It is all to play for going into the grand finale of the Rapha Super Cross Series at Alexandra Palace this Sunday (October 23), with Hope Technology holding a two-point lead over nearest challengers Scott UK. Novice riders will be racing for the first time in the series and are warming up for the tequila shortcut.
National Champion Paul Oldham (left) and his Hope outfit look favourite to land the £2,000 team prize
The opening two rounds saw 650 men, women and children, from tots to top professionals, enjoying off-road racing under unseasonably clear blue skies, to the sound of cowbells, the roar of the crowd and, in Huddersfield, a brass band. Ally Pally promises more of the same plus DJ Festus in the beer tent, the finest ales from Belgium, the best pies south of Watford Gap, top-quality coffee at the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club and a host of other attractions and stalls.
National Champion Paul Oldham and his Hope outfit look favourite to land the £2,000 team prize in London having triumphed in the first two rounds at Windermere and Huddersfield, but the guys from Scott, led by experienced team captain Nick Craig, are ready to pounce should they trip up. And with seven lung-bursting ascents of Alexandra Palace Park to the iconic BBC television transmitter to be tackled, the bigger riders from Hope may have their work cut out!
"After a fantastic opening weekend the Scott boys are going to be in London in force,” said Craig. “We are a very young team – myself excluded! – but Luke [Grivell-Mellor] and Kenta [Gallagher] rode with mature heads. It’s great to see the next generation coming through with opportunities to race at this level.”
With Wiggle, Hargroves and Rapha/GB Development all tied in third spot, it promises to be an elbows-out fight to the line all the way through the field.