Black Friday Promo
Baker and Barnes claim National Trophy titles while Mein and Couzens conquer Gravesend

Baker and Barnes claim National Trophy titles while Mein and Couzens conquer Gravesend

Home » About us

A wet, cold, and demanding course saw Thomas Mein and Millie Couzens come out on top at the final round of the National Trophy Series, while Alderney Baker and Toby Barnes were crowned the series winners.

Elite Women

Millie Couzens (Crelan-Fristads) completed a flawless ride to dominate the final round of the National Trophy Series in the mud at Gravesend. The performance comes a week before the national championships.

Having claimed second at Clanfield Cross the day before behind Hope Factory Racing’s Ella Maclean-Howell, Couzens was faced with the opportunity to strike back only 24 hours later. She lined up alongside Maclean-Howell, Meg de Bruyne (Proximus-Alphamotorhomes), and Alderney Baker (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com), who was looking to defend her National Trophy Series lead against the storming Couzens.

Within a few hundred meters of the start, Couzens quickly moved to the front and took advantage of the slippy conditions to put the rest of the field under pressure, while Baker was struggling with illness and was forced to chase from the start.

After one lap, it was clear that Couzens was the rider to beat and that she might have the better of Maclean-Howell this time round. Couzens was cutting through the mud and held a lead of nearly 20 seconds after just one lap.

Maclean-Howell had started quickly as well, pulling clear of de Bruyne while the challenging conditions scattered the rest of the field behind them.

By the halfway point, Couzens and Maclean-Howell were consistently pulling away from the rest of the field and the gap was continuing to grow. Meanwhile, Baker was in a battle to hold onto her Series lead - if Couzens held onto win and Baker dropped out of the top 15, she would lose the title.

Couzens held a lead of over a minute with two laps to go thanks to her quick start and, while she began to pay for her early efforts, Maclean-Howell was unable to claw back enough time. Couzens crossed the finish line alone with 30 seconds to spare, and de Bruyne was the best of the rest, having battled to a fine third place.

Baker, knowing that she would need to finish - and finish well - to retain the Series lead, crossed the line exhausted, and an agonising wait confirmed that she had held onto her Series lead by the slimmest of margins.

With that, Baker also walked away as the overall winner in the under-23 National Trophy.

Elite Men

Thomas Mein (Hope Factory Racing) continued his run of good form to take another solo win in the final round of the National Trophy Series ahead of Joseph Blackmore (Team Inspired).

Barring disaster, Toby Barnes’ lead in the overall standings was unassailable, so the race would be for the podium on the day.

Mein came into this race with a target on his back, having put in some standout rides during the Christmas period, notably taking sixth at Exact Cross Loenhout behind some big names like Wout Van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, and Tom Pidcock.

Two riders lining up alongside him and eyeing a potential upset were Blackmore, who had beaten Mein at Clanfield Cross the day before, and Barnes, his long-time ‘cross rival and road teammate.

The race started quickly and the bunch flew along the muddy ground into the first twists and turns of the challenging course.

The bunch was tightly packed as they reached the first corners where Mein accelerated, with Daniel Barnes (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus) leading the chase.

After the first two laps, Blackmore had come to the front of the chasers and was leading the charge behind Mein, who held a small lead.

However, the riders would have to contend with the weather as well as each other and the course was turned into a technically and physically demanding challenge.

Mein pressed on and stretched his lead out to almost a minute with two laps to go, and it seemd like he had cemented his advantage, but an ill-timed mechanical cut his lead in half just as a resurgent Blackmore accelerated.

In a dramatic twist, Blackmore also suffered a mechanical on the final lap, and his chances of challenging for the win vanished.

Mein rolled in alone to celebrate the win, while Blackmore took second ahead of Daniel Barnes.

Toby Barnes missed out on the podium, but sprinted into fourth place ahead of Mathijs Wuyts (Cycle Passion-Scott RT) to secure his overall Series lead. His teammate, Jenson Young, took the under-23 title.

2023 national trophy

Junior Women

Elizabeth McKinnon (Montezuma's Race Team) took another win in the junior National Trophy to cap a brilliant season for her team, while her teammate, Niamh Murphy, clinched the overall title on the final day.

Hope Inglis (Brother UK-Orientation Marketing) had come into the final race of the Series, leading the standings, but the top five riders were all in with a shot at the overall title.

Inglis started fastest and led the bunch as they pulled away from the line, but a strong front group formed around her, with McKinnon, Murphy, Emily Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing), Libby Bell (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport), and Kacey Eyeington (Derwentside CC) all prominent at the front.

McKinnon made the first move and pulled away from the front group, but couldn’t shake the others and it soon came back together. Behind, Inglis struggled with the pace and slipped back out of the top five.

The leading riders continued to trade blows throughout the race, taking it in turns to accelerate and try to make their mark. Coming into the final lap, McKinnon and Eyeington had a small gap ahead of Carrick-Anderson and Murphy.

McKinnon kicked hard out of the final corner and Eyeington had no response. McKinnon let out of cry of relief and joy as she crossed the line, while Eyeington rolled in exhausted behind her.

Carrick-Anderson had managed to shake Murphy to take third on the day, but Murphy had done enough to take the Series title from Inglis, who finished 90 seconds down in seventh.

2023 national trophy

Junior Men

In the junior men’s race, Oli Akers (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport) made it five victories from six rounds with a measured and calculating ride to victory.

Akers has dominated the season, but it was his teammate Sebastian Grindley, Nathaniel Henderson (Hetton Hawks CC), and Alfie Amey who were most prominent in the opening laps.

It looked for a moment as though Akers was in trouble, but he steadily rode back through the field and surged past the leaders as the race reached the halfway mark. Amey stuck with him for a while, but Akers was in imperious form, passing Akers and pushing on to ride his own race.

Akers continued on with a 10-second lead, crossing the line with enough time to savour the victory. Akers cruised over the line 30 seconds ahead of Nathaniel Henderson.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Grindley, who had led the Series at the start of the race, finished in fifth place, meaning Akers took the overall title in the National Trophy Series.

2023 national trophy


A full list of podium placings is below:

Elite women

  1. Millie Couzens (Crelan-Fristads)
  2. Ella Maclean-Howell (Hope Factory Racing)
  3. Meg De Bruyne (Proximus-Alphamotorhomes)

Elite men

  1. Thomas Mein (Hope Factory Racing)
  2. Joseph Blackmore (Team Inspired)
  3. Daniel Barnes (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus)

Under-23 men

  1. Corran Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing)
  2. Joseph Blackmore (Team Inspired)
  3. Daniel Barnes (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus)

Under-23 women

  1. Millie Couzens (Crelan - Fristads)
  2. Ella Maclean-Howell (Hope Factory Racing)
  3. Lotta Mansfield (Montezuma's Race Team)

Junior women

  1. Elizabeth McKinnon (Montezuma's Race Team)
  2. Kacey Eyeington (Derwentside CC)
  3. Emily Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing)

Junior men

  1. Oliver Akers (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)
  2. Alfie Amey (GKR Racing)
  3. Nathaniel Henderson (Hetton Hawks Cycling Club)

Men’s U16

  1. Oscar Amey (GKR Racing
  2. Peter Carpenter (C and N Cycles RT)
  3. Alex Hart (Mid Shropshire Wheelers)

Men’s U14

  1. Gus Lawson (Pentland Racers)
  2. Noah White (Mid Shropshire Wheelers)
  3. Xander Graham (SCOTT Racing)

Women’s U16

  1. Ellie Mitchinson (Welwyn Wheelers CC)
  2. Aelwen Davies (RR23)
  3. Zoe Roche (WXC World Racing)

Women’s U14

  1. Charlotte Lissaman (Newark Castle CC)
  2. Rose Lewis (Halesowen A & CC)
  3. Olivia Poole (Deeside Thistle CC)

Women’s Veterans 40-49

  1. Cerys Styler (Backstedt Performance RC)
  2. Sophie Halhead
  3. Caroline Goward (GS Vecchi)

Women’s Veterans 50-59

  1. Helen Pattinson (Montezuma's Race Team)
  2. Nicky Hughes (Southborough & District Wheelers)
  3. Tracey Fletcher (Morvelo Magspeed Racing)

Women’s Veterans 60+

  1. Carolyn Speirs (Kendal Cycle Club)

Men’s Veterans 40-49

  1. Adrian Lansley (
  2. Lewis Craven (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli)
  3. Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)

Men’s Veterans 50-59

  1. Nicholas Craig (SCOTT Racing)
  2. Ian Taylor (Shibden Cycling Club)
  3. Pete Middleton ( RT)

Men’s Veterans 60+

  1. Grant Johnson
  2. Dave McMullen (Cotswold Veldrijden)
  3. Michael Davies (Pedal Power Loughborough)

Series Standings

A full list of National Trophy Series standings is below:

Elite women

  1. Alderney Baker (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com)
  2. Millie Couzens (Crelan-Fristads)
  3. Christina Wiejak (Saint Piran WRT)

Elite men

  1. Toby Barnes (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)
  2. Jenson Young (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)
  3. Thomas Mein (Hope Factory Racing)

Under-23 men

  1. Jenson Young (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)
  2. Simon Wyllie (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus)
  3. Joe Coukham (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)

Under-23 women

  1. Alderney Baker (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com)
  2. Elena Day (Ignite)
  3. Lotta Mansfield (Montezuma's Race Team)

Junior women

  1. Niamh Murphy (Montezuma's Race Team)
  2. Emily Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing)
  3. Elizabeth McKinnon (Montezuma's Race Team)

Junior men

  1. Oliver Akers (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)
  2. Sebastian Grindley (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)
  3. Nathaniel Henderson (Hetton Hawks Cycling Club)