Youth sport - mountain biking: Ringwood youngster Gracie Fox hunts down Southern XC Series victory

Bournemouth Echo: WINNER: Gracie Fox WINNER: Gracie Fox

MOUNTAIN biking marvel Gracie Fox asserted her dominance as she made it a clean sweep of victories in the under-nines Southern XC Series on Sunday.

The seven-year-old Ringwood starlet triumphed in the fifth and final race of the series at Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield, Hampshire, therefore securing the overall title.

The Poulner Infant School pupil completed her two laps in five minutes exactly, putting her one minute, 13 seconds ahead of nearest rival Nicole Roberts.

In fact, such was the speed of Fox’s time that she was the fastest girl under the age of 11, impressive considering she only turned seven in February.

It was a time that would have been enough to see her place fourth in the boys’ under-nines race, in which 13 riders competed.

The youngster, whose racing hero is Canadian Olympian Emily Batty, was delighted to have come out on top against her rivals.

“I was very nervous before the start but I really wanted to win,” she said.

“My dad said that I only needed to finish the race to be champion and to ride carefully, but I really like winning and wanted five in row.

“I am so happy that I won as it was a really hard course.”

Dad Martin said: "Both my wife Kate and I are so proud of her. The key thing is to keep it fun for her but she just loves the competitiveness of racing, so why challenge that desire? We will support her all the way.

“Her sponsors, Frog Bikes, have been fantastic with her this year and it’s great that Gracie feels she has delivered for them. Long may that relationship continue.”

Apart from several other mountain bike races, Gracie’s next challenge will be competing at under-10 level in the Wessex Cyclo-Cross League, which begins on September 6 in Newbury.

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