Page 203 - MBS 2022/23
P. 203

                                 RAPTC Enduro team in the Forest of Dean
  The last 12 months have been a long time coming for the RAPTC Mountain Bike (MTB) team. The team is now official and going into its second year of competing. Over the last race season the team and its members have taken part in numerous races and events all-round the county, with some members even representing in Cyprus.
For a newly formed team it is already brimming with talented riders, this is testament to each members commitment to the sport. This has been achieved by putting in the training needed to not only compete at high level but in some cases dominate.
Round 1 of the Army Cycling Enduro Series (ACES)
The first race of the season and Sgt (SI) Luke Griffiths and SSgt (SSI) Dan Winter were the first two RAPTC members to participate on a typically wet Welsh day on a long and demanding circuit. This was a pedal-heavy 4 staged route, set over 34km. SSgt Winter managed to get 10 minutes into the practice circuit when he had a mechanical issue, with his frame blowing up at the rear mechanism.
Not to be discouraged, a battlefield repair was made so that he could roll back to the start. He then managed to rent another bike to compete with and now having to do a practice run in double-quick time to finish within the top 20 on a bike he had never ridden before.
Sgt (SI) Griffiths had his first-ever clean run (no mechanicals, no falls) and podiumed in 3rd place within the master’s category.
SSgt (SSI) D Winter RAPTC
  Round 2 Forest of Dean
Round 2 consisted of some awesome racing lines, stages, and fast running trails. The team pulled out all the stops in some physically and mentally demanding conditions, fixing a few mechanicals and making up time for a few mistakes and crashes along the way.
A baptism of fire for 3 of the team, WO1 (SMI) Carl Goodchild, Sgt (SI) Ficken and Sgt (SI) Beckingham who had never raced previously but all put everything they had into the trails. This showed by Sgt (SI) Beckingham riding away with a 1st place in class.
Some of the teams more seasoned racers also came away with medals, WO2 Mayled 2nd in class and SSgt (SSI) Duncan 1st in class.
SSgt (SSI) Winter Jumping in to finish line
Round 3 Hamsterley Forest
Round 3 was a big step up for some of the team riders. This race had it all, fast- swooping lines, jump features and drops that would make the most seasoned ATI put a harness on ready to abseil. That said, it did not stop any of team from getting down fast. This was another team member’s first race under the RAPTC colours, Sgt (SI) Roberts had a great first
   WO2 (QMSI) Mayled showing us how it’s done
SSgt (SSI) L Griffiths sending it over a feature

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