GLOUCESTER City Cycling Club’s Andy Weaving competed in his first race for seven months in the first round of the Gorrick Cross-Country Mountain Bike Series at Crowthorne Woods.
A largely single-track course with a few steep drops, including the infamous Corkscrew, tested early-season fitness to the full in Bracknell.
Weaving achieved his aim of consistent laps with only six seconds difference over all three six-kilometre laps, and finished 11th in his category race out of 40 riders.
The winner was a local rider Steve Jones who finished five minutes in front of the Gloucester man.
Weaving said: “After the recent heavy rain it was a pleasant surprise to find a woodland circuit that held up pretty well despite the large numbers of riders.”
At Stourport, Tom Leach was the only Gloucester City cyclist riding the final event in the Wooly Mamil winter series.
The heavy rain forced the organisers to shorten the circuit but it still proved popular and provided some good racing.
Being in the highest category race, Leach was up against the best and an early crash by a rider in front hampered him.
It meant he was unable to get to the head of the field and he spent the whole competition trying to get back on terms with the leaders.
He was in good company, however, with Hereford’s Steve Churchus, who came third in the previous round.
But the stamina of the City man is improving every week and he dropped Churchus with eight laps to go and had his highest placing of 14th in the series.
Overall, he finished in 11th place behind the winner George Richardson of Redditch.
Two training rides took place although conditions were brutal with strong winds and heavy rain.
A group went into the forest to complete a hilly 65-mile route while another group went to Bristol and back down the A38 for a tough 82 miles.
Ex-City member Nick Yarworth, who is now employed by British Cycling as the development officer for the West Midland Region, gave a talk on the development of cycling in the UK and the work that he also does abroad teaching coaches.
He gave members the benefit of his knowledge regarding training and how to prepare for races.
It was an good talk by the ex-Gloucestershire policeman and was appreciated by his many friends in his old club.