Report: Oxonian 'Cross
Wessex League Round 9 - 28th November 2009 | Report and Images: Graham Robins | Event Info
Video: Hargroves Cycles
Another win for Jamie Newell
One week on Jamie Newell was once again in a race on his own, but unlike last week this time he was at the front and not having to chase the race. Jamie revels in the muddy conditions and his bike handling skills were need on a course that cut up quickly.
After a week of rain in the area the course resembled a big muddy puddle and whilst the course did hold up well at the start, it soon cut up and tyre choice was critical. The race was set on a terraced course with riders managing to ride one ascent but having to ‘run' the second one. A small technical wooded section was muddy and sections of the playing fields were waterlogged. By the midway point those with a spare bike were at a distinct advantage. Bikes were clogging up and changing gears was difficult for some.
As the riders lined up current leader Matt Macdonald was joined on the start line by Jamie Newell and with Adrain Lansley and Crispin Doyle missing the race it was Mike Cotty (www.wheelbase.co.uk) and vet Gary Allen (GA Cycles) closing the front of the grid. All in all a field of 104 riders lined up for an hour of ‘fun in the mud'.
From the whistle Mike Groves (Hargroves Cycles) got a good start and pulled out a gap over the chasing field, but he was soon closed down by Jamie who completed the first lap clear of the others. The race soon settled into a long train and places were difficult to makeup in the conditions.
The chasers were having a better race with Mike Cotty, Mike Groves, Matt Macdonald, Nick Onslow (Pedal On) and Sean Williams (Wightlink) all setting a fast pace. It wasn't to be a good day in the saddle for Matt as he dropped back and eventually pulled out along with team mate Mike Warner (Hargroves Cycles) who was struggling with a cold.
Many riders were having gear selection problems as the mud clogged the rear mechs and some complained of pedal problems with all the running that was required. As the course cut up, wider lines were required with some deciding to run certain parts to make up time.
Mike Cotty was riding well and seemed to be making time on Jamie, but when he changed to the spare bike the tyre setup was different and he was forced to ride conservatively so as not to make any mistakes. Sean Williams was having a tussle with Nick Onslow, passing him only to have something jam the rear mech; with the offending item removed Sean closed Nick down and passed him before the end of the race.
A fine win in the conditions for Jamie which sets him up nicely for next week's South of England Championships in Southampton. (www.wessexcx.org.uk)
1st Jamie Newell (VC Meudon)
2nd Mike Cotty (wheelbase.co.uk)
3rd Matt Wakefield
4th Mike Groves (Hargroves Cycles)
5th Sean Williams (Wightlink)
6th Nick Onslow (Pedal On)
1st Vet Gary Allen (GA Cycles)
1st Women Claire Smith (Swindon RC)
1st Junior Matt Derrick (Oxford City RC)
The youth race was contested over the same course as the seniors. League leader and National points leader Harvey Lowe (Hargroves Cycles) won in a lone race when Luke Cowley had to stop on the second lap and change to his spare bike due to pedal problems. Luke's spare bike was a mountain bike as he is in the process of putting together a second cross bike. His pit crew (mum) managed to clean the pedals out and Luke switched back but was unable to catch Harvey.
The race was won by Jack Philips (Banjo Cycles).