Cross: Whittington wins in Wessex League

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After a race long tussle John Whittington (CNP Orbea) pipped Paul Lloyd (Ride on Air) by a couple of seconds at the Supermarine Rugby club venue in Swindon.

Once the race got underway these two riders along with Ian Legg (Primera/ Specialized) eased away from the rest of the chasing bunch.

The course was laid out around a couple of rugby and football pitches and had a wooded copse at each end with a muddy bank, planks and a twisty section for the spectators to enjoy. The grass was dry and it didn’t cut up much and even the woods were dry.

Once the race settled John and Paul eased away leaving Ian distanced but clear enough of a small group of three which included Richard Lewis (North Hants RC) and Scott Chappell (Behind the Bike Shed). Both leaders were working hard together and their lead soon was over thirty seconds.

At the bell the two leaders could not be separated, they entered the first copse with Paul in front but it was John that was first out. As they sped along side the pitches John attacked but Paul jumped onto his wheel.

Out of site at the bottom of the course the two swopped places until they arrived at the planks. John had a little slip when he seemed to catch the top of the plank but he managed to regain his balance and jumped back onto his bike just ahead of Paul.

They were neck and neck into the twisty section where they managed to catch a couple of back markers. John was clear and afterwards Paul said he “wasn’t hindered by the back markers and that John was the stronger of the twp riders”.

Veterans/women/juniors:

In the combined veterans/juniors/women race Lewis King (Beeline Cycles) stormed away from the start and never looked like being caught.

When the race started four riders were together until they settled down. At the front along with Lewis was Mike Simpson (GS Henley) ‘fresh’ from the National Trophy race across the bridge in Abergavenny and junior rider Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles).

On the second lap Lewis extended his lead over Mike to forty seconds with Matt a further nine seconds back Will Girvan (North Hants RC) just behind him as the laps ticked down Lewis’s gap hovered around thirty seconds over Mike, Will was now at 55secs and Matt had slipped back to over two minutes. At the end of the race Lewis was a clear winner from Mike.

Youth:

The youth race was won by local rider Jack Saunders (Swindon RC), and once he pulled clear of a chasing pair he was never challenged.

There was an interesting tussle behind between with Tom Sewell (Swindon RC) and William Crofts (BCDS), these two riders were never separated throughout the race and it all came down to a mistake at the planks when William slipped and Tom passed him and into the twisty section just before the finish line.

William pulled back Tom a little but was unable to deny Tom a fine second place. The winner of the girls race was Zoe Sheehan (Swindon RC), showing that the local club have some very good riders coming through their youth development ranks.

Under-12s:

The first race of the afternoon was the under-12s, which saw three riders locked together for the entire race until the last few meters.

Angus Hawkins and team mate Jay Allen (PPV) along with Harry Dridge (Southdown Velo) were locked together for lap after lap. While Angus was winning Harry had a slip on the slippery bank within sight of the finish. He soon re-mounted his bike to take the final podium place.

For the second week running Abbie Manley (Chapel tri Stars) was the first girl extending her lead in the league in only her fifth Cyclo Cross race in her first season. Second girl was Alderney Baker (Southdown Velo) with Madeline Cooper (Chapel Tri Stars).

Results:

Seniors:
1 John Whittington CNP Orbea
2 Paul Lloyd Rides on Air @2secs
3 Ian Legg Primera Specialized
4 Richard Lewis North Hants RC
5 Scott Chappell Behind the Bike Shed

Veterans:
1st Lewis King Beeline Cycles
2nd Mike Simpson GS Henley
3rd William Girvan North Hants RC
4th Steve Dance Andover Wheelers
5th Peter Scott Cotswold Veldrijden

Juniors:
1st Matt Woods Hargroves Cycles
2nd Rob Bolwell Wight Mountain

Women:
1st Sarah Barber North Hants RC
2nd Claire Smith Cotswold Veldrijden

Youth:
1st Jack Saunders Swindon RC
2nd Tom Sewell Swindon RC
3rd William Crofts BCDS
4th Dan Tuley Chapel Tri Stars

Under-12s:
1st Angus Hawkins PPV
2nd Jay Allen PPV
3rd Harry Dridge Southdown Velo
4th Rowan Turner
5th Ryan Hodgkyns Poole Wheelers
6th Abbie Manley Chapel Tri Stars

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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.