Another fantastic weekend of racing by our 2 cross country riders Dylan and Mark. Round 4 of the British XC Series took place at Cathkin Braes in Glasgow, the Commonwealth Games course of 2014. Dylan was looking to continue his run of good results after the success at round 3 of the British XC Series and winning the Welsh Champs. Starting well Dylan was at the front of the race early on before a mechanical. Mark showed his class once again fighting for the win right to the finish of the Junior race, just being piped in a sprint.
Dylan resplendent in his Welsh Champs jersey for the first time was in 4th place in the early part of the race before that puncture. "Yesterday’s race start was pretty perfect, squeezing my way through from the 2nd row of the grid up into 3rd place in the first few metres. I was with the leaders, feeling good, trying not to let the wheels go while at the same time not going too far into the red. The Scott Spark was smoothing out the rough stuff and carrying speed where others were getting bogged down.
Half a lap in things were still looking good, I had slipped a little off the lead group but was sitting in 4th. I was trying to focus on getting the most out of myself. Having just passed the 2nd tech zones I punctured giving me no choice but to run a couple of kilometres to the end of the lap where the next tech zone was. From being just off the back of the leaders to being dead last out of all the categories!
5 laps remained to see how far I could chase back through the field. It was pretty difficult passing slower riders and the legs were ruined after that run. By the end of the 7 laps I managed to get myself back up into 15th, not a great result, but a pretty good recovery.”
Mark and his main rival Frazer Clacherty left the rest of the Junior field behind, setting a blistering pace, even quick enough to overtake the majority of the Elite riders! Mark was piped to the win in a sprint finish. "Gridded on the 2nd row after missing round 3 for exams I made a made a quick start to settle into 3rd position. Shortly after I was leading the race and driving the pace for the first 3 laps which caused splits in the field. Frazer and I broke away from the rest and rode together for the whole race. It came down to a sprint with Frazer winning the race. The bike flew around the course on the Schwalbe Thunder Burt tyres, perfect for the long drags but still providing confidence on the descents with stiff Snake Skin sidewalls. Bit disappointing to lose in a sprint but the legs felt really good and my form seems to be improving just at the right time."
It's another fantastic result for Mark, 2 weeks after his top 10 at the Junior World Cup in Switzerland. Both riders confidence will take a boost following the race in Glasgow and with just a few weeks to National Cross Country Championships it's an exciting time.