Perfect high-fives in MTB Series for Robin Horsfield and Cassandra McPhee
Robin Horsfield and Cassandra McPhee closed out the One Communications Mountain Bike Series with their fifth open category wins in race seven yesterday at Ferry Reach.
Horsfield made it five straight wins in the Male 60 Minutes Race after missing the first two races of the series. McPhee returned to claim top spot again after being absent last weekend at the Casemates course around the National Museum of Bermuda.
“I’m glad to get a win on this course, it’s a challenging course and usually the weather isn’t in our favour here, but it is a nice day today,” Horsfield said after finishing ahead Alexander Miller and Liam Flannery.
The top finishers all completed four laps, with Horsfield clocking a winning time of 50min 9sec. Miller was almost three minutes back in 53:01 while Flannery was third in 53.27 and Dominique Mayho fourth in 54.36.
“It’s a good course that they set up and it’s an enjoyable trails system. It was a little chilly earlier in the morning, but once you warm up it’s a good temperature.”
Horsfield, who is taking a break from college in Canada, plans to be here for the National Championships on April 11 at the same course. “I’ll head back to Canada after that and hopefully things are all right over in Canada and that I can do a bit of racing once I’m there,” he said.
Horsfield quickly established himself as the one to beat in the Open Male category, setting the standard with some impressive performances at Lagoon Park, Admiralty Park, Hog Bay Park and Casemates before this weekend.
Miller had to settle for another second place behind Horsfield, but was pleased with his performance. “I was feeling pretty good today, but of course Robin, technically, is so strong so I just kept my own pace and held on for second,” said Miller, who just turned 18.
“I tried to match him for about a minute, and then he was gone. On the first lap, he already had a gap and I couldn’t close it.
“The climbs here are pretty brutal, just going straight up. But it was a good race, perfect weather, not too hot and not too cold.
“I’m happy with how I did. I did all of the races except last week’s at Casemates. I’m looking forward to next year.”
McPhee was happy to pick up another win to show her dominance of the Women’s 60 Minutes category. “This course was very brutal, super hilly and probably the most technical of the season,” she said after completing three laps in 54:10 for the win.
“But that’s good because it pushes you out of your limit so that you have to keep working to move forward. You can see the difference between the races; for example, the smoother versus more technical courses.where you can see where people’s strengths lie.
“It’s kind of like a marker of self-improvement.”
McPhee won all five races she emtered, with Jennifer Wilson finishing second for the fifth time, this time in a time of 58:30 after completing three laps. Jennifer Lightbourne was third in 1:02:04.
Wilson won last weekend at Casemates last weekend when McPhee did not compete.
“It’s super nice to see Jenny out; she’s so strong,” McPhee said. “With all of the girls, everyone has different strengths and you can see where the strengths lie. We definitely push each other to move forward. It’s nice to see women supporting women in sport.”
Chequan Richardson, who had a fifth-place finish last weekend, was forced to show his cross-country running skills after a flat back tyre about 500 metres from the finish left him with no option but to run across the line, pushing his bike to finish thirteenth in 48:04 after completing three laps.
“On the last lap I hit a rock over by the beach,” he explained. “Normally I would fix it, but I thought maybe it would be quicker to run it.
“I really wanted to beat James Holloway today, but he got me just at the end as I was running in.
“I ended the series the way I started it because in the first race I broke my chain right on the start. I fixed it and then had to chase the rest of the race. Sometimes you get unlucky!”
Mayho, more known for his performances in road races, turned out to compete in the final race and was impressed with the performances of the top mountain-bike riders.
“You can’t just come out and ride a mountain bike and expect to be up there with these guys,” he admitted. “Especially Robin, who is in a different sort of league.
“It’s fun, though, and I always have fun racing a bike. In the 30 Minute Race, there were three guys with a point separating them so I wanted to see how that one finished.
“Guys were talking in the shop, I got excited and I wanted to race. I came fourth, the guys who have been racing all year just took off.
“I stayed with them for a little while and in the end it was a good race. Those kids are strong.”
In the Men’s Open 30 Minutes Race, Michael Terceira finished first in 42:31, just two seconds ahead of Chad Townsell in an exciting finish, while Howard Williams was third in 42:57. All completed three laps, with Maceo Dill fourth in 45:01.
In the Female Open 30 Minutes, Christine Soutter won in 32:21, completing two laps, while Zina Jones was second in 34:22 and Caroline Wright third in 35:05.