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  1. For her first full mountain bike racing season, Amy Jo Hansford hasn't made too bad a start. After previous top drawer results, Amy took the decision to move herself up to the elite class at the Southern XC championships last week. Instead of taking the 'easy' victory in the expert group, Amy was keen to mix it with some of Southern England's top female mountain bikers saying 'I think I will make better progress if I'm chasing faster riders!'. It seems she knew what she was doing and put in a storming ride to finish 4th, just off the podium.

    This week it was a return to the Gorrick Spring series with Amy defending her overall lead at the final round. With the appearance of one of her close rivals Amy was determined to win the final round and beat the girl she had finished runner-up to in the last round. Putting in a powerful ride on the hilly course, Amy didn't just beat her main rival, she managed to gap her by over 3 minutes at the chequered flag. So it meant the Hansfords had to wait until after the races had finished so that Amy could stand on the top step f the podium and claim her first overall series win. Another top performance from Mud, Sweat n Gears CC rider Amy. Well done and I'm sure there's a lot more to come!

    Another Mud, Sweat n Gears rider putting in a superb performance last weekend was triathlete Andy Sloan who took part in the Ringwood Triathlon. A great swim, followed by a good bike left Andy with a minute to make up on the race leader in the run. He stormed the run but just couldn't catch the leader and finished a superb second, just 30 seconds away from the win after nearly two hours of racing. We all know that while most of us would be overjoyed with such a stunning display, Andy was working out where he could improve and is determined to reach the top step next time out. We see it as a great result and are proud to have Andy competing under the Mud, Sweat n Gears name.

    Anyone who's tried it, knows how tough and intense road racing is, but it is also, I think, great fun and certainly worth a try. Dave Boss, having been tricked into entering by myself (I did enter but forget about a prior arrangement I had made with my manager!) took part in the Pittards road race in Yeovil. This is a very competitive race and maybe not the ideal first outing in a road race. Still, Dave settled into the race after a frantic first lap and soon worked with a group and started to set a tough pace that the others couldn't deal with and Dave dropped them one by one until he was on his own and he finished strongly having put in a performance well above his category 4 supposed level. Another high quality ride by Dave, representing the MSG club.

  2. Amy Jo Hansford produced a great ride last Sunday at the first round of the Southern XC MTB championship, winning the 'expert female' group by a good margin. Amys' group started over a minute and a half behind the elite female riders yet she still managed to catch and pass alot of the top riders and would have finished at least sixth in that class!

    Amys proud parents were over the moon with her performance, mum Ali said she was 'flying', dad Rob was just glad she didn't get lost this time!

    Mud, Sweat N Gears rider Amy now has alot of up and coming races over the next few weeks and if she keeps producing form like this, she will be enjoying many more podium appearances. Well done Amy!

    Rob Midmore and Dave Boss also raced last weekend, once again at the closed circuit at Ilton. With both of them now getting more road race experience they put in a superb Mud, Sweat n Gears team effort with Dave constantly attacking the pack to keep the pace up and ensuring everyone was working hard. Rob stayed in the pack and followed a break on the last lap, hooking up with a small group which managed to stay away and he worked himself into a brilliant 4th place at the finish. So Rob has points on the board and is already looking forward to the next race and has already promised Dave to pay him back for his great team work! (Well we'll see!)

    So another great weekend for the Mud, Sweat n Gears CC riders, its looking good for the coming race season. Well done all.

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