Venue: Newsome High School
Ian Taylor produced a classy ride to win the final round of the Yorkshire Summer Cyclo-Cross series, promoted by Huddersfield Star Wheelers on a hilly course at Newsome High School, Huddersfield. Day-long rain made the course extremely slippery and although fundamentally fast and flowing, it kept the riders on their toes.
Over-14 Race Video
Under-14: The evening's action began with the Under-14 race, which Lewis Byran of Holme Valley Wheelers led from start to finish to record his fourth win of the series. Club-mate Amira Mellor was also chasing her fourth win, but a slip on a cambered corner on the first lap cost her precious seconds and she was never able to close down Byran who controlled the rest of the race from the front.
Over-14: Attention then switched to the Over-14 race and there was a rapid start by Simon Maudsley, who briefly led on the opening half lap. However, Ian Taylor was soon into his stride, joining James Thompson, Rob Watson and Billy Harding at the front of the action as Maudsley slipped back.
Series winner Jack Clarkson had a slightly sluggish start and then chain problems left him with a bike change - luckily, his bike broke within sight of his pit crew. But it put the six-time winner in this series on the back foot and he was never able to claw himself into contention.
Instead, Taylor largely dictated affairs from the front. For a time Rob Watson went toe-to-toe with him, but a blow-out took the tall Paul Milnes rider out of the race with a couple of laps to go. It was left to Thompson to keep the pressure up on Taylor as Harding drifted back to join Clarkson in a battle for third place.
In the end, Taylor was able to control the last couple of laps having built up a lead and he crossed the line alone in failing light to collect a popular win. Thomspson claimed second, with Clarkson taking third ahead of Harding. Jack Humphries and Nick Barnes were fifth and sixth.
The race brought to a conclusion another successful series of summer races, all well attended. Full credit to series organiser Fred Rothwell and his team and to all the individual event organisers for providing a varied, enjoyable and friendly series of events.
The series saw a dominant performance by Pedalsport's Jack Clarkson, who emailed with his reaction us after the event, which he described as a "bad day at the office" - his only previous defeat had come at the hands of Nick Craig in the sixth round. It was his second straight win in the series.
Clarkson said: "Each year the cross seems to just get more and more popular attracting many more riders each year rain or shine. Today's race I felt was very fast pace being set early on so I got to the front to try and keep it together in aid of my team mates, Mike Young and Chris Taylor, but on one of the first off-camber sections both myself and Rob Watson came down with the mud catching us out. Half a lap later I snapped my chain, possibly due to the crash, so after swapping bikes I made the bridge back to the leaders.
As I got back on, an attack came in the group distancing me once again! I continued to push hard and slowly made my way up the field catching Billy Harding and that, along with Rob having a front puncture, put me in 3rd on the night.
Yorkshire 'cross races are always good events - there's a good crack between the riders and great courses both winter and summer ! Big thanks to Mark at Pedalsport and everyone with YCCA as it couldn't go ahead without them!