Halifax-based Pedalsport Cycling Club had a great day out at the opening round of this winter’s British Cycling National Cyclo-Cross series, recording two wins and fielding a record 16 riders.
The venue, the Moorways Leisure Centre, close to the centre of Derby has hosted the national championships on a number of occasions and was running fast and dry after the recent good weather.
Former national senior and over-40 champion Chris Young was the first to strike for Pedalsport, claiming victory in the Over-50 race that got the day’s racing underway.
Young edged a close battle with Zepnat RT’s Pete Middleton, getting away in the closing few hundred metres. Sowerby Bridge’s Matt Wilson (Mountain Goat Coaching) also got his winter campaign off to a good start with 8th place in the same race.
Pedalsport’s second win came from Max Rushby in the Under-16 boys’ race. Max was involved in a highly tactical race with several riders trading attacks off the front.
National champion Ben Tulett looked to be taking the initiative when he broke free after a couple of laps, but a lead of half a dozen seconds disappeared when he rolled off a tyre on one of the course’s many cambered grass bankings. A run to replace his bike at the pits effectively took him out of the race.
With Tulett out, Rushby rode a tactically smart race, and entered the final lap in the company of just one other rider, Oliver Draffin of Derwentside CC, marking a couple of attacks from his rival before making his own decisive breakon a short, steep banking and riding to the finish alone to claim victory by nine seconds.
The pick of Pedalsport’s other results were a tenth place finish in the Under-16 girls’ race for Lucy Whearty and 13th in the Under-14 boys’ race for Riley Blackmore on his national series debut.
West Vale’s Jack Clarkson (Hope Factory Racing) had a steady opening to his national season, claiming sixth in the elite men’s race on a day when Yorkshire’s riders dominated proceedings, claiming five wins across the eleven categories contested on the day.
The series moves on to Abergavenny in a couple of week’s time, with the National Championships coming to Bradford’s Peel Park over the first weekend of January.