Redditch duo impress against country's elite - The Redditch Standard

Redditch duo impress against country's elite

Redditch Editorial 4th Apr, 2017 Updated: 4th Apr, 2017   0

REDDITCH Road & Path Cycling Club young guns Sulli Berry and Isla Mason starred against some of the UK’s top riders when they competed in the first round of the National Mountain Bike Cross Country Series at Pembrey Country Park in Wales on Sunday.

The course was highly technical and it promised to be a tough race both in length and ability.

This was both Redditch riders’ first taste of national level competition in this cycling discipline, although both arrived on the back of good seasons in the cyclo-cross arena over the winter.

Berry was off first in the U14s juvenile category and, starting near the back, was always going to find it difficult to get past riders on forested single track.

A great first lap saw him up to 18th overall with a pack of seven riders hot on his heels. With a long season ahead, he sensibly took the B lines (which would still be classed as harder A lines in regional competition) to avoid risk of injury and slipped a few places on the second lap to finally finish a creditable 22nd in the country as he enjoyed the experience.

Being the youngest competitor, nearly two years younger than the eventual winner, he had still made gains on national rivals and improved his grid position for the next race in the series.

Mason started in the next wave and quickly moved up the field in the arena area, managing to gain several places before hitting the single track sections.

Again patience was the order of the day as she came through the first lap in seventh place. Seemingly undaunted by the talent on show, she continued to pick her way through the field and moved into fourth place towards the end of the race.

Again, deciding the long summer season was not worth risking in the first race, she had to give up a place riding the final B line as one of her closest rivals managed to scrape through the A line by luck more then judgement.

Mason finished with a hard sprint, ending just two seconds behind fourth in fifth place.

The Redditch duo greatly enjoyed their first experiences riding against the best riders the UK has to offer and thank the club for the continued support it offers them.

In other events, Redditch Road & Path CC youth members teamed up with Malvern-based national women’s cycling team Ford Eco Boost headed by national criterium champion Nikki Juniper at a pre-Tour Series time trial event.

Held at Tudor Grange cycling circuit in Solihull, 40 members spent time riding, asking questions and gaining valuable experience from the ladies of the team.

The Tour Series begins in Redditch town centre on Tuesday, May 9.

The club’s time trialling season has started. Events are held on local roads so, if you fancy chasing times over various distances on the road, visit

On Sunday various members of all abilities will tackle one of the hardest off-road sportives in the country in the shape of the Hell of the North Cotswolds.

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