Athletes from six countries heading to Newnham Park
Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa will race the final round of the British Cross Country Series at Newnham Park, Plympton on Saturday, September 26. She will join athletes from Belgium, Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and of course, Great Britain at the UCI category one ranked event.
Newnham Park has been home to World Cups and National Championships. For the first time in years, riders will be able to tackle the infamous "Pipeline" as part of a classic Newnham 7km loop.
Dahle Flesjaa, who returned to racing this summer after having a baby, will face challenges from Kate Potter, Sue Clarke and Annie Last. Points-wise, all eyes will be on Mel Spath and Jenny Copnall, as only four points separate them in the series.
In the elite men's race, Adrian Lansley will take up the pole position, but Oli Beckingsale is looking for another win to end the series and take another title. Another favorite is Liam Killeen.
Both male and female expert titles have already been decided with Scott Thwaites taking a clean sweep so far, while Emma Smith has three wins and barring incidents, she should comfortably score the overall win.
The Grand Vets are setting up for a battle royal with arch rivals Ian Wright and Roy Hunt separated by just four points. The race will go down to the wire.
While Ruby Miller is in an unassailable position in the junior women's series, that's not the case in the junior men's series in which Kenta Gallagher and Steve James are tied. James will be looking for revenge after nationals.
Nina Davies should scoop the overall masters title as she is going into the last round a massive 26 points clear of both Kim Hamer-Hurst and Emma Bradley.
In the Master men's division, just eight points separate the top three. Chris Rathbone is at the top of the standings with three wins and one dropped round. It could be Matt Barrett who walks away with the title.
In the veteran categories, Nicky Hughes will be looking forward to making up for a disappointing day in Scotland while Richard John looks like a clear winner of the veteran men coming into round five, 22 points clear of Mark Chadborne.
Both youth leaders, Grant Ferguson and Bethany Crumpton, had disastrous races at R2 in Dalby, but if everything goes according to plan this weekend, these two will take their respective titles.
For more information, visit www.newham60.co.uk or www.britishxc.com.
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