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Scottish teenagers dominate at Hadleigh's Olympic mountain bike course
SCOTLAND dominated the first event held at Hadleigh’s Olympic mountain bike venue since the summer’s Games.
The best teenage mountain bikers from across the country were given the opportunity to test themselves on the 2012 course as part of the inter-regional mountain bike challenge.
And it was the riders from Scotland North – led by the imperious Lucy Grant – who triumphed.
It was a weekend of bad luck for our eastern region team which included Benfleet teenager Kiera Tippett, who at just 13 years old was significantly younger than the majority of the under-16 field.
Their team, which was predominantly made up of track and road specialists, was depleted even before competition started when one of the girls was pulled out.
They were depleted further when Francesca Morgans-Slader had a nasty accident on day two of the three-day competition which left her needing hospital treatment.
Mechanicals also proved costly to the Eastern team, but they battled on courageously until the end.
Tippett, who attends King John School and who is primarily a triathlon specialist, was at her best on the uphill races and also showed plenty of guts and determination on the final cross-country race to complete three full laps of the cross-country course in 45 minutes – a total of 10.5km.
“That’s not bad consider the amount of cycling she had done all weekend, coupled with the fact she was one of the youngest competitors,” said Kiera’s mum Trish. “We are, and the coaches were, very proud of her as she gave it her all the whole weekend.
“Kiera said it was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do but she enjoyed competing for her region.
“She’s looking forward to getting back to road and track cycling now though!”
The competition was split into four sections: A skills test, dirt crit races, hill climb and cross-country.
Points were tallied up from all the categories to find the winner.
And with Grant winning all four sections in the girls’ section, it was little surprise that Scotland North ended the weekend as champions.
While Grant was dominating the girls’ competition, there was an almost equally dominant performance in the boys’ section from Billy Harding.
The teenager, from Yorkshire, won the skills, dirt crit and cross-country sections, only being beaten in the uphill race, which was won by Dan Tulett (South East).
To see our video from the championships, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHMMvdLxa64&feature=g-upl