Well done to all of you who braved the course, faced the mud, and tackled the technical bits in what was the penultimate Club Champs event for 2014 – whether you came in the top spots or not, there was some fantastic racing and even if you didn’t finish the course or tried it but didn’t like it; you took part and that gets you points!

A Note from your MTB Coaches, Mark Devlin & Alex Araujo:

Unlike last year, the rain stayed away for the morning, but there were still splatterings of wet earth decorating the appropriately named Mudslingers on Saturday. We hope you enjoyed yourselves, and that you will be joining us over in the mountain biking area a bit more after this – we have big plans for MTB next year, so watch this space for further details.
The U6 and U8 riders rode their own course in the ‘bowl’.  First up were the U6’s racing 2 laps: Jay Lloyd went out fast from gun to lead for the boys with Katie Allsop hot in pursuit for the girls. Both held their positions to win their categories with Samuel Oloyede coming in second for the boys, and Holly Hirst taking the runners up spot for the girls.

A large field for the U8 boys saw Ben Coppola dominating from start to finish to win, completing the 3 laps in record time.  A group of 3 riders followed, battling hard, with Stanley Kent eventually coming in second followed by Archie Fowkes in third and Finlay Hawker fourth.  A good day for the Kent family saw Stanley’s younger brother Oliver finishing strongly to take 5th position. A very special mention goes to Neel Joshi taking part in his first ever race – well done for completing the course.

The U8 girls, starting 30 seconds behind the boys, saw a commanding performance from Lucie Allsop.  She soon caught up with the boys and overtook most of them before taking the flag to make it 2 wins for the Allsop girls.  A close race for second saw a determined Millie Coleman finish ahead of Bobby O’Brien, with Kim Bowler taking fourth and Erin Loveless 5th position.

U6 and U8’s – In Their Own Words:

JJ Lloyd, U6
“I like mountain biking because it was super easy”
Neel Joshi, U8
“The course was a very good length.  The downhill bit was the best and the hardest was the uphill part.”
Erin Loveless, U8
“I thought the course was amazing I enjoyed going down the last hill”
Ellie Griffiths, U8
“The race on Saturday was very tiring but it was fun and gave me good exercise. There were lots of other riders and we all got very muddy. Most importantly, we all had a fun and successful ride”.
Lucy Allsop, U8
“The under 6s went first Jayjay had a good start and won. Katie was second at thestart and was first girl, second over all. In the under 8s Bobby was in the front then Milly and I over took her. I was not very far from Milly. Milly was second and Bobby was third.The course was smooth and not very muddy I liked the up hills best.”
Kim Bowler, U8
“When I was on the start line I felt nervous. As I raced off I knew I could catch people up. At the end I was really pleased with myself I knew I could do it .When I had finished I felt so tired because I pushed it so hard when I was racing.”

The long course took the U10s, U12s, U14s, and U16s around the outside of the circuit, before cutting through the interior, then up and over into the bowl. The U10’s two-lap race saw Jed Smithson stay well away from his pursuers to take the win, followed by Joe O’Brien and George Fowkes in second and third. The girls’ race saw a pitched battle between Caitlin Loveless and Esme Devlin, with Caitlin prevailing over a hard-charging Esme on the line. Betty Cochrane took third for the U10 girls.

U10’s – In Their Own Words:

Kai Lloyd, U10
“I enjoy mountain biking as there is more to do than riding round in circles like road racing, the course was fun and I came in a good position”
Ben Bisson, U10
“On Saturday Hillingdon Slipstreamers organised the MTB club  championships race. At 9.50 we went to the start of the race, Alex took us around the  course for a reccy so that we knew where to go. The U10 race then assembled at the starting tape, this was the race I took part in. Alex gave us instructions and then said “On your marks” then GO, we had  started, we pushed as hard as we could to keep up with the leaders. After three quarters of the lap sweat was dripping from my hair, I was  pushing as hard as I could. We race round to finish the first lap, one more to go, we pedalled as  hard as we could round the back of the course then pushed on down the  hill towards the clubhouse. We turned back towards the finish, I was being chased, the line was in sight I sprinted and sprinted and managed to hold on to fifth. The course was great to ride, we all chatted about the race then went  to the clubhouse for hot chocolate and to watch the other races”
Caitlin Loveless, U10
“I loved the mtb race, I thought the last ramp was the best because it fun. I didn’t get muddy this year!”
Esme Devlin, U10
“I enjoyed the course – the crates were well placed and made the course more exciting. I was nervous, because I wanted to do well, but I know my asthma restricts my ability to sprint to the finishing line!”

The U12s ripped around three laps of the course, with this particular category showcasing some impressive up-and-coming talent. Jemma Bowler, sporting last year’s hard-earned Club Champ jersey beat all but one ‎of the highly competitive field, finishing just behind boys’ winner Gabriel Banner, who, like Jemma stayed away for the entire race. Second placed girl, Isabella Escalara, also bested much of the field, finishing not far behind Nathan George who took second for the boys. Rounding out the podium for the U12s were George Lewis and Mudslinger regular Hope Wilson.

U12’s – In Their Own Words:

Finlay Moss, U12
“Saturday was the first time I had done any Mountain Biking competitively. Before I had just taken my bike to the local woods. I was nervous but I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The course was good because there was a decent amount of obstacles and tasks to challenge me and the other riders. At the end I was quiet tired so I forgot to ask the coaches where I came. Now I am hooked and can’t wait to do more Mountain Biking and will try to come along to the rides at Swinley Forest”.
Rizwan Hameed, U12
“On Saturday 8th November I rode my first MTB race at the MTB Club Champs. This was my first time on mountain bike at the Slipstreamers. I found the course really nice and the technical sections were great. Thank you to all those who volunteered. It was great fun and I recommend any of you who didn’t take part this year to definitely give it a shot next year.”
Hope Wilson, U12
“I was a little nervous at the start, and a bit cold, but my nerves disappeared as I started to focus and I soon warmed up after I had done the first lap. It was hard on the straight, grassy bit because of the headwind coming straight at us, but I crouched over the handlebars to try and streamline myself and that helped.  On my last lap my legs were hurting but I didn’t give up. I really enjoyed the technical bits but would have liked to have had more of them! Overall I was quite pleased with my result, but I would have liked to have come in the top three overall!”
Jessica Henning, U12

“The mountain bike race was a new experience for me and it was challenging but enjoyable. The terrain meant you had to change gears a lot more than on road and be careful on the downhills. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely do it again.”

In the 5-lap U14 race, it was another show of force from the talented Bowler family, with big sister Lorna taking the overall win‎ in the category, beating every single competitor, both male and female. Sophie Peters and Zoe Brookes took second and third for the girls, with special mention to Orla Devlin who fought hard for a podium place, but came just shy.  Well up in the field, and chasing Lorna round the course we’re Morgan Evans and Seth Kanaris who took first and second respectively, followed by Nick Rayner in third place for the U14 boys.

U14’s – In Their Own Words:

Orla Devlin, U14
“I found the course challenging, but it helped to make it fun. The slippery conditions made the race more interesting, but I managed to keep the bike under control!”
Zack Taylor, U14
“The Club Championships were a unique experience. For the first time during my time at Hillingdon Slipstreamers, I could finally experience what a true MTB race was like. At first, it was very difficult. But, with some gentle encouragement from Simon, I got into the rhythm of the race and began to get back into the race. Not only did I learn a lot about MTB racing, but I had a lot of fun doing! Sure, I had pains in my legs for a while, but I had fun and that’s what counts.”

The U16 race saw competitors complete a lung-busting 6 laps of the course, with Charles Page going away early and never looking back to take first place for the boys.  Louis Rose-Davies and Josh Copley were tighter together, taking second and third. Josh Copley came in fourth, and a special mention goes to Sam Henning and Niall Dawkins, who fought back from a crash to take fifth and sixth respectively. The award for U16 rider who looked like he was having the most fun definitely goes to Carl Jolly, who had a smile and a laugh on his face the entire ride!  Ella Buckroyd raced solo for the girls, holding her own in a tough field to take the female U16 MTB title.

U16s – In Their Own Words:

Ella Buckroyd, U16
“The Slipstreamers mountain bike club champs, although not nearly as muddy as last year were still too muddy for someone like me who usually sticks to a paved circuit. The twists and turns, small climbs and slight descents were somewhat challenging. But I would have to say that trying to avoid the tractor that seemed all too close was probably the most interesting and unusual part of the course. I knew there was no chance of actually hitting it but it gave me a few nervous moments even so. The wooden box before the hill came in a close second by providing some added fun with an element of cyclo-cross! All in all, I think the mountain bike club champs were loads of fun and it’s a shame I won’t be able to compete again next year since as a second year U16, I will be too old to ride at Slipstreamers next year.”
Sam Henning, U16

“I was looking forward to the race and thought I’d get a bit of training done beforehand by riding along the canal towpath, which turned out to be messier than the race itself! The course was challenging for me and used the terrain around the track really well. Unfortunately, like a muppet I fell off on lap 2 and it took a while to get going again. The experience really opened my eyes as to how competitive and difficult MTB racing is and I think it has helped my bike handling skills. Now, if I could only persuade my dad to clean my bike!”
Alex Jones, U16
“The day of the Slipstreamers MTB Champs was dry and reasonably warm for the time of year and a good number of us turned out.  I normally ride road, track and a bit of cross and my only experience so far of MTB competition was a 3+ hr super-technical senior race in France at half term so although it was a great experience, I was happy I didn’t have to do that again – just 7 deceptively friendly looking laps at Hillingdon. The course was not too technical but posed enough of a challenge for a good race and ideal for competitors of all ages.  There was a split of Louis, Charles and Josh at the front from the very beginning after a crash behind them at one lap in which brought 2 riders down, as well as a couple of falls which had us remaining u16 riders jostling for position but pushing on hard.  The final few laps were hard fought but congratulations in the end to Charles who had a well deserved win. Thanks to everyone at the club who made the event a success.”
Josh Copley, U16
“The MTB race was eventful to say the least – from crashes to unexpected successes!  I was surprised at the lack of bike handling skills that us road riders showed.  Give me a flat road over a muddy track any day.  The mud aside, I really enjoyed slipping and sliding about.  All in all a great day though and I’m really pleased that I finished 3rd.  Thanks for the coaches and volunteers who organised the day.”

Riders: don’t forget to thank your coaches and volunteers for putting this event on – they did all the planning, organising and made it all happen for you!
A HUGE thanks goes to the volunteer parents and additional coaches who helped with the course set-up and takedown, judging, marshalling, and cheers of encouragement. You are all fabulous!

MTB Champs in a Few Snaps: As always, we have photos galore to share with you. This time there are hundreds to sift through, so we’ll be sure to have them ready for you in next week’s newsletter. For now, we hope you enjoy the collages above!

Club Champs coming up:
The remaining Club Champs event is the Track races at the Calshot Velodrome on the 22nd November. Scroll down further to Chatter Box Corner for important updates on this. If you have booked but not paid, you must please do so by the 15th November.

Club Champs results so far: