Embracing the jewel like colours and taking advantage of a break in the inclement weather, hundreds of riders made the pilgrimage to the first of the Gorrick's annual Autumn Classics, headlined by Endura who supplied a myriad of quality garments as spot prizes throughout the day, making everyone a potential winner, as they tackled the virtually bone dry course.
The first classic was held at Tunnel Hill, an incredibly popular course supplying a winter whooping dose of fast flowing singletrack threading effortlessly through a scenic autumnal landscape, with just enough technical sections and climbing to remind you it was still a race!
Once more those bastions of grass roots racing Gorrick enticed a huge number of entries from have a go hero's to seasoned riders all eager to hunt down that elusive podium spot.
Amongst those keen to stretch their legs and keep away the winter blues was a familiar face not seen on the race tracks for a while due to a near catastrophic accident he'd encountered on the road earlier in the year. Back then he vowed his riding days were over and it was a shame to see such a popular character on the race scene hang up his wheels. Fast forward to the autumn and we were delighted to see Scott Forbes not only back on the bike but back to his old winnings ways once again as he led the Super Masters from the word, leading singlespeeding Al Fairbairn on a merry dance to the finish line. As they say you cant keep a good man down!! Welcome back Scott!
Meanwhile in the Masters it proved to be a much closer affair with Jason Painton, Paul Flynn and Lloyd Curling playing out a 3 lap battle that went to the wire with Painton emerging victorious pulling out a 20 sec advantage on the final lap.
Biggest field of the day was the Open race with just shy of a hundred riders vying for position. Derek Wilson took the honours, leading from the start, while in the Open women's race it was a sprint finish for Susan Parker delivering her victory over Kym Harvey by a sliver of a second.
Grand vets Rob Jackson and Carl Stokenbrock also had a battle royal on their hands with just 2 measly seconds separating them on the finish line with victory going to Jackson after a hard fought 3 laps.
Looking for fun obviously was the order of the day for the bursting to the seams 'fun' race which saw Darren Reynolds in yet another close finishing race take the win over Vit Javorik bay just a handful of seconds.
Once again it was great to see an impressive turn out of new riders as well a healthy representative of women contenders too, throughout the categories and you didn't even have to be a winner in this event just a rider, to be in with a chance of some classic mountain bike clobber from the UK's best clothing brand and event sponsor Endura!
If you think you missed an epic day in the careful hands of the ever-enthusiastic Gorrick crew, then you'd be right!
But never worry an even more epic race is being lined up for the second Autumn Classic as we head to the home of the Gorrick, Crowthorne Woods and a very important milestone as we celebrate 20 years of providing so much "dirty fun!"
There will be a lot of racing mixed with lots of laughter as the traditional format sees another category added with the "20 Years of Gorrick Vintage Race" taking place.
Roll out your retro gear to help us celebrate, anodised purple a must along with with wooly tights and euro trash style jerseys!! We'll be helping transport you back to the early 90's to help you relive those special moments in the dirt. Enter now for your chance for a big prize and an even bigger smile!!
The date to note in your diary is the 11th November. We can't guarantee another cracking weekend weather wise but we can guarantee loads of winter XC fun. Why not come out and play??