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Robin Horsfield continues dominance of mountain-bike series

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Out in front: Robin Horsfield looks to put some space between himself and the chasing pack in the Open Male 60-Minute race at Casemates, Dockyard (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Settled for second: Liam Flannery (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Natural obstacles: a rider takes action to avoid the wildlife on the Casemates course (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
The field takes on a challenging uphill section of the Casemates course (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Robin Horsfield continued his commanding form in the One Communications MTB Race Series with a fourth successive victory yesterday at Casemates, Dockyard.

Despite facing a less than conventional mountain-bike course, which arguably suited some of his road-racing rivals, Horsfield again proved the man to beat in the Open Male 60 Minutes category, taking the chequered flag after completing six laps in a time of 49min 24sec.

Liam Flannery settled for second place, finishing six laps in 50:16, with Alan Potts completing the podium in 53:07, having also ridden six laps.

As well as maintaining his superb form, Horsfield is just as satisfied to be enjoying the perfect preparation before his return to Canada next month ahead of a long- awaited return to competitive action at Guelph University in Ontario.

“It’s great to maintain that good form, particularly as I didn’t race at all last year,” the 21-year-old said. “I didn’t really know where my fitness would be when I came back, so it’s great to do these races and gauge where I am heading into the new season overseas.

“The past year has been difficult with there being no racing. I’ve just been riding a lot and trying to simulate races. We have a schedule for the coming season. I’m planning on heading back to Canada in April, and in May hopefully racing will start.

“There will be the Canada Cup series and Ontario Cup series. This is my pre-season and a chance to build my fitness up ahead of the new season.”

Reflecting on his latest victory around the former prison facility, which is now property of the National Museum of Bermuda, Horsfield conceded he could not just rely on his superior technical ability, with a more tactical approach required to prevail against those more accustomed to road racing.

“It was a very challenging course and in a way it was more difficult for me because it was definitely more favourable to the road-racing guys,” he added.

“There is a big straight section and so it is a little more strategic than it is technical compared to some of the other races in the series.

“I know Liam [Flannery] is a very fast road racer and so I knew I had to take that into consideration in preparation and try and play to my strengths where I could.

“It’s different to a usual mountain-bike course, but that made it more exciting and interesting. It’s also a good one to test some of my other skills.”

In the absence of Cassandra McPhee, who had won the previous four races, Jennifer Wilson capitalised to take the honours in the Open Women’s 60 Minutes category, completing four laps in 45:11.

Jennifer Lightbourne claimed second place, finishing four laps in 46:24, ahead of Ashley Robinson, who completed the same total of laps in 48:53.

“It was a good race and with Cassandra [McPhee] not being here I’m definitely delighted to take a race win,” Wilson said.

“I don’t think there is any chance of closing that gap to her in the overall standings, but absolutely I’ll take the victory because no doubt she’ll be back next week.

“This course is just much flatter than a normal mountain-biking course and that means it was much faster. With it not being as technical a course as some of the others, and a lot of soft conditions, it was really tough on the legs.”

Nico Davis cemented his position at the top of the Male Open 30 Minutes category standings with another dominant display.

Finishing four laps, one more than his fellow competitors, Davis crossed the line in 41:35. Chad Townsell completed his three laps in 30:09, with Howard Williams completing the top three in 30:12.

In a tightly contested Female Open 30 Minutes race, in which all three riders completed three laps, it was Zina Williams who prevailed, taking the chequered flag in 36:37, narrowly ahead of Zoey Roberts in 37:59 and Candice Coleman in 39:33.

Jackson Langley produced an outstanding performance to win the Male 13 to 16 category, completing four laps in 40:16. His nearest rivals finished a lap down, with Ollie Hayward claiming second in 31:20, followed shortly by Joshua Wilson in 32:51.

Of the two riders competing in the Female 13 to 16 race, it was S’Nya Cumbermack who prevailed against Zylah Bean. Having finished an entire lap more than her rival, Cumbermack crossed the line in 39:10, with Bean completing her two laps in 32:03.

The Male Under-12 race also proved competitive in which the top three riders all completed three laps of the shortened course. It was Zach Moniz who took victory, finishing in 16:08, slightly ahead of James McFarlane in 16:55, with Makao Butterfield third in 17:12.

Kelise Wade was the standout rider in the Female Under-12 race, in which she completed three laps in a winning time of 17:30. Evans Welch also finished three laps to take second in 21:10, as did Daisy Langley, finishing close behind in third in 21:23.

The series concludes with race seven at Ferry Reach Park on Sunday.

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Published March 08, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 08, 2021 at 7:49 pm)

Robin Horsfield continues dominance of mountain-bike series

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