British MTBO Champs – Cannock Chase

British Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships ? Cannock Chase. After last years epic races in the south through Army land around Aldershot, it was the turn of the midlands to host this years long and middle races on Cannock Chase. Racing was always going to be fierce with places available for the top riders in the British team heading off for the MTBO World Champs in Czech Republic in a few weeks time on offer. Bad weather had caused lots of erosion and deep puddles throughout the area, so mud tyres were the thing to have. Lots of loose, pebbly descents caused a few scary moments and a one or two casualties. The womens long race was dominated by a very ?in-form? Janine Hensman, followed by a new face to MTBO, Sophie Wood (2nd) and top foot orienteer, Helen Winskill in 3rd.

Janine Hensman. Photo: Mark Stodgell

For the mens race we heard a ridiculous rumor that there was 750 metres of climb on the long course; we laughed and thought that to be impossible on Cannock Chase, how wrong we were. Steve Heading showed us all the way to do it, followed by European MTBO playboy, Andy Conn (2nd) and Phil Winskill in 3rd

Steve Heading and Andy Conn discussing route choice. Photo: Mark Stodgell

After another night of rain the circus rolled back into Gentleshaw for the middle race, this time 9km and 600m of climb. Riding (with a fair bit of running thrown in) on tired legs was going to be tough. In the end Phil Winskill led the field home, with another 2nd by Andy Conn, and Steve Heading bringing up the rear. The women also had it tough with 7km 400m. It was a double for Janine, with top adventure racer Jenny Peel in 2nd and Karen Hepenstall in 3rd

Phil Winskill on his way to wining the British MTBO Middle Championships. Photo: Mark Stodgell

Full results can be found here: Many thanks to Mark Stodgell for the photos.