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Double glory for mountain biker
10:14am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in Sport
MOUNTAIN BIKING: OLI Beckingsale rode his way to double glory at the National Cross Country Mountain Biking race at Langdon Hills Country Park.
For not only did the Endura MTB Racing rider finished first in the Elite Male race but it was also enough for him to win the National Points series overall title. And that left him full of smiles at the end of the race. “The priority today was to win the series so I’m really pleased,” said Beckingsale.
“I really had to win it because if David Fletcher won then I had to get top five. But, even though I’ve won, it’s been a strange series for me this year. “I’ve gone from a DNF, to ninth and then finished with three wins, so I’m delighted.” Beckingsale, who will now go on to represent Great Britain in the World Championships, finished 44 seconds clear of second-placed Gareth Mongomerie in Langdon Hills with Dan Freeman third and Fletcher, who came second in the overall standings for the five race series, in fifth. Lee Craigie was also celebrating after she came out on top in the Elite Women’s race to clinch the overall title. And she did so without being troubled.
“I felt pretty comfortable out there,” said Craigie, who finished more than two minutes clear of second-placed Jessie Roberts. “I went hard on the opening laps and then really just settled into my race. “I've got some pretty good form at the moment because I’m training through this race for the Worlds in a couple of weeks. “I think most of the girls seem to be easing off but I’m going the other way. “The course was fast, a lot of fun to race but it wasn’t technical at all. “I worry doing British races that aren’t technical then having to race the Worlds and World Cup races that are technical courses because it’s a huge step up. “I think ideally we need to be thinking about those sorts of courses in the UK.” Luke Smith was also crowned masters champion and, overall, 420 riders took part in the event, which delighted cycling development officer Matt Ewing. “We got a race in the national series after doing so well running the regional races we put on,” said Ewing. “It’s part of the legacy from London 2012 and the standard of these races could only be bettered by the Olympics we had down the road just a few weeks ago.”