far!
Kevin Beales – Open Male
After surprising myself at Thetford on a flat fast course and getting my joint best finish of the season I was feeling quite good about Ickworth. Enough points now to push me into the gridded positions meant a more comfortable start away from the back of grid....practice lap done...Yep all good, course was quick. Then the rain came on the start line. Off we went got away quite well even with riders going the wrong way I kept on track. Deciding to try and pace myself, this turned into a bad decision as conditions deteriorated. Cookie and Mark (KLMTB) shot past me on the second climb, I tried to keep mark in my sights but made a mistake and had to shoot into the undergrowth to avoid a big off. First lap wasn't bad I felt ok ready to push on, second lap it started to get slippy but I made a few places up. Third lap things turned very bad I struggled to keep it upright and probably went off about 5 times one particularly hard fall. Having to nurse it home I was happy to come 30th enough to hopefully keep me gridded. Well done to all the KLMTB riders in difficult conditions.