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This past weekend saw the Mondraker UK Race team visit round 2 of the British Mountain Bike Series in Redruth Cornwall. Being the first time the team have had to travel towards the source of their energy supply (pasties) for a national, they were all hoping for a great weekend of racing.

Looking to save both their tyres and bodies Dexter and Brendon decided to hold off going for a practice lap on the Saturday leaving just Elite rider Stephen to get in a practice lap… Stephen having a chimp to put back in its box after struggling on a section in the regionals here a couple of weeks ago. He managed to grab the following video whilst out on track:

For those of you unable to view the Youtube video the course was essentially gnarly with a sprinkling of rad! Tough and demanding on both the body and bike. I'd liken it to the Olympic course from the point of view that the descents although not massively technical required you to be switched on 100% whilst the climbs were of the just rideable variety demanding you to remain seated to maintain traction but begging for you to attack off the saddle to relieve the strain on your legs. Jay and Maddie of Fully Sussed had put together one great course.

Race day came with a slight overcast sky and less wind which was welcome as was the absence of rain which was forecast meaning the course would be just as dry and even more cut up than it was during practice.

Elite - Stephen Hodge

Having had a big crash here 3 weeks ago in the regional race Stephen was feeling a tad sensitive coming into this race having not ridden his bike in anger since and only recently being able to ride a bike without his chest complaining after suffering from a bruised/fractured rib. One of Stephen's main aims for this race was to get a good start after leaving the opening straight in Sherwood in dead last he was keen to avoid a repeat thankfully this wasn't the case:

The rest of Steve's race was quite the struggle with the course being so intense there was really no-where to hide if you weren't feeling on it however not one to quit Steve chugged on through and managed a respectable 37th. Here's what he had to say, "Although I struggled on the intense course today I really enjoyed the ride. Thanks in part to changing the position of my Integrated Stem to short and high meant I was able to tackle the A lines with confidence and actually have some fun on my bike, Jay and Maddie have created a great course".

Expert - Dexter Hurlock

Dexter's season has been going from strength to strength this year with a handful of great wins and an overall points score which nearly puts him within the Elite graduation slot before he's even halfway through the season. Coming into this race in his own back garden Dexter was looking to lay down some damage.

From the off Dexter found himself in a breakaway group of 3 riders all matching each other's abilities and speeds throughout the race, unable to break away from the group Dexter found himself in a sprint finish scenario which would have weighed in his favour had he not slipped a pedal entering the finish arena. Sensing the spill his fellow competitors (Lee Gratton and Scott Clipstone) just nipped away from him. Dexter's frustration at 3rd was understandable but this being his 4th ever National race and 2nd podium finish at a national was outstanding work.

Veteran - Brendon Murphy

Whilst still suffering from a heavy cold Brendon wasn't expecting much from his race but knew he got on well with the course so gave it his all none the less. With a steaming start launching him into the top 15 Brendon found himself battling it out with his usual rivals of Peter Dawe, Jay Horton (event organiser) and Mark Spratt. At one point ahead of them all:

Brendon's cold slowly got the better of him as his rivals who had bad starts started picking up their pace (Pete Dawe started with a 17min lap and finished with a 15min!) he found himself slowly slipping backwards but managed to pack enough in to secure a 16th place finish (out of 60) we still think this demands a pat on the back!

The team now focus their attention to the next regional race the South West Champs in Newnham Park, where there's the strong chance that Dexter and Stephen will be battling it between them to gain the South West Champs jersey keep it locked.

Images are credited to Darren Ciolli-Leach at XCPIX

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