XC Racer Blog Post

HSBC National XC Series - Expert Male

Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter

BY: Oliver Richardson - Giant Twickenham

Published: 4th April, 2017

This weekend was the first round of the National Cross Country Series at Pembrey Country Park in South Wales. I was racing in the Expert category and as usual was made up of some very strong riders. The main contenders from last year being James Edmond (Mountain Goat Coaching), Daniel Curtis (Manx Mountain Bike Club), Chris Bailey (KTM RT) and also Ben Nott and Tony Revell (Off Camber Bikes) moving up from the Sport category last season.


The weather was bizarrely sunny for Wales and the course had really dried out from the previous days rain so made conditions for a rapid pace. Gridded on the first row I manged to get a strong start heading into the first bends to take the holeshot. Getting into the single-track first I kept the pace fairly high until we hit the first fire road and funnily enough saw a group made up of the same 5 riders above. Ben and Tony had done well to move up their lower grid positions and we all took a chance to see who had made it into the lead group.


Not content with the pace I was setting Ben Nott attacked on the second lap up one of the steep sandy sections with Tony Revell going with him. Very aware that we still had over 3 laps to go James Edmond, Chris Bailey, Daniel Curtis and myself seemed reluctant to chase the move and kept the pace firm not letting the gap gather momentum. Coming into the arena on the 3rd lap Ben had got a slow puncture and pulled into the feed zone leaving myself and James Edmond a few seconds back from Tony with everyone else dropping off the pace slightly.


We caught Tony gradually during the next lap and worked together to pull a comfortable lead on the rest of the field until James began to start ramping up the pace again. Coming into the final lap all three of us were still pretty much together with a few seconds over Tony. Exiting the first section of single-track James seemed eager to take advantage of this putting in some hard efforts on the fast flat sections giving us a comfortable gap and leaving us to dual it out for the remainder of the race.


Arriving at the final steep sandy climb I wanted to get ahead into the fast descent to see if I could pull a gap but James seemed to cramp up slightly going up the climb so I decided to commit to a move there and then. Accelerating over the top of the climb as hard as I could I hit the descent flat out and maintained my effort through the single-track to get a 10 second lead. With nearly half a lap to go I thought I may have committed too soon but destroying myself up the final kick towards the gap jump it looked like I would hold him off. Coming up to the last technical section I was very conscious of not messing up and so didn’t take it with as much confidence as usual resulting in a pretty sketchy attempt that wasn't particularly graceful.


Nevertheless I made it to the final road section and looked behind to see I would make it to the finish with the win. Absolutely elated! I’d like to thank my sponsor the Giant Store in Twickenham for a bike that can handle all the grief I give it and the continued support. Also to all the guys at Twickenham Cycle Club (especially the Tuesday night crew) for tearing my legs apart for the last year and getting my fitness back after so many years out of racing. Couldn’t ask for a better start to the season leading up the National and Southern Expert series.

Race Times available here

Blogger Info:


Oliver Richardson - Giant Twickenham

Expert XC Racer and occassional Roadie for the Giant store in Twickenham.



Read More By Oliver

This blog post was written by a third party and their views do not necessarily reflect the views of XCRacer.com

Advertise your business/event here »