The GT Racing UK Team travelled south for the 2012 National Mountain Bike Cross-Country Championships held this year in the blazing sunshine at Wasing in Reading.
Saturdays practice was short and sweet! The guys all liking the mostly dry course (a couple of wet patches still under the tress) apart from Dave, who wished there were a few more hills to climb. The flatter corses not suiting him so well being used to the terrain back home in Scotland. Gareth had shed a bit of weight from his already super-fly light GT Zaskar 9R Carbon custom by switching to a 1×10 speed set up getting rid of the front shifter, mech and cable. Junior rider Ed was feeling good after doing a couple of road races to improve his fitness and Jon Pybus was on form after his win at the University Championships.
Sunday, race day! The juniors were up first Ed getting a really good start and kept it going for as long as he could, but he got held up by a couple of crashes. Not his fault, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time unfortunately cost him a better result. Ed came home 8th not the result he wanted but a solid result none the less!
Senior men’s race the main event saw our very own Gareth Montgomerie and Oli Beckinsale (Endura MTB Racing) head up the field and along with Olympic hopeful Liam Kileen (Giant), Ben Thomas (Mountain Trax), Hamish Batchelor (Fluid Fin Racing), David Fletcher (Orange monkey/Cannondale). Dave Henderson had a blinding start flying round the outside to pick up a few places.
By the end of the second Gareth had upped the pace and was now slightly ahead of Beckinsale, Kileen and Ian Field (Hargroves cycles) who were wheel to wheel and had a 15 second gap on a chasing Adrian Lansly (Pedalon.co.uk) who in turn was holding off a small group of Dan Fleeman (Cycleshack/Forme Coaching), Nick Craig(Team Scott UK) and Thomas. Dave was still going well tho the pace at the front and the lack of climbs was working against him. Lap 3 and the battle for second and third spot was beginning to heat up with Fletcher, Beckinsale, Field and our man Montgomerie all in with a shout of a podium place …
However it was not to be, a mix up in the feed station and a stick getting stuck in his wheel saw Gareth drop down a few places that were impossible to claw back!
In the end Gareth finished a strong 6th, Dave Henderson 14th and unfortunately Jon Pybus in the under 23 Espoir category did not finish due to technical problems (he’s just too dam strong and keeps breaking kit!)
Well done guys! One more UK race to go! Bring on the last round of the Nationals at Langdon hills in Essex!