Thick mud was the major obstacle for the small band of West Drayton Mountain Bike Club members who travelled to Ipswich for the Thetford racing event.
Heavy overnight rain which continued intermittently throughout the race made for treacherous conditions and it was far from the ideal time for Les Reading to be riding his first race of the season.
Despite that he looked set to give the the Specialized sponsored squad a top 10 finish as he battled away near the front of the field but on hitting the first technical section he crashed heavily down a 20ft drop. Although shaken he tried to carry on but his bike had suffered a terminal mechanical failure and he was forced to retire.
Brendan Kay also succumbed to the conditions as the mud clogged his bike and he decided to call it a day.
In the two-lap event Si Lancaster seemed to revel in the conditions and a fast start saw him cross the line in second position at the half-way point. He put in another steady lap but was overtaken by one rival to drop to third, but he is still in with a good chance of winning the overall series with one round to go.
Malin Tindberg had to cope with four laps of the mud in the four-hour ladies event and she battled gamely, never giving up and was rewarded with a second place which leaves her in with a chance of claiming the overall women's title.