Kim Little writes –

The weekend of March 23rd/24th was the first round of the National Points MTB Series at Sherwood Pines in Nottinghamshire.  The weather forecast for the weekend was not looking good with reports of deep snow and road closures in the area, but Paul Hopkins, Andy Parsons, Nigel Brown and Kim Little all made the journey North hoping the event wouldn’t be cancelled.  On arrival they were greeted with a snow covered course and headed out for a practice lap.  Usually Sherwood is a very fast and flat, dry course but the weather had made the course unrecognisable.  Tyre choice and pressures were essential to gain grip and traction. 

The next day, after more snow overnight, the course hadn’t improved, but the temperature had increased slightly making the track muddier and tougher.

Kim’s race – the Masters category – was first off where he was gridded on the second row in 22nd place.  A good start took him up to 5th for lap one, he dropped another place on lap 2 and was pipped at the finish by 2 more riders to eventually finish in 8th place, the race being won by Jonathan Pugh.

Starting a few minutes behind the Masters, Paul, Nigel and Andy lined up for the Veterans race.  Paul being the reigning points series champion, he was gridded first, with Andy in 24th and Nigel 44th.  Paul, racing for Merida again this season, had a good lead at the end of the first lap of 15 seconds, but was gradually reeled in over the next lap by top cyclocross rider Ian Taylor, riding for Jedi Cycle Sport.   Paul eventually finished 45s down on Taylor by the finish.  Nigel (riding for Westbury Wheelers) rode a strong race with consistent laps to finish 27th, while after a bad start Andy (Offcamber) had a battle on to pass riders over the next 4 laps and finished up in 33rd.

Emma Bradley (Cotic/AQR) finished a lap down in 25th place in the Elite women’s race while Alfred’s Tower regulars Kris and Patsy Caines (Yeovil CC) rode well in their races.  Kris finished 27th in the Youth Boys’ race after starting from the back of the field and in Juvenile Female event Patsy finished fifth.

The next round is at Redruth in Cornwall where hopefully conditions will be much improved.