North West Cyclo Cross Association
Round 9, Brockhole, Windermere
Jebb's Ace In The ‘hole
Round Nine of the North West Cyclo Cross League visited Lake Windermere for the first time, with a view to becoming a centre for cycling development and hosting bigger, National cyclo cross events in the coming years. Luke Webber travelled to the water's edge and reports on a unique drive to secure funding for cycling in the Lake District National Park.
Summarised by event organiser, Paul Loftus, the event made not only history, but proposes to develop cycling as part of the development of Brockhole; something which has great potential to leave a lasting impression.
"In the 110-year history of Brockhole there has never been a sporting event, and today we were the first. The setting is fantastic, and I believe there is nothing like it in the Lake District. You can come and enjoy the peace here any day of the year, for free. Out ultimate aim is to provide a small, off road cycling circuit for children. The National Park is going to spend £25million in the next couple of years on this venue - and that will include a new visitor centre with provision of showers and a bike wash - all of which would help our plans to host a National Trophy event at Brockhole in the future. The National Park seems to be in favour, we know that the grounds will recover and the gardeners here are sympathetic - in short we have reason to be greatly optimistic about the future Brockhole can provide for cycling in the Lakes."
Rob Jebb (Wheelbase) used his running expertise to comprehensively win the first mudbath of the NWCCA season ahead of mountain biking legend Barrie Clarke. Clarke would also take the top spot in the Veteran category, with wife Sue Clarke (Wheelbase) wrapping up with women's competition.
The day began and ended in low-level sun, skimming the Lake. Here the course is green. Later it was brown.
Held as part of a double-header weekend and preceded by Saturday's race at Otterspool Park, round nine of the North West Cyclo Cross league was a massive contrast. While riders faced dry and fast conditions in Liverpool, Windermere produced a course covered in deep mud and leaves.
The fallen leaves of autumn may have made for some great shots, but frustrated the riders
This reduced the senior race to running from the start - led by Barrie Clarke, before Jebb made his move into the lead. For the first two laps Jebb's lead remained constant at around ten seconds, before the condition of the course further deteriorated and Jebb's running prowess shone through. Eventually, the Wheelbase rider would lap the entire field, with the exception of Clarke.
The running start - demonstrated to maximum effect by Clarke
The running man; Jebb shows you how
The three contrasting, winning styles of Jebb, Clarke and Clarke.
Prizegiving was supported by direct sunlight
Earlier in the day Hugo Robins completed a seven hour journey with another win in the Youth race. Leading from the start, Robins found most of the course rideable, in a series of races that will cement preparations for a trip to Belgium for the Superprestige experience.
After the racing, fresh bacon baps were a key choice for those wanting instant fuel. Cake was also
available and sold out long before days end. Nothing to do with me though. Oh no.
The highlight of the day came from the under-12 races, which saw young riders of all pursuations (from mountain bikers to scoot-alongs) vote for a lap that included the worst of the mud. Kids love dirt; especially if that gives an excuse to wash the bike in a big muddy puddle afterward.