New course to Friedrich’s liking
NARROW victories for Richard Friedrich and Sarah Mercier headlined an exciting Saturday afternoon of FNB Cross Country Series racing on a tough new course at Bordeaux, writes Jamie Ingrouille.
Friedrich won in 35min. 35sec., nine seconds clear of race-long rival James Priest, after dropping the defending series champion with a fierce surge in the sixth lap and sixth mile of the Division One race.
The duo had broken early on from a large field in which their main pressure came from eventual third-place finisher Carl Holden and teenage Division Two stand-out Chris Bain.
Friedrich, who also won the previous round at Delancey, is now the resounding favourite to take the league crown in January’s Footes Lane finale.
The same could not be said of Mercier, whose injury-prompted absence from the first two fixtures means that Jenny James has already confirmed her receipt of the women’s title.
Mercier nevertheless managed to hold off James in a close race on Saturday, covering the four-mile Division Two variant in 26-22 with her in-form pursuer seven seconds in arrears.