A MOUNTAIN biker who specialises in long endurance races has finished third overall in a national, season-long competition.
Andy Howett, of Little Humby, went into the final round of the British Endurance Mountain Bike Series leading the field. The last race was a 100-mile event in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, last Saturday.
The race series consisted of six events, the other five of which were 50km, 24-hour, 100km, six-hour and 12-hour.
A former King’s School student, 30-year-old Andy took the series lead after the UK 24-hour Championship at Easter and then extended it following the Gorrick 100 in May.
A summer break saw him contest the 24-hour World Championship in Italy, where he finished a highly creditable 16th.
Returning to the British series, he finished eighth in the six-hour Brighton Big-Dog race across the South Downs, and sixth in the Gorrick 12-hour in September.
Blue skies greeted Andy and his fellow competitors for the final round at Kielder. The 100-mile lap climbed a total of 12,800ft, crossing some of the most remote countryside in England, and also venturing north into the Scottish Borders.
Unfortunately, Andy endured his worst race result of the season, finishing a lowly 56th. His main challengers in the series both leap-frogged him, demoting him to third overall in the final standings.
A disapppointed Andy said: “Well, it didn’t go according to plan. Nothing in particular went wrong, but I was just really slow.”
Andy began cycling in 1999 and began to take his sport more seriously after he graduated in 2003.
Although he was riding for a sponsored team last year, this season he has been riding as an independent – making his achievements all the more remarkable.
For the full story of Andy’s season visit www.andrewhowett.blogspot.com