An MCN discussion board regular has won this year's MCN Fantasy Road Race competition in a race that went right to the line.
Phil Noden, 41, from Poole in Dorset, almost had to settle for third in the eight-month long competition but a last minute change saw him clinch the win.
Noden explained: "I just couldn't make up my mind. I'd gone over to Spain to watch the race but I managed to find an Internet café so I could log in. I picked Valentino Rossi, Toni Elias, and Hector Barbera at first but then changed my mind and chose Roberto Rolfo instead of Elias. At 10pm after a bottle of Spanish wine I came to my senses and switched back to Elias. It's a good job I did, otherwise I would have been third by one point."
Noden had been leading the competition for nearly a month before Neil Hodgson's crash in the first race at Misano saw him drop back down the standings. But his faith in Barbera and Elias at Valencia gave him the win. Barbera finished the first qualifying session in 24th but Noden knew this was unusual and stuck with him. His gamble paid off when Barbera finished the 125cc GP third and Elias took second in the 250 race.
Noden will receive a Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 replica bike, complete with BSB paintjob, full Yoshimura Tri-Oval Titanium exhaust system, dyno set-up and engine tuning, plus a day of track tuition with Niall Mackenzie at Donington Park. Also included in the prize are VIP tickets to the NEC motorcycle show and to a 2004 British Superbike round of his choice as a guest of the Rizla team.
Noden: "I couldn't believe I'd won until MCN rang me up and told me. I'd finished in the top ten two years ago but this is unbelievable. I've been boring everyone to death with the story."
Noden currently owns a Yamaha XJR1300, TTR250 and YZF750 track-day bike, but says the YZF has got to go to make room for the new Suzuki.
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