Declan Huppach took the British Indoor Title in Manchester with some solid racing over the two runs posting the fastest time on both runs. Robert Trebilcock took second with ex British Team racer and Ambition coach, TJ Baldwin battling his way to third. Josef Huppach, younger brother to Declan, and Toby Case rounded out the top five finishers in the last Indoor race of the season.
Hot from winning the Anglo Welsh title the day before Kieran Norris took the race lead after the first run with Huppach leading the chasing group ahead of Trebilcock, Baldwin and Josef Huppach in fifth. Just eleven hundredths separated Trebilcock from Josef Huppach such was the level of competition. Toby Case then lead a group of four that were just behind and looking to force their way on to the podium. This group included Thomas Upton, Tom Rascagneres and Jamie Alldridge as well as Case.
From being in eighth after the first run, Alldridge put daylight between him and Robbie Anderson who he took the lead from. Alldridge could only watch from the finish area as first Rascagneres, then Upton and then Case all went quicker than the previous racer in the pursuit of success.
With five to go it was Case leading. Josef Huppach then went into the lead with a time three hundredths faster than what Case had managed.
Just under four tenths had separated the top four after the first run and with the prestige that winning a British title means to those still remaining to go, Baldwin wanted a place on the podium at least. Baldwin is a competitor and still yearns for race wins whenever he puts the race skis on. It is great to see the fire still burning as her moves into another stage of his career.
Robert Trebilcock is still looking to improve his ability and was not fazed by following Baldwin down. With a tenth of a second advantage over Baldwin, Trebilcock had little room for error on the second run and matched the time set by Baldwin to stay in front.
This left Huppach and Norris in the start and Huppach extended his quarter of a second lead when he crossed the finish line by a further three hundredths. Not having won a national race in the summer since 2014, could Huppach finally be about to realise his ability and take the title?
Kieran Norris took the decision to benefit from his Irish heritage three years ago and this has seen him compete in Kitzbuhel and Schladming on the Slalom World Cup as well as at St Moritz in the World Championships. This may be a different level of racing but Norris still wanted to do well. A straddle at the top of the course saw his challenge over and the British Title was heading to Pendle with Declan Huppach.
With every age group represented in the top 15 seeds, interest in Indoor Racing is growing and the standard is improving year on year. The field this year may not have been the biggest seen for an indoor race but with the organisers standing firm on the qualifying criteria points wise, the future of the Indoor racing is positive.
As with the girls race the appeal of the British Indoor Championship race needs to be looked at in order to attract the best racers. Whether this means taking the race to an Indoor slope that allows the current formula for awarding BASS points to host the race or adapting the formula to allow a British Indoor slope to host the race and BASS points being used, is something that the powers that be need to look into. Where there is a will there is a way. The world is changing and racing need to adapt to making the sport more ameniable to the future of the sport.
The age group winners were: Jack Upton (Under 14, 10th Overall); Josef Huppach (Under 16, 4th Overall); Thomas Upton (Under 18, 6th Overall); Declan Huppach (Under 21, Race Winner); Robert Trebilcock (Senior, 2nd Overall) and Alex Molliex (Masters, 11th Overall).
Results (Main race)
Results (Under 10 & Under 12 race)
Pictures are available on www.racerready.zenfolio.com