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The Mondraker Racing XC team packed up the van and headed to the last round of the British Mountain Bike Series at Hadleigh Farm in Essex. With the overall series standings still to be decided it was all to play for as the team arrived at the venue which played host to Olympic racing just 12 months before.

Arriving a little later than planned on Saturday afternoon the team missed the days practice session meaning they wouldn't get out on the course until Sunday morning but with plenty of time to practice the rest would do them good. As they settled into the hotel for the night all three riders were looking forward to getting on the Olympic level track the following day and riding what have been seen on TV only 12 months before. As the morning broke the team kitted up and headed out to practice and get used to the course which has everything from drops to berms and even a tunnel all specially constructed for the highest level of racing. While Stephen Hodge prepared for his Elite race Dexter and Brendan decided to take a look at some of the more tricky sections of the course. All was going well until Hurlock flew off a rocky drop traveling at full race pace. The plan was to step-down to the slab below and all was going well in the air but the landing was a little off as a newly formed hole in the rocks had other plans. Hurlock was coming back into contact with terra firma when his front wheel found a newly formed hole stopping him dead and catapulting Hurlock over the bars and on to the rocks below. As Hurlock pulled himself to the side of the track it was clear all was not well and racing later that day may not be an option. His Spiuk Daggon helmet had done its job but was in a rather sorry state as was his front wheel which was now the shape of a Pringle. After a trip to the medical tent Dexter was stitched and patched back together and he limped back to the team pits to recover and sit down.

As the start of the race got closer it looked like Hurlock wouldn't be racing as the pain and missing skin were too much not to mention his bike needed some serious time with a mechanic after such a heavy impact. With series points on the line and a podium finish in the series still up for grabs as well as an elite racing licence to play for Dexter was not going to miss out. Pulling on his spare kit Dexter lined up at the start still in a lot of pain. He was going to have to take it easy and wouldn't be able to ride some of the harder lines but it was race time. Gritting his teeth Dexter pulled out one of his rides of the season and crossed the line in 3rd place and taking 3rd in the series. A really great ride considering the impact he had sustained.

In the elite race Stephen Hodge put in another strong ride to finish in 34th spot which helps keep him in the top 15 elite riders in the National Rankings. The elite pack got off to a very quick start on the first hill stringing riders out and a lead group getting away early in the first lap. The strength of the elite field has been strong all year but Stephen as adjusted well to the high pace and level of racing in his first year.

Dexter's rather battered back after his crash.

Check out a full report on the weekends action over on the British Cycling website.

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