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Race Report: Crank It Cycling Series Round 1 Sherwood Pines

Mar 13, 2023 at 15:46
by CrankItCyling  


It was cold start to the Crank It Cycling's Race series with Round 1 hosted in Sherwood Pines, with a deceptively challenging course filled with a tight arena circuit, multiple technical A line drops and jumps, and fast flowing woodland descents. Despite the snow and ice in the days leading up to the race, the riders were lucky only a small amount remained, but this still kept them on their toes around the corners. A jam packed race day filled with exciting competition also saw the introduction of the Balance Bike Strider Race and the Under 12s Skills sessions, where riders could hone their skills ready for the track.

The day opened with the Sport and Veteran's race facing the worst of the icy conditions. Jim Vernon powered through to take the win in the Sport category, with just five seconds separating the remaining podium steps as Matthew Wilson took second and Ben Trotter followed closely in third. In the Veteran's Stephen Walker put in a strong performance to take the win, ahead of Pascal Arnoux in second and Glenn Coltman in third.

In the Youth Race, Alex Hart and Dec Oldman formed a swift break away from the main pack, flying over the A-lines with ease. Both Alex and Dec put the power down over the three lap race, putting down faster and faster lap times as the race progressed. Alex gradually increased his lead, taking first place, closely followed by Dec in second. Noah Ellison rounded off the podium in third.

The Female categories opened the afternoon's races, with Kacey Eyeington and Evie Steed battling it out over the five lap race. The warmer conditions meant faster woodland sections and fire-road sprints, but also mud traps where the snow once lay. Kacey took a dominant win, two minutes head of Evie Steed in second and Bethany-Ann Jackson in third in the female category overall.

For the final race of the day, a packed male field gridded ready to face the track. James Swadling took an early lead, building the distance lap after lap. After a slide out in the first corner due to snow, Hope's Max Greensill had to work hard to make his way through the pack, but soon regained second position but Graham Briggs was hot on his tail. With just a minute separating each finish time, James took the win, followed by Max in second and Graham in third, each taking the win in their respective categories.

A fantastic start to the Crank It XC Series, massive thanks to the commissaires and volunteer marshalls for their support ensuring riders stayed safe and the day went smoothly. The next round takes place on 19th March at Twisted Oaks, Ipswich.

Crank It Cycling put on a really good show for Round 1 with a technical and demanding course yet with provision for riders of all abilities
Crank It Cycling put on a really good show for Round 1, with a technical and demanding course, yet with provision for riders of all abilities

First race of the series and the first opportunity for somebody to forget their timing chip
First race of the series and the first opportunity for somebody to forget their timing chip

First race of the series means twice as much gossip on the start grid
First race of the series means twice as much gossip on the start grid

Sherwood Pines all of a sudden looked like the start of Mega Avalanche rather than an UK XC Race
Sherwood Pines all of a sudden looked like the start of Mega Avalanche rather than an UK XC Race

A snowy first corner of the track kept riders on their toes fortunately not all the track looked quite as icy and snowy as this despite the recent weather
A snowy first corner of the track kept riders on their toes, fortunately not all the track looked quite as icy and snowy as this, despite the recent weather

It was a tough battle at the front of the Sport Race with Jim Vernon and Matthew Wilson on each others tails
It was a tough battle at the front of the Sport Race with Jim Vernon and Matthew Wilson on each others tails

Pit duty is never glamorous but the snow and ice made it extra hard work
Pit duty is never glamorous but the snow and ice made it extra hard work

Eating on the go is an important skill for any XC racer
Eating on the go is an important skill for any XC racer

Hope s Dec Oldham is never shy of taking any opportunity to send it
Hope's Dec Oldham is never shy of taking any opportunity to send it

Alex Hart showing some flare on the A-Line jump on his way to first place in the Youth Race
Alex Hart showing some flare on the A-Line jump on his way to first place in the Youth Race

The ice did claim plenty of egos this weekend but thankfully no serious injuries
The ice did claim plenty of egos this weekend, but thankfully no serious injuries

The mud and ice led some people to go full enduro
The mud and ice led some people to go full enduro

Youngsters watching on
Youngsters watching on

Fierce competitors on the track best of friends once they cross the finish line
Fierce competitors on the track, best of friends once they cross the finish line

Plenty of fun for the kids doing some skills work in the middle of the day
Plenty of fun for the kids doing some skills work in the middle of the day

It s great to see these Under 12s not just racing but honing their skills
It's great to see these Under 12s not just racing, but honing their skills

With some of the Under 12s putting the adults to shame with their wheelies
With some of the Under 12s putting the adults to shame with their wheelies

Mr Crank It himself prepping riders ahead of the Under 12s Skills Sessions that also went down during the race weekend
Mr Crank It himself prepping riders ahead of the Under 12s Skills Sessions that also went down during the race weekend

Crowds gathered to watch the action unfold
Crowds gathered to watch the action unfold

The Under 12s were not afraid to send it just like the adults
The Under 12s were not afraid to send it just like the adults

There was an option for every rider with A B and C lines around most technical features
There was an option for every rider with A, B and C lines around most technical features

In a stark contrast to the start area the woodland almost looks spring-like
In a stark contrast to the start area, the woodland almost looks spring-like

Once the snow and ice started to thaw thick mud began to appear and not everyone was a fan
Once the snow and ice started to thaw, thick mud began to appear and not everyone was a fan!

The drop off A-Line was steeper than most riders expected but everyone seemed to cope with it
The drop off A-Line was steeper than most riders expected, but everyone seemed to cope with it

It s tough multi-tasking but the Grity Team manage to juggle running their stand as well taking part in the racing
It's tough multi-tasking but the Grity Team manage to juggle running their stand as well taking part in the racing

Last minute technical difficulties a new season but the same old problems - some things never really change
Last minute technical difficulties, a new season but the same old problems - some things never really change

A very small elite field of 2 but that didn t damper the competition between the pair
A very small elite field of 2, but that didn't damper the competition between the pair

As ever ROTOR Race Team out giving it their all with Cindy Beynon being no exception taking first in the female Elite
As ever ROTOR Race Team out giving it their all, with Cindy Beynon being no exception taking first in the female Elite

Debbie Bradley was out having fun on her way to fourth in her race
Debbie Bradley was out having fun on her way to fourth in her race

Kacey Eyeington biding her time for the overtake as she battles it out with Sherwood Pines very own Evie Steed
Kacey Eyeington biding her time for the overtake as she battles it out with Sherwood Pines very own Evie Steed

SRC Go Ride just one of the many teams out kicking off their XC season at the Crank It Round 1
SRC Go Ride, just one of the many teams out kicking off their XC season at the Crank It Round 1

Mud s good for the face right
Mud's good for the face right?

Megan Plews putting the power down along the flats
Megan Plews putting the power down along the flats

Crank hard or try and get low were the options down this incline
Crank hard or try and get low were the options down this incline

WXC Harriet Limb eyes the inside line through the forest section
WXC Harriet Limb eyes the inside line through the forest section

Who else has missed the post-race catchup
Who else has missed the post-race catchup?

Celebrations across teams on the finish line it s always great to see the riders supporting each other
Celebrations across teams on the finish line, it's always great to see the riders supporting each other

As well as the main races the Balance Bike Strider Race took place with a strong turn out
As well as the main races, the Balance Bike Strider Race took place with a strong turn out

Parents out catching the action
Parents out catching the action

Who needs wheel stands when you have a former snowman
Who needs wheel stands when you have a former snowman?

Snow ball fight anybody
Snow ball fight anybody?

This young rider was enjoying trying to jump off of the snow
This young rider was enjoying trying to jump off of the snow

Hydrating and nutrition on the start line was essential
Hydrating and nutrition on the start line was essential

Kids were out supporting their adults on the warm-up laps
Kids were out supporting their adults on the warm-up laps

When it all got a bit too chaotic it all turned a bit Cyclocross
When it all got a bit too chaotic it all turned a bit Cyclocross

Some riders realised going to the B line rather than the congested A line was the better option
Some riders realised going to the B line rather than the congested A line was the better option

Max Greensill took the first opportunity of the year to show off his National Champs jersey
Max Greensill took the first opportunity of the year to show off his National Champs jersey

Graham Briggs on the power on a mission to catch Max Greensill
Graham Briggs on the power on a mission to catch Max Greensill

The pair had a phenomenal battle throughout the race with Max coming out on top
The pair had a phenomenal battle throughout the race with Max coming out on top

Sometimes it came down to just sliding across the line
Sometimes it came down to just sliding across the line

William Weatherill always has a smile on his face while racing
William Weatherill always has a smile on his face while racing

No fancy teams here on family and friends running pit crews
No fancy teams here, on family and friends running pit crews

It s also important to pump every last bit of free speed you can
It's also important to pump every last bit of free speed you can

Even in the loose loam riders were still able to lean it round the corners
Even in the loose loam riders were still able to lean it round the corners

James Swadling taking a dominant win in the Men s Elite race
James Swadling taking a dominant win in the Men's Elite race

This is what racing is all about just having fun
This is what racing is all about, just having fun



If you want to find out more about the Crank It Cycling's Race Series, or if you want to enter the next round head to Crank It's Instagram Here

Author Info:
CrankItCyling avatar

Member since Mar 13, 2023
6 articles

5 Comments
  • 2 0
 The guy at the end looks crippled with agony rather than 'having fun'! But yeah sentiment is true! Great to see a local event like this. Even if they insist on wearing roadie helmets.
  • 1 0
 Sherwood Pines gets a lot of hate but it makes a good xc venue. Whilst there's no prolonged climbing or descending anywhere to be found, you are pedaling absolutely everwhere.
  • 1 0
 Half of me misses those races, the other half remembers why I just have fun now lol
  • 1 0
 Was a great fun day out. And yep, at Sherwood there's no big climbs but you also never get any slack either!
  • 1 0
 good coverage, hope to see more of this over the season.







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