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Last and Barnes triumph in Paignton through challenging conditions at National Trophy Series

Last and Barnes triumph in Paignton through challenging conditions at National Trophy Series

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A tough course proved the biggest challenge for riders in Round 4 of the Cyclo-cross National Trophy Series in Paignton where Toby Barnes and Annie Last took solo victories.

Elite Women

Annie Last (SCOTT Racing) battled through the mud to win ahead of Millie Couzens (Crelan-Fristads) in a gutsy display at Round 4 of the National Trophy Series.

Scattered showers over the weekend had kept the course damp, and the sticky clay proved one of the most challenging surfaces of the National Trophy Series so far.

Last and Couzens had shown good form, with Couzens winning the UCI Andover Supercross the day before ahead of Last, while Series leader, Alderney Baker (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross), Christina Wiejak (Saint Piran WRT), and Elena Day (Ignite) were all favourites to be in contention again.

As the riders swept away from the start, Couzens piled on the pressure and took an early lead. Last was chasing hard but it looked like a repeat of the previous day’s results might be on the cards.

Meanwhile, Baker was mid-pack and fighting to make up places. Coming into the race, her Series lead was under pressure from Wiejak and there was little room for error.

At the front of the race, Last had fought her way back to Couzens and countered with an attack of her own, forcing a small lead.

A tussle for the lead ensued and, for a while, it looked like Couzens would catch Last. However, the elastic finally snapped around the halfway mark as Last forged on alone, gaining time on every lap, while Couzens tired and the gap grew.

Behind, Baker was struggling in the mud and lacked the punch that had seen her take the Series Lead. Wiejak took advantage of this and moved into third on the course ahead of Baker’s teammate, Kate Eedy. Despite her best efforts, Wiejak was unable to make up ground on the two front-runners.

By the end, Last crossed the line alone, arms aloft and with no-one else in sight. Couzens rolled in 60 seconds later and Wiejak a further minute behind her. Baker battled to eighth on the day and did enough to hold onto her lead in the National Trophy Series.

elite women national trophy series

Elite Men

Toby Barnes took the first National Trophy Series win of his career to double-up on his victory in Andover Supercross the day before – and did so in style, riding to a dominant solo win in challenging conditions.

Barnes’ biggest challenge for much of the day would come from his Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport teammate and Series leader, Jenson Young. However, a strong under-23 contingent was lined up ready to challenge for the win, including Joseph Blackmore (Team Inspired) and Bjoern Koerdt (Shibden Cycling Club).

The pairing of Barnes and Young were the quickest off the line, with Barnes accelerating in technical switchbacks that populated the start of the course.

They matched each other during the early part of the race, often racing side-by-side as they battled against the quickly deteriorating course. It was midway through the second lap that Barnes really showed his form, riding away from Young and opening up a small gap.

At first, only a handful of seconds separated Barnes from his teammate, but the gap was steadily growing, with Barnes put daylight between them by lap five.

Behind, Blackmore had been chasing hard with a measured effort that seemed to be paced to perfection. Barnes started his final lap with a 40-second lead, but Blackmore had caught and passed Young and was closing on Barnes.

However, Blackmore’s fightback proved too late as Barnes finished alone with a comfortable lead, 30 seconds ahead of Blackmore in second and Young in third.

Barnes leads the Series with Young in second, who also holds onto the under-23 Series lead.

national trophy series

Junior Women

Elizabeth McKinnon (Montezuma's Race Team) took her second win of the Series after a hard-fought battle with new Series leader, Hope Inglis (Brother UK‐Orientation Marketing).

McKinnon was fastest off the line, and she quickly gained a gap over Inglis and Alice Colling (Shibden Cycling Club). The mud meant each rider was forced to run substantial parts of the course, and the gaps quickly opened throughout the field, but the top three were all within 20 seconds of each other with Colling in second and Inglis in third.

By the halfway mark, Inglis had overtaken Colling and was closing on McKinnon, who was slowing at the head of the race. The three riders were all in sight of each other and a thrilling pursuit played out in the final laps, as Inglis halved the deficit to McKinnon, but was unable to close the gap.

McKinnon took the win 10 seconds ahead of Inglis, while Colling was a further 10 seconds back.

national trophy series

Junior Men

In the junior men’s race, Oli Akers was back from Europe and in fine form as he took the win ahead of Max Greensill (Hope Factory Racing) and Sebastian Grindley (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport).

The rider from Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport led from the start and once again proved too strong for his competitors.

Having injured his shoulder during the week, Akers was visibly struggling with the considerable amount of running on the muddy course. Nevertheless, he rode well to hold a gap over Greensill and Grindley.

Behind them, the Series leader, Reuben Oakley (ROTOR Race Team), was having a bad day in the middle of the pack, where he was struggling to make up places and defend his Series lead.

Akers had built up enough of a lead by the final lap that he could relax and enjoy a hard-fought victory, eventually finishing 12 seconds ahead of Greensill. Akers’ teammate Grindley came in a further     10 seconds down on Greensill.

Oakley’s ninth place finish wasn’t enough to hold onto the Series lead, and Grindley takes that into the next round.

national trophy series


A full list of podium placings is below:

Elite Women

  1. Annie Last (SCOTT Racing)
  2. Millie Couzens (Crelan-Fristads)
  3. Christina Wiejak (Saint Piran WRT)

Elite Men

  1. Toby Barnes (Garden Shed UK‐Ribble‐Verge Sport)
  2. Joseph Blackmore (Team Inspired)
  3. Jenson Young (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)

Under-23 Women

  1. Millie Couzens (Crelan-Fristads)
  2. Elena Day (Ignite)
  3. Alderney Baker (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross)

Under-23 Men

  1. Joseph Blackmore (Team Inspired)
  2. Jenson Young (Garden Shed UK-Ribble-Verge Sport)
  3. Bjoern Koerdt (Shibden Cycling Club)

Junior Women

  1. Elizabeth McKinnon (Montezuma's Race Team)
  2. Hope Inglis (Brother UK‐Orientation Marketing)
  3. Alice Colling (Shibden Cycling Club)

Junior Men

  1. Oliver Akers (Garden Shed UK‐Ribble‐Verge Sport)
  2. Max Greensill (Hope Factory Racing)
  3. Sebastian Grindley (Garden Shed UK‐Ribble‐Verge Sport)

Under-16 Girls

  1. Madeline Moorhouse Smith (Shibden Cycling Club)
  2. Zoe Roche (WXC World Racing)
  3. Ellie Mitchinson (Welwyn Wheelers CC)

Under-16 Boys

  1. Innes McDonald (Edinburg RC)
  2. Oscar Amey (GKR Racing)
  3. Noah Ellison (Shibden Cycling Club)

Under-14 Girls

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

Under-14 Boys

  1. Gus Lawson (Pentland Racers)
  2. Noah White (Mid Shropshire Wheelers)
  3. Xander Graham (Jukebox Cycling Team)

Women’s Veterans 40-49

  1. Ceris Styler (Backstedt Bike Performance)
  2. Natalie Jenks (Morvelo Magspeed Racing)
  3. Deborah Smith

Men’s Veterans 40-49

  1. Robert Jebb (Hope Factory Racing)
  2. Adrian Lansley (
  3. Tony Fawcett (SCOTT Racing)

Women’s Veterans 50-59

  1. Isla Rowntree
  2. Miriam Whitehurst (Reflex Racing)
  3. Zoe Codd

Men’s Veterans 50-59

  1. Nicholas Craig (SCOTT Racing)
  2. Nicholas Whitley (Chester RC)
  3. Andrew Brindle (Horwich CC)

Women’s Veterans 60+

  1. Carolyn Speirs (Kendal Cycle Club)
  2. Louise Crossman ((Minehead Cycling Club)

Men’s Veterans 60+

  1. Grant Johnson
  2. Robin Delve (Mid Devon CC)
  3. Jan Kardasz (Fibrax Wrexham Roads Club)