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Herrod continues his successful run with another podium finish

PUBLISHED: 14:02 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:02 29 March 2017

Seb Herrod, far right (third place) at Mud Sweat & Gears round two at Phoenix Bike Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Phil Johnstone.

Seb Herrod, far right (third place) at Mud Sweat & Gears round two at Phoenix Bike Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Phil Johnstone.

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The Eastern Counties Mountain Bike cross-country series, organised by Mud Sweat & Gears, held round two of its series at the Phoenix Bike Park in Kentford, near Bury St Edmunds, at the weekend.

This was a new venue which was developed with the help of local bike shop Phoenix Cyclesworks, to develop a short but challenging course.

The course itself was 2.7 miles long and it twisted and turned over quite a short area, but contained a number of very steep ‘A’ line drops, one of which had an immediate right turn at the bottom so there was absolutely no margin for error.

Racers were warned at the start that full commitment was needed, or to take the easier ‘B’ lines, which took longer to traverse.

There were another two steep drops on the course which also required a certain level of skill and confidence to manage successfully.

There was a section of the course with brutally rough ground which gave the riders’ body a battering and another area where the surface was soft enough to practically bring riders and their machines to a stop.

A flat section adjacent to the train track led you to the first and steepest of the A lines and any uphills were steep but short. The final section was a plateau of twisting track similar to what you might get at a cyclo-cross race, ending with a sprint to the line.

Spoked Cycles Mountain Bike Club had three team members in the event and Seb Herrod continued his success from last year’s series with a podium finish.

On moving up to the ‘Expert’ category, he finished in third place.

With the course being so short, the end of the race was determined by laps this time as opposed to the usual category of time, although it was still around one and a half hours of racing.

Seb completed nine laps in 1:25.01.

Howard Clarke ran out of energy and pulled in after four laps.

Phil Johnstone completed seven out of a possible eight laps in the veterans’ race to finish 34th out of 46 riders in 1:23.31.

The next race in the series couldn’t get any more local, taking place at Henham Park on April 9.

If anyone thinks they might like the challenge of mountain bike cross-country racing, pop into Spoked Cycles for some friendly advice.

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