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Riders take to the track
A DOZEN riders competed in a top BMX competition just weeks after getting on mountain bikes for the first time.
The competitors, aged between 11 and 25, took part in a pilot scheme run by cycling pro Luke Farey, who runs Get Out There MTB riding club, in Hadleigh, which aims to find Essex’s Olympic stars of the future.
More than 30 people completed the course, which ran for three weekends and covered basic bike safety, controlled braking, cornering, correct gear selection, ascending and descending.
At the end, Mr Farey entered his top 12 students into the Mud, Sweat and Gears competition, which saw the top young BMX riders from across the east of England compete at the Hadleigh Olympic Mountain Biking Track.
Mr Farey said: “We knew we were never going to win anything at the competition because there were a lot of serious riders taking part.
“I was extremely proud to know that only a few weeks earlier, most of the participants would not have been able to complete these gruelling races. They should be very proud.”
Following the riders’ efforts, he is looking to apply for further funding from Sportivate to run another course.
Essex county councillor John Jowers, who is responsible for libraries, communities and planning, said: “Congratulations to the riders this weekend, who have demonstrated their riding skills on the Olympic course.
“With works starting soon to create a lasting legacy facility for mountain biking across Essex and the eastern region, we hope others are encouraged by their achievements.”
Matt Ewings, event organiser, said: “Mud Sweat and Gears has come far in the past fewyears. In 2013 alone, we saw a significant increase in mountain biking participation with entry numbers up 20 per cent to an average of 395 riders per event.”
For more information about Mud Sweat and Gears and the 2014 series, visit www.mudsweatgears.co.uk For information on Mr Farey’s training sessions, search Get Out There MTB on Facebook.
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