Cyclo-Cross National Trophy Round 6
Rutland,| Sunday 17 January 2010
Report: Phil Ingham | Photos: Larry Hickmott | Additional Reporting: Andy Whitehouse
With the weather relenting, the final round of the 2009-10 Cyclo-Cross National Trophy enjoyed brilliant sunshine and relatively balmy temperatures on the shores of Rutland Water in the East Midlands. We've got a full report, all the results and the end of series standings. There's also a big slideshow of images, rider interview videos and a video of the senior race.
Photo Slideshow of the Day's Racing - (Lots more images on our slide show page)
Senior Men's Race Video (Video Rider Interviews)
SENIOR MEN REPORT
The Senior men's race boasted a fine complement of Belgian riders and they added a classy edge to the competition. With Paul Oldham having virtually sewn up the series win, from the neutral's point of view it was a case of sitting back and enjoying the spectacle as he and Jody Crawforth measured themselves against the visitors.
As the field of well over 80 riders surged out onto the course, it was clear that the Belgians had come to race. Under-23 rider Kenneth van Campernolle surged out into an early lead and coming along the lakeside at half lap distance he'd worked himself a small gap over the chasing pack. Jody Crawforth was going well in third, with Paul Oldham, distinctive in his yellow leader's jersey, also well inside the top ten.
The second lap saw the pre-race favourite, Rob Peeters - fresh from his fourth in the recent Belgian Championships - cruise up to join van Campernolle at the front. They had a small gap over Crawforth, with series regular Jan van Dael and Paul Oldham still in touch.
Van Dael was the next rider to make a move, joining the two leaders and briefly there were three Belgians together at the front. However, Peeters, despite admitting later that he wasn't feeling fully fit, rode the series of technical off-camber corners at the end of lap very hard and rapidly pulled out a 10 second lead. Van Campernolle waited to see what van Dael had left, before going after Peeters on his own and to the surprise of many spectators, who had expected Peeters to dominate the race, the younger Belgian managed to bridge up to him.
Van Dael and yet another Belgian, Ben Burden, then began to work together in third and fourth places, with Paul Oldham and Jody Crawforth, still flying the home flag effectively, keeping them in sight. However, the leading duo now had the race to themselves, their relentless pace taking them half a minute clear of the chasers.
With two laps to go, Peeters again upped the tempo, pulling clear on his own with a sudden acceleration on the climb away from the lake shore near the end of the lap. Hurdling the two boards mid-climb with authority, he finally broke free of van Campernolle and, although the gap was never more than a few bike lengths, he held it all the way to the line. His risk-free technique through some of the now badly chewed up off-camber sections was great to watch and he looked totally in control as he clinched the win with a super-smooth last lap.
Van Campernolle was second, well clear of Burden, who shook off van Dael in the closing lap. Paul Oldham took a worthy fifth place, never outclassed by the Belgians and looking comfortable throughout. That placing enabled Paul to claim a very comprehensive win in the series and he was, appropriately, the leading British finisher on the day.
Jody Crawforth had looked good during the first half of the race, but a nasty tangle with a course marking post on the fifth lap left him winded and on the floor. To his credit he was up and running almost immediately and by the end of the race he was going as well as anyone. Dan Booth in 10th was the third British rider home, whilst Tom Payton did enough to wrap up the Under-23 series title, though he was down in 33rd. Cult Racing's Jamie Harries was the top domestic Under-23 on the day in an excellent 16th place. Why not watch our video interviews with Rob Peeters & Paul Oldham
1 Rob Peeters Belgium 1:00:53
2 Kenneth v. Compernolle Belgium @ 0:05
3 Ben Berden Q1N Cycling (Belgium) @ 0:59
4 Jan van Dael Sunweb Pro-Job - Belgium @ 1:9
5 Paul Oldham Hope Factory Racing @ 1:26
2 Kenneth v. Compernolle (Belgium)
7 Tomas Vernackt (Belgium)
8 Angelo de Clercq Belgium
16 Jamie Harris
18 Ben Roach
The Veterans' race was always going to be a bit special with MTB and ‘Cross legend Nick Craig making his debut in the category. However, it was habitual fast-starter Phil Roach who dominated the opening circuit, pulling out a handful of seconds lead which he held over Craig, Noel Clough and Darren Atkins at the end of the lap. Series leader Chris Young was a further couple of seconds down with Geoff Giddings also in touch.
The second lap saw Roach caught by Atkins and Craig, but Clough began to struggle and he trailed the leading trio by 11 seconds as they set out on their third lap. Young had also stalled and was on his own a further seven seconds back.
All the attention was now on the leading trio who were absolutely flying and the winner was clearly going to come from amongst them. As they negotiated the lake shore at the mid lap point, they were still together, but as they worked their way through the complex of tight corners at the end of the lap, Roach lost contact, leaving Craig and Atkins together contesting the lead.
This leading duo drove on at a pace no-one else came close to matching and with the course beginning to cut up, they put on a fine display of skilled bike handling as they raced, almost side-by-side at times, through the fourth and fifth laps.
Coming into the last couple of hundred yards of the last lap, both Atkins and Craig kept up the pressure - this was no cat-and-mouse battle! As they finally emerged onto the last sweeping road corner to the finish Atkins put in a huge acceleration and Craig realized he was beaten, leaving the Coventry RC rider to cross the line and celebrate his second win of the series.
Roach held on for a very well deserved third place with Chris Young coming through to claim fourth and confirm his overall series win. Geoff Giddings also came through well in the second half of the race to claim fifth, ahead of Noel Clough, Keith Sheriden and Matt Denby. Why not watch our video interview with Chris Young.
The Over-50 race saw another fast starter, Martin Eadon, taking it to his opponents in the first lap. Series leader Ian Wright simply couldn't stay with Eadon. Roy Hunt did manage to lift his tempo and he was on terms with Eadon with a lap to go. However, Eadon kicked again and gave himself a small cushion which enabled him to get through the tricky final few hundred yards of the lap with something to spare. Hunt crossed the line second and Wright was third. Wright's season-long consistency gave him the overall title. A commissaire's enquiry after the race saw Hunt disqualified for "improper race conduct."
1 Darren Atkins 40:46
2 Nick Craig @ 0:3
3 Philip Roach @ 0:44
4 Chris Young @ 1:58
5 Geoff Giddings @ 2:18
1 Martin Eadon 43:32
2 Ian Wright @ 1:12
3 Douglas Fox @ 1:17
4 Cliff Featherstone @ 2:16
5 Peter Wilkin @ 2:24
JUNIOR MEN REPORT
The Junior Men's event got the day underway and was a mini-classic and typical of the excellent racing this category has produced this year. As the race began to take shape at the end of the first lap, it was a familiar trio of Dan McLay, Tom Moses and Josh Papworth at the head of the field as they skirted the shore of Rutland Water. A handful of seconds further back was Luke Gray, with Oli Webster just behind in fifth.
The second lap was dominated by McLay and Moses who took it in turns to attack each other, with Gray joining Papworth, some four seconds down. Gray was looking very smooth and it came as no surprise to find that he'd joined Moses and McLay at the head of the race by the end of the third lap.
The tight turns around the start/finish area seemed to be a critical part of the course and the Hargroves duo, McLay and Gray, managed to gap Moses here on the fourth lap and suddenly it was a two rider battle, with Moses drifting out of contention as the bell sounded.
Coming into the finish the Hargroves riders were locked together, but whilst Gray chose to run some of the tricky turns close to the finish, McLay rode them and was just able to edge ahead as Gray lost a little time with his remounts. It was enough to secure McLay the win, with Gray a handful of lengths back at the line. Moses was third on his own, well clear of Papworth, with Luke Grivell-Mellor winning a race long battle with Oli Webster for fifth.
Moses duly wrapped up the series, but the scene is set for a difficult defence of his national title, with McLay and Gray in such good form. Why not watch our video interview with Dan McLay
1 Daniel McLay 47:9
2 Luke Gray @ 0:03
3 Thomas Moses @ 0:58
4 Joshua Papworth @ 2:05
5 Luke Grivell-Mellor @ 2:37
The Women's race began with the pre-event favourite Annie Last almost out of the top ten after half a lap, but she soon picked up the pace and was up into the lead as the riders emerged from the sun shining down the lake at the back of the course.
Lily Matthews was in touch with Last for a lap, but from then on Last simply and relentlessly rode away from her rivals, lap by lap, and she was soon catching some of the slower Junior men.
Last's win was pretty much inevitable and impressive. Matthews had to work a lot harder to hang on to second as Ruby Miller applied pressure during the second half of the race. However, Matthews resisted and was beginning to draw away from the Junior rider in the closing stages.
Genevive Whitson rode a steady race, mostly alone, and claimed fourth. Series leader, Hannah Barnes, appeared to suffer some kind of problem on the first lap and although she got going again, she had to settle for a distant seventh. Her series win was never in doubt, however, thanks to her early season dominance.
1 Annie Last 43:17
2 Lily Matthews @ 2:52
3 Ruby Miller (J) @ 3:26
4 Genevieve Whitson @ 4:01
5 Joanne McRae @ 5:06
Series leader Sam Lowe was the early leader in the Youth race, going to the head of the field in the start straight. Coming along the lake shore after four minutes of racing, he was at the head of a four rider group, which also included Ed McParland, Hugo Robinson and William Worrall.
Lowe pushed on during the second lap and at half distance he had suddenly established a 15 second lead. From there on in to the finish he was able to control events and although he didn't really extend his lead, he was never threatened as he took the win and with it the series.
Hugo Robinson looked the strongest of the rest in the first two laps, but he faded towards the end and it was left to William Worrall and Adam Martin to make the significant moves of the closing two laps. McParland also faded and was caught eventually by Thomas Armstrong.
The last lap saw Martin make his move and he passed Worrall to claim second. Worrall was third with Hugo Robinson fourth. Armstrong took fifth and McParland sixth.
The Youth Girls' race saw a committed battle between Lucy Garner and Amy Roberts. Roberts spent much of the race towing the series leader around, but Garner moved into the lead where it counted, on the last lap. She gapped Roberts on the lake shore section and had enough in hand in the end to enjoy her celebration. Roberts was second and Bethany Crumpton third Garner also took the series win.
The under-14 Youth race saw Harvey Lowe re-assert his authority in the category, riding clear of his closest rival, Billy Harding, and winning by almost half a minute. Lowe also took the overall series title.
1 Samuel Lowe 33:35
2 Adam Martin @ 0:20
3 William Worrall @ 0:23
4 Hugo Robinson @ 0:29
5 Thomas Armstrong @ 1:9
1 Lucy Garner 38:0
2 Amy Roberts @ 0:11
3 Bethany Crumpton @ 1:27
4 Hannah Payton @ 2:13
5 Hannah Layland @ 4:3
1 Harvey Lowe
2 Billy Harding
3 Jack Ravenscroft
4 Arthur Green
5 Dylan Kerfoot-Robson