Cyclo-Cross National Trophy Round 4
Following weeks of regional and Inter-Area competition the National Trophy Cyclo Cross resumed at Mallory Park for the fourth round of the series. After three dry off-road crits, the passing storms saw a reappearance of genuine cross conditions, along with the return of a certain Frenchman. We've got the full results, photos and reports from the day of racing.
SENIOR MEN REPORT
Paul Oldham did enough to keep his yellow jersey while Jody Crawforth can only imagine what might have been without his mechanical. Nicholas Bazin (winner) in blue and Jan Van Dael (2nd) complete the podium)
Nicholas Bazin made a successful return to Mallory Park, taking an emphatic win on a course characterised by mud, broken bikes and broken wills. Despite conditions being bright and cold, a strengthening westerly wind dried the surface mud to a sticky compound, creating mechanical nightmares throughout the day.
The opening disaster occurred for Jody Crawforth; leading from the start, his rear derailleur was the first of many technical victims as soon as half-way into lap one. The national champion was left to run the remainder of the lap, by which time 2008 winner Nicholas Bazin had decisively attacked Paul Oldham and Jan Van Dael on the finishing straight, to gain a commanding lead which would never be headed.
Behind Rob Jebb was having his own nightmare, another rear derailleur. Jebb however would elect to retire - something which would later prove to be the saviour of Paul Oldham - who snapped the same part on his bike, but could continue with double bike changes by using Jebb's redundant spare.
British champion Jody Crawforth lead early on with Bazin but like it was for so many riders on the day, the mixture of leaves and sticks on one section of the course, was lethal for rear mechs and Jody had to change bikes after a long run on the opening lap.
After an eventful opening two laps the pace at the front settled - the relentless speed of Bazin never matched by Van Dael - but seen in glimpses from Crawforth later in the race as he displayed the kind of form which took him to the national title. Returning from the depths of the bunch to the head of the race was no fluke and in the closing stages Crawforth looked likely to steal second from Van Dael, but it wasn't ever quite enough.
Meanwhile, Bazin soloed in to his second consecutive victory with a comfortable lead and time to celebrate, while Van Dael worked hard for second place. Such results helped Oldham - who would eventually finish sixth - greatly, he retained the overall lead partly thanks to the strong performances by the continental riders.
1. Nicholas Bazin
2. Jan Van Dael
3. Jody Crawforth
Overall: Paul Oldham
1. Tom Payton (Series Leader)
2. Jamie Harris
3. Robert Watson
SENIOR WOMEN REPORT
Star of the future, Hannah Barnes, had a winning weekend after doing both at Revolution on Saturday night and the same on Sunday morning at Mallory.
Junior Hannah Barnes returned to the winners' enclosure in convincing style - despite a greatly increased field boasting international mountain bikers Sue Clarke and Kate Potter. Both riders failed to feature in a race dominated by Barnes, who chased down an initial attack by Corrine Hall and went on to cement a lead only threatened by Ruby Miller. Miller, who started on the back row, had overhauled all but Barnes by the end of lap two.
And within touching distance on the finishing straight would be as close as Miller would get, slipping to third by the finish behind Adela Carter.
1. Hannah Barnes (Series Leader)
2. Adela Carter
3. Ruby Miller
Perry Bowater, Tom Moses and Alex Briggs on the podum for the Junior event
In the absence of round three winner and series leader Luke Gray, the race for the overall and a commanding lead was on. A group of three including Tom Moses, Josh Papworth and Alec Briggs formed on the early laps - each taking it in turns to make attacks in the early stages. However as Papworth emerged from the back end of the course with a tyre hanging from the back wheel it was obvious the race was down to two riders.
Initially it looked like Briggs had the measure of Moses with a series of attacks gaining seconds, but as Moses bridged back each time and looked to throw some dummy attacks of his own it was clear the race was far from over.
It was on the penultimate lap through the pit that the decisive move was made though; sensing a bike change from Briggs, Moses kicked hard and gained a solid lead. Briggs wasn't happy to give up though and, still riding the steep bank in the closing stages was enough to close the gap to reconcilable. Moses however stayed calm, holding a slim advantage to the line to take the win, and with it the Series lead.
1. Tom Moses
2. Alec Briggs
3. Perry Bowater
UNDER 16 RACES
As Joseph Fox made it two from two, Sam Lowe took advantage of Hugo Robinson's fourth place performance, taking the yellow jersey by just two points. In the under-14s, Harvey Lowe retained his lead by taking his second victory of the season. In Youth women's race it was a first win of the series for Bethany Crumpton, who looks to the possibility of taking Lucy Garner's lead in future rounds.
Phil Roach splish-splashes his way up the start/finish straight climb with Darren Atkins, the eventual over 40's winner on the left and Chris Young in Yellow.
With Darren Atkins out of contention in the overall and allowed to ride away from the pack for an impressive win, the series contenders were left wondering whether to chase after a gap without consequence, or focus on the yellow jersey. Chris Young remained in yellow, now with a lead of nearly forty points - or a one race disaster allowance. His winning sprint to the line against closest rival Phil Roach could serve the psychological, if not mathematical end to the series.
In the Over 50's, Roy Hunt came from behind to overhaul Martin Eadon and Ian Wright in a thrilling final lap. Wright and Hunt were delivered into the final uphill straight wheel to wheel, Hunt vocally celebrating victory as he crossed the line clearly with an ever-lasting competitive spirit. Wright had done enough to maintain the number one spot that he has held since round one and remains the favourite for the series.
Yet another great race in the Over 50's. Martin Eadon (left here) lead for much of it but was then caught by Roy Hunt (right) at the bell and then to top it off, Ian Wright came back at them both to sprint it out with Hunt for the victory!
Road and Offroad star Ian Wilkinson was helping out friend Paul Oldham on the day
Andy Whitehouse Flickr Photostream of the event