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Gaddens Close Farm in Ringwood hosts UK National Cross-Country Series



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THE country's top mountain bike riders competed in the third round of the HSBC UK National Cross-Country Series held at Gaddens Close Farm in Ringwood.

The course made the best of the New Forest's unique terrain with long, open climbs, tight rooted forest sections and dusty descents that led into jumps for riders to show off their tricks. A section that spectators found enthralling was the cliff climb that led into the finishing sprint.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

The men's sport category opened on Saturday, and after completing five gruelling laps, Aled Jones took the win ahead of Alex Douche and Daniel Moore in second and third, respectively.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

The women's expert/sport, elite, junior, veteran and grand veterans all rode together with staggered start times. The current U23 national champion Hattie Harnden took an early lead before winning the elite women's race. Anna Kay took second with Anna Flynn in third.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

Wadebridge Coasters CC's Libby Hardman took the win in the combined expert and sport categories, with Emily Bridson in second and Roisin Browne rounding out the top three.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

Ruth Miller took a narrow victory in the 40-49 women's race, with Lotta Mansfield winning the women's 17-18 race, and Catherine Kilburn came out on top in the over-50s race.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

The afternoon races were affected by the rain and wind, which made the open sections even more challenging, with the root sections becoming slippery.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

After a highly competitive four-way tussle, national champion Frazer Clacherty and Christoper Rotherwell pulled away in the final section to set up a thrilling battle of attrition. They flew over the line with Clacherty narrowly pipping Rotherwell.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

The men's expert race was much less competitive, with Hope Factory Racing's Phillip Pearce cruising home more than four minutes ahead of second-placed David Bone. Kishan Bakrania followed two seconds later in third.

Picture: Man Down Media
Picture: Man Down Media

Joseph Blackmore won the men's 17-18 race ahead of Nathan Smith and Huw Buck Jones.



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