CYCLING: Philip Pearce’s World Cup debut ended in disappointment when he was unable to complete the secocnd round of the UCI World Cup staged at Albstadt in Germany last week.
It was his first test alongside Europe’s mountain biking elite after he had qualified by finishing ninth in last year’s Elite male National Championships when he was still riding in the Expert class. and then making a good start to his first term as an Elite and earning the necessary points to enter the race.
Backed on his first continental venture by sponsor Mark Letters of Banjo Cycles, he tackled a testing course after four practice laps and lined up alongside a massed field of 158 that caused early congestion and it was some five seconds before he could move and resulting bottle-necks saw him two minutes behind the leaders after the opening lap.
But that slow start was to prove costly when Pearce was called off the track and his race was over, eventually to be awarded 110th spot behind French winner Julien Absalon.
“In a World Cup race, if the race leaders get 80 per cent in front of you around the course then you get pulled off the course to allow the leaders to have a clear path and your race is over.
“I was just on my way to completing my fourth lap and the whistle went and that was it.
“Gutted doesn’t even come close to how I was feeling inside., I congratulated the riders that was pulled off in front of me and moved out the way. I was thoroughly enjoying myself out there.”
Pearce now returns to domestic action with the fourth round of the British cycling points series in which he is aiming for more UCI points to gain a better grid position at the next World Cup event in Switzerland.