Baum Takes Welsh Opener
Welsh League Round 1 , Ty Mawr, Penperlleni
Report: Liz Slater | Images: Alison Wilde
A new season and a new course to open it with. Although the venue is a farm the course was a firm, dry and fast grass track (and not a cow-pat in sight) with plenty of switchbacks to maximise the available area and keep riders focussed. And on a clear and sunny day it was worth paying the entry fee just for the view.
The U12s were off before the dew had lifted and the damp grass slowed some of the younger riders. But up ahead the U12 Abergavenny RC boys were storming round the course with Towy Riders' Jessica Roberts hanging on to their wheels. Early on Ben Beckingsale put some daylight between himself and Teifion Best but this was short-lived and Ben had to battle hard to stay ahead. By the 5th and penultimate lap the positions were reversed and with his usual big smile Teifion took a well-deserved first League win. 3rd place was also a hard fought one between Nathan Ford and Ieuan Best, Ieuan just getting the better of Nathan to take a podium place alongside his brother. Jessica dropped off the boys' pace towards the end but held on to 4th to finish 1st U12 Girl. Megan James, another of the large Abergavenny RC contingent, was 1st U10 Girl just holding off 1st U10 Boy Joe Beckingsale.
With his adversaries from last season now Juniors, William Worrall (Towy Riders) was out in front on his own in the Youth race, though not allowing himself the luxury of taking it easy. He rode to another convincing victory with Adam King (Maindy Flyers), Geraint Manley (Cardiff JIF) and Joe Anstice (Newport Velo) fighting it out in his wake. Newcomer Scott Davies (Towy Riders) rode well to finish on the same lap along with 1st U14 Boy Sam Beckingsale (Abergavenny RC) and U14 Ffion James overhauled U16 Amy Hill on their final lap. Three Novice Women raced alongside the Youths with Stephanie Best matching son Teifion's win with a victory of her own.
A fast pace was set from the off in the Senior race with a group including event organizer Andy Baum (unattached), Ian Jeremiah (Cardiff JIF), Luke Moseley (Climb On Bikes), Ben Simmons (Team Wiggle), Sion O'Boyle (Torq/Kona) and Grant Leavy (Forza Cycles) heading the snaking field of 61 riders. The lead yo-yoed between Baum and Jeremiah with Simmons and Moseley making up the leading quartet as O'Boyle and Leavy dropped off the pace. Leavy abandoned with a mechanical having just passed the pits on the penultimate lap.
At the finish it was a determined Baum who took the win just ahead of Simmons and Moseley with Jeremiah (1st Veteran) taking a more leisurely last few metres to the line. Baum said afterwards "I am nowhere near as fit as the three I beat but I was not going to let them beat me no matter what." Mountain-biker Melanie Alexander (unattached) took victory in the Women's race and Sam Anstice (Newport Velo) was first Junior.