OAKHAM’S Ryan Henry surged past his closest rival on the penultimate climb of the final race to seal the Friday Night Summer Mountain Bike Series title.
It was one of six titles up for grabs when the final round was raced on an entertaining evening at Greetham Valley last Friday when 114 riders lined up at to race.
Among the tightest of the races was the senior category where Henry, racing for mtzoom.com, edged out Lutterworth Cycle Centre’s Matt Barratt for the evening’s top prize.
Barratt led by nine seconds at the end of the first lap, following a rare mistake by Henry which resulted in him taking to the dirt. But Henry fought back and proved the strongest over the final stages to take the win by just two seconds and seal the series win.
Henry said: “I had a disastrous start, and pushed so hard I crashed on the first lap.
“I had to dig deep to catch Matt but I knew I held the advantage on the climbs. I waited until the penultimate climb and attacked hard, knowing that once both through the river and up the last climb he would not be able to come around me.”
Jonny Lloyd of Oakham was the highest placed Velo Club Rutland rider finishing in an impressive 12th place.
The female category had also gone to the wire with Oakham’s Amelia Cambridge (Velo Club Rutland/RutlandCycling.com) and Hollie Bettles (WXC Mountain Bike Team) taking to the start line for the series finale level on points.
Bettles took an early lead which she managed to maintain throughout the race despite a heroic effort from Cambridge.
Oakham’s Rebecca Cunnell made it two out of three on the podium for the Rutland club with a tremendous third place to guarantee her third in the overall points standings.
Cambridge said: “I was more than anything pleased to see all the support from the club riders, family and people around here.
“I never expected to be at the top of the series fighting for first; that’s why I am very happy with the result. And very happy that for the first time Velo Club Rutland have a double series podium with Becki finishing in third.”
The Rutland club also fielded a rider in the youth category for the first time in the series.
Oakham’s Ollie Maxwell, 15, travelled home early from holiday especially to race and was rewarded with a win on his series debut. Maxwell went to the front at the start and led throughout to win by more than a minute from his nearest rival.
The event was hosted by Velo Club Rutland/Rutland Cycling.com and VCR thanked Rutland Cycling for their sponsorship and prizes.