Round three of the mountain bike series run by Southern XC took place on Sunday at Crow near Ringwood.  It was a tough day for everyone as it was very muddy on the course, to say the least, and where there wasn’t mud there was water and where there wasn’t mud or water there were lots of slippery roots.

There were several GDW members racing, first up was Toby Easby in the under 13s event.  Toby was right at the back of the field early on, but fought through well and, making up one more place on the last climb to the finish, came home in fifth with a good lap time of 42.59.
James Chant was entered in the two laps Fun category, and found it was definitely wrongly named.  Comfortably fastest early on, James soon found himself lying on the floor a lot as the conditions got the better of his bike ‘skills’ and gradually – and literally – slipped to third place.
In the three lap Open category, Dan Riggs gets quicker each time out and finished in 11th place on this occasion, a result which lifts him up to seventh overall in the series.  Kim Little (Merida) set some very fast laps on his way to second behind Hargroves Cycles rider Stu Bowers in the four lap Masters event.
Paul Hopkins was also second in the veterans’ race.  Lewis King (Beeline Cycles), who always seems to go well on the Crow course, got the better of the Merida rider early on and led throughout, with Paul in an unchallenged second place until the end.  Andy Parsons (Offcamber) was 16th in the same race.
Finally, there was one more second place, with Nigel Brown riding for Westbury in the Grand Veterans’ race.  Nigel is struggling with an ongoing back injury but pushed eventual winner Mark Chadbourne ( all the way and was nearly six minutes ahead of the third placed rider by the end.
It was the hardest of the hardriders time trials on Sunday, with Chris Mullett and Sarah Wheeler competing in the Bristol South CC 28 miler.  The course is made of big climbs and fast descents up and down the Cotswold escarpement right from the start, and is a real challenge.  Chris went for the road bike option and got round in 1 hour 53.05, while Sarah finished in 2.03.19.  The winner was hillclimb expert Tejvan Pettinger in an astonishingly fast time of 1.17.17, more than five and a half minutes ahead of anyone else.
Bath CC held an Open 10 mile tt on the Frome bypass course, and Stuart Kerton sped round in 22.42, earning him a great result of fifth overall.  Steve Way also did well, finishing in 27.01.