2009 Welsh Cyclo-Cross Championships
6 December 2009, Cwrt y Gollen, Crickhowell
Report: Liz Slater | Images: Michael Heaven
The Cwrt y Gollen Army Training Camp on the outskirts of Crickhowell in Powys was the venue for the 2009 Welsh Cyclo-Cross Championships, one that promoting club Abergavenny RC has previously used for Youth mtb racing but which proved to be equally popular for ‘cross. Thanks go to Captain Sion James for his kind permission to use the site and its facilities and for arranging additional activities on the day. With a mix of flat grass and technical woodland the course had something to suit everyone and six weeks of rain gave an added dimension to both.
U23 Ben Roach (Cult Racing) led the Senior charge off the line but it was not long before his place was taken by Team Wiggle's Lee Williams, with Anthony O'Boyle (Torq/Kona) leading the chasers. Williams soon had a gap, which steadily increased to a minute by halfway but no further as O'Boyle kept up the pursuit and distanced himself from the others. Further back younger brother Sion (also Torq/Kona) had chased down Roach and was making up ground on the trio of Daniel Lewis (RAF CC), Luke Moseley (Climb On Bikes) and Ian Jeremiah (Cardiff JIF). Williams continued to look comfortable out in front and the gap to O'Boyle yo-yoed around 50 seconds as squally showers battered the riders and dispersed spectators and the course's many twists and turns were gingerly negotiated. After an hour of racing Williams was the 2009 Welsh Senior Champion with Anthony O'Boyle 2nd and Daniel Lewis 3rd. Sion O'Boyle was 1st U23 in 4th place. Jeremiah led fellow Cardiff JIF riders Mark Spratt and Mark Davies to the team title.
With the exception of the Vet 50s all were emphatic category winners in the Veteran/Junior/Women's race. Vet 40 Phil Roach (Coventry RC) led the race from start to finish, well ahead of winning Junior Ben Roff (Orange Monkey) and 2nd Vet 40 Graham Rogerson (Army CU), with Melanie Alexander (Cardiff JIF) Women's Champion and John Lloyd (mtb-marathon.co.uk) Vet 60 Champion. But barely 10 metres separated Vet 50s Paul Bennett and Lynn Lines, not only for most of the race but also on the finish line, with Bennett taking the victory.
And it was a comprehensive victory for William Worrall (Towy Riders) in the Youth race, almost 2 minutes ahead of team-mate Owen James, with Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos on Sea CC) taking an excellent 3rd place and the U14 title. A strong run and determined effort by Adam King (Maindy Flyers) after puncturing just after the pits was rewarded with 3rd place in the U16s and Amy Roberts held off a late challenge from fellow Cardiff Ajax rider Elinor Barker to take the U16 Girls' title. The contest of the day came in the U14 Girls between old rivals Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) and Emily Haycox (Maindy Flyers). It was James in the lead as they completed the first lap but a tumble in the woods on the second lap saw this switch to Haycox. She then suffered a similar fate on the penultimate lap and it was James who led going out onto the final lap. By the time they emerged from the woods Haycox was back in front. Over the hurdles and James had gained slightly but, as in similar situations in the past, Haycox's strength prevailed on the flat and she became the 2009 U14 Girls Champion.
Nathan Ford soloed to victory in the U12s race ahead of fellow Abergavenny RC rider Ben Beckingsale with Newport Velo's James Tillett overhauling first Scott Dunster (Brecon MTB) and then Jessica Roberts (Towy Riders) to take 3rd place. Jessica held off a late challenge from Seren Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos on Sea CC) to take the U12 Girls title. Absent from the race was Welsh League U12 leader Teifion Best who had injured his hand on the previous day. It was a very successful day for the Kerfoot-Robsons, making the long trip from North Wales worthwhile, as Solomon got the event underway with an impressive performance in the U10s race. While Welsh League U10 leader Joe Beckingsale (Abergavenny RC) was a bit off the pace, team-mate Huw Higgins-Worrall was putting in a big effort to finish 2nd, ahead of 1st U10 Girl Megan James (also Abergavenny RC).