Van Der Heijden and Michiels win at round one of British Cycling MTB Cross-Country Series

Posted: March 31, 2014 by kirisyko in Bike, Cyclocross
Tags: , , ,


 Michiel van der Heijden (Giant Pro) drew first blood in British Cycling MTB Cross-Country Series.

Dutch visitor Michiel van der Heijden (Giant Pro) drew first blood in British Cycling MTB Cross-Country Series, winning the opening round at Codham Park in Essex on Sunday.

The Dutch champion crossed the line 32 seconds ahead of his nearest rival after seven laps, clocking 1-31-26 to hold off Jonas de Backer (Vanomobil) into second. Meanwhile, Robby de Bock (Feenstra Felt) took third spot, edging first Brit Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) off the podium by 16 seconds.

It was a solid opener for the series on a course that was fast and flat with few technical sections. There was a BMX pump track halfway through which threw a bit of a curveball for the riders, although it didn’t prove to be a problem for the majority of them.

Dan Fleeman (Metaltek) was the early leader, although he was part of a large group and the big talking point of the first lap was the crash of Grant Ferguson. The accident resulted in his front wheel puncturing and he never really recovered, eventually finishing back in 18th.

Heijden teamed up with de Backer on lap two and they began to control the race, building up a gap of 10 seconds over de Bock and Oldham.

With six laps to go, Heijden found a second wind and started to pull away from de Backer. He managed to get five bike lengths out in front of his opponent but could never shake him off and going into the final lap, de Backer was back with him.

But Heijden really showed his class for the remainder of the lap and managed to open up a gap of over 30 seconds, crossing the line unopposed.

Following his victory Van Der Heijden said:

“That was a good win today. I really like to come over to England to race; I came over here a few times last season to race but I didn’t get the results I was hoping for because of mechanical problems but today everything was good.

“I felt strong all race, I raced in Cyprus recently and went well there also so I think I am getting in a good shape for the season. The course today was very similar to a Dutch course, I don’t really like the grass but I think the course suits my racing.

“The BMX track was different for a cross-country race. Sometimes I don’t think you need big jumps so it made a change for the race.

“Jonas(De Backer) has the same power as me I think, I didn’t feel too strong in the first half of the race but I knew I could ride with him so I waited until the last part of the race before I felt good enough to make a gap.

“I knew I had to make a chance at some point so I tried with two laps to go and managed to make enough gap so he couldn’t go with me.”

Paul Oldham was first British rider across the line and spoke to British Cycling after just missing out on the podium.

“I think today went pretty well for me. Van Der Heijden and De Backer checked out pretty early but me and De Bock kept the gap pegged all race.

“Would have been nice to get top three obviously but I’m happy with that result considering it was a class field.

“I went through the start list beforehand; Dutch champion, Swedish champion and British champion so it was a serious field but like I said I’m very happy with today.

“We go to South Africa next week for the first World Cup round.

“I’m in good shape, probably the best I’ve been for a while so should go well there and with the Commonwealth Games not too far away I’ll be hoping to get qualification which is the aim of the early part of the season.”

see more:http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/mtb/article/mtb20140330-mountain-bike-MTB–Van-Der-Heijden-and-Michiels-win-at-Cadham-Park-0

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