Ian Taylor won a fast and furious battle at Otley when the fourth race in the Yorkshire Summer Series was staged last Wednesday.
The Wharfe Meadows course proved to be an excellent test for the riders and produced plenty of thrills and spills.
Taylor, who is based in Cononley, held his nerve and judged his tactics just right to win an over-14 race were the top-ten positions seemed to change repeatedly.
With a heavy downpour before the race, the tight grassy corners became slippy and with many riders falling and having mechnical problems it was, for some, as much a race of luck as speed.
With a large field and many tight technical sections it also came down how well the top riders could negotiate lapped riders.
Series leader Nick Barnes was the early leader but Taylor and Ed McParland were quick to catch him up and formed a trio with Rob Watson in pursuit.
By the third lap WaTSon had bridged the gap and he soon took the lead alone. However, he then had a mechanical problem and dropped down to fourth.
McParland also dropped off the pace and was 20 seconds down on the leading two, Taylor and Barnes.
Going into the last lap Taylor had a small gap on Barnes which he managed to maintain to win by just eight seconds.
Newly-crowned national MTB Marathon champion Neil Crampton and Rob Thackery were both running in the top five in parts of the race, but suffered issues and dropped down the field late on.
Chris Clarke and Chris Taylor both had strong races moving up from outside the top ten on the first lap to finish fifth and sixth.
Amira Mellor continued her dominance of the women’s field with her fourth straight win, with Nikola Butler finishing second.
The under-14 race mirrored the adult race with riders suffering mechnicals and slipping and sliding on the wet grass.
Thomas Nelson was quick off the mark and took the lead on the first lap but by the second Jenson Young had taken the lead.
With Nelson suffering bike problems Euan Cameron and Max Rushby came through to take second and third. Lucy Horrocks took first girl and an impressive fifth overall.
The Crosstrax club who promoted the event and Price Henry’s Grammar School who provided the venue, can be pleased with their sterling efforts.