If the men racing at Manchester for the opening indoor Club National thought they were in for an easy ride, then no one told Kieran Norris to ease up. This was a rude awakening for those hoping for a gentle start to the indoor season as Ireland’s World Cup Slalom racer, Kieran Norris took the win by just under one and a half seconds with rising local talent Thomas Rascagneres second and Alex White in third. The girls race was a different affair as precious little split Georgia Hallett and Nicole Shering – just three hundredths over the two runs with Shannon Potter in third.
Norris was just over four tenths ahead after the first run in the Men’s race and then turned on the style in the second run. Having raced at both Kitzbuehel and Schladming last season on the World Cup, Norris had little to gain in racing yet he just loves the thrill of racing he explained after the race. A challenge set to win by over a second and a half was the inspiration for the second run charge and while he missed the target by one hundredth of a second, this was the standard of racing that the younger racers need to aspire to.
Alex White had been in second after the second run but Rascagneres put in a strong second run to grab overall second place while Robert Holmes, an Under 16 racer, showed great potential to take fourth place overall ahead of the leading Master, Alex Molliex.
There were age group wins for Jack Upton (Under 14, started 37 to finish joint tenth with his older brother); Robert Holmes (Under 16, 4th overall); Thomas Rascagneres (Under 18, second overall); Alex White (under 21, 3rd Overall); Kieran Norris (Senior, Overall Winner) and Alex Molliex (Masters, fifth overall).
Just one hundredth separated the leading two girls after the first run with Manchester University student, Georgia Hallett ahead of Nicole Shering with Shannon Potter a further seven hundredths of a second back in third. If Norris was dominating the Men’s race, these three were providing the excitement in the shere closeness of the racing in the girls race. Shering was the first to set a time of the leading three on the second run and took a healthy lead. Hallett attacked and extended her lead by a further two hundredths with Potter the last of the three leading racers from the first run to go. Maybe the pressure got to the young racer and she slipped back. Potter will have learnt a lot from the situation, as will Shering. Maxine Hancock and Kirsten Walton took fourth and fifth overall.
The age groups panned out as such in the girls race: Maisie Jefferson (Under 14); Shannon Potter (Under 16); Nicole Shering (Under 18); Georgia Hallett (Under 21) and Karen Coles (Masters).
The popular Under 10 and 12 race saw overall wins for Kieran Wooley and Anna Kamaly-Asl. Both racers were fastest on both runs in a format that sees the racers have two runs down the same course with the fastest time to count. Joining Kamaly-Asl on the podium in the girls race were Amber Fennel and Holly Tutt. Fennel was also fastest in the under 10 age group. In the boys race Kayne Stanway took second ahead of Charlie Quinn, another to be in the young age group.
Picture: Kieran Norris – photo credit – Racer Ready
Pictures from the racing will be up on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com