Although the 5x3MTB / Push Sport series is more about the taking part than the winning, it’s still good to recognise those who are at the sharp end of all the races. Not least because of the motivation they provide to others and the enthusiasm they bring to the series, so here is a quick preview with our predictions for series three.
Most of the big hitters from series two will be moving up an age category into the under 16’s – riders making the move include Josun Cole, Josh Murad and Jack Styles. But one consistent top 5 finisher with another year to go in the U12 category is Colin Mantle. Riders likely to challenge Colin for the podium positions include Edward Cole, TJ Pitcher, the Laflin brothers and Tom Moore. It’s a bit harder to predict the outcome of the girls racing but my money would be on Mia Rutterford moving up the overall results and taking the win for the girls.
This category will get a fresh new feel with the influx of riders moving up from the under 12s. As well as the boys mentioned above, Imogen Pitcher also moves up. At the other end of the age scale, only one of the series regulars moves on from U16 to junior ranks – Oliver Riley – so this category is set for a healthy increase in numbers and competition!
We are looking forward to seeing superb battles between some of the best young mountain bike racers in the Eastern Region – Dougal Toms, Zac Coleman, Sophie Wright and Kieran Jarvis. Add in the West Suffolk Wheeler boys, last year’s top under 12’s and the potential is there for some top quality racing!
With three new names already on the start sheet for round one, this could be the breakthrough series for the women’s category. We attract a healthy number of female racers but getting them to compete regularly is the big challenge! It would be fantastic to see 8 to 10 racers at each round … maybe the newly formed Kings Lynn MTB club could be the catalyst to achieving this! Top women from series two were Emily Orford and Amy Cole but the final round at Shouldham Warren saw a healthy field of 11 riders and a lot of new names – let’s hope we see them all again at series three!
Senior & Junior men
Looking back at the men’s results from series two reminds us just how much fun racing 5x3MTB can be. It’s not just about the top three or the top ten, as you look back through all the results you can see series long battles between groups of three or four riders all the way through the field. Each round has a handful of serious racers but the biggest group by far is the regular guys out to push themselves but have a good time and a laugh as well. Well, maybe the laughing comes later … !
Junior rider, Liam Manser – using the races to get race fitness back after breaking his collarbone – was Mr Consistency last series with a win at round 3 and never outside the top five. Other riders regularly inside the top five were Patrick Stokes, Ben Findlay, Darren Rutterford and Jimmy Hupton. Add to these names Shaun Aldous winning round 1, Tim Guy winning round 2 and Lee Woodcock winning rounds 4 and 5 and it’s clear that 5x3MTB attracts some of the best racers in the region.
But the series is truly about the other 45 guys in the field, we are genuinely proud to have built a series where all riders and racers are welcome and where everyone is given the time and space to race safely and enjoy themselves.
Let us hope that round one of the 2014 / 2015 series starts where series two finished and goes from strength to strength.
See you Sunday!