【UK】 Orange Monkey ( UCI MTB Ranking NO.19 in 2013 )


TAYA Chain Sponsored Team  ( 2012-Present )
Orange Monkey - The only UCI registered MTB Team in UK.

2013 Racing Result :

African Continental Champion                       ( 1st place )
2 x South African National Champion           ( 1st place )
Serbian National Champion                          ( 1st place )
World Cup Norway                                          ( 5th Place )
World Cup Germany                                       ( 8th place )
World Cup Czech Republic                           ( 6th place )
British Series Rd 4                                         ( 1st place )

[Champion Bicycle Chain Model]
DECA-101(UL) 10 SPEED 

David FletcherElite Men3rd
Mariske StraussU23 Elite Women1st
Rourke CroeserU23 Elite Men1st
Ben RoffU23 Elite Men11th
Billy HardingJuniorDNF

National championship weekend is always the big one.
The team would be going into battle on several fronts.
The first race results would come from South Africa
on the Saturday morning with the rest to follow on the Sunday.

The South African Championships were held on a course just outside of Port Elizabeth,
both Mariske & Rourke would be racing in the under 23 categories.
Rourke was looking to keep hold of his national title for the third consecutive year.

National MTB Championships The British National Championships this year were held on
the upcoming Commonwealth Games course in Glasgow, Scotland. The course which is
purpose built on hard standing with rocky technical sections is fast & loose.
The race result would also be affected by the hot summer conditions the UK has been experiencing.

Saturday arrived & Mariske was the first athlete to start, with all eyes glued
to the updates the team waited with baited breath - would Mariske’s early season
form still be strong enough to wn the jersey? The answer was a resounding yes,
Mariske was National Champion! Mariske dominated the race finishing in first place
over 3 minutes ahead of 2nd place & defending champion Candice Neethling.
A great performance by Mariske to start the weekend off.

National MTB Championships In Glasgow Dave, Ben & Billy were putting the finishing touches
to their practice laps & preparation ready for the racing that would unfold the next day.

The eyes turned back to the updates coming in from South Africa, Rourke Had started his race.
The hotly contested under 23 category would be a tough challenge for defending champion Rourke.
It was a great start with a group of 3 away & Rourke sitting comfortably in the group.
The great start to the weekend’s racing continued with Rourke taking the title,
National Champion. Finishing 2 seconds ahead of great rival James Reid.

With the great news of their team mates in South Africa could the results be repeated in the following races.

With a 3pm start for all three races, it was a relaxed start to the day for our athletes,
an early morning spin to loosen the legs followed by lunch. By the time we headed to
the race course the heat of the day was at its highest & we had all the available ice & cold water we could carry.

The Elite men were off first followed by Junior men then finally the under 23 men all with a 2 minute gap.

National MTB Championships Ben had an unfortunate start in the U23 race
as he suffered a puncture from the very first corner of the course,
he made the wheel change quickly & proceeded to chase hard through the field.
Billy was to also suffer with a racing incident, a coming together with a fellow competitor,
 which saw Billy hit the ground hard. This would put Billy out from the race all together.
Dave had a strong start to his race but on lap 4 slipped on a rock drop and crashed,
he recovered quickly & made it back to the lead group.

By the final lap Dave was chasing hard and at just 36 seconds behind eventual winner,
Grant ferguson can only think about what might have been.
Considering his injuries in the early season it was a remarkable performance
and shows the character and determination hidden behind the relaxed persona.
For Billy and Ben it was heartbreak as the race had not gone to plan or
showed the kind of form they knew they had.

three podiums in one weekend can be classed as nothing other than a success for the team
and a great motivation coming into the next set of races!
Next up is Andorra - World Cup round 4. See you there.