Paul Lloyd edges closer to Winter Cross League crown

Paul Lloyd edges closer to Winter Cross League crown

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Location: Supermarine Rugby Club, Swindon
Event: 25 October 2011

The overall series battle continued as Paul Lloyd, who entered the race with a six point advantage over Dan Lewis, claimed his fourth win and extended his advantage at the top.

Finally the weather has turned to what cyclo-cross racing is all about in the winter as with a heavy down pour just 30 minutes before the race the dry course was turned very muddy and sticky in places to test the riders and bikes to the limit.

A reduced line up of 32 still consisted of a very strong field of riders with Matt Woods, winner of the Wessex League race in reading, and Luke Cowely, winner of a round of last year’s series, present. The race was run off in the usual darkness but with very little wind it was still very warm and the track was hard packed.

The first lap saw Dan Lewis take a tumble as he lead into the arena as the grassy banks had turned very slippy due to the rain. This allowed Paul Lloyd to put some pressure on early and ride on his own a few seconds ahead of the chasing pack of Dan Lewis, Scot Easter, George Bate and Luke Cowely. The second group was made up of Matt Woods, Dan Smith, and Deacon Cutterham.

Midway through the race Lloyd was still leading and his gap was starting to increase as Easter and Lewis were struggling in the muddy conditions. The race behind was an every changing as both Bate and Cowely were suffering in the muddy conditions and dropped out of contention while Smith and Brown moved up into the top five.

In the final lap Lloyd was holding his advantage over his chaser which he held to the line, Easter in solid second place and Lewis came in for the final podium spot for third. Fourth place went to Steve Brown who took the first place for veteran rider. Joe Griffiths was first junior and Samantha Jones was first lady.

The race for the overall sees Lloyd in control but with Lewis eight points behind and a significant 62 point gap to Smith who is still in third. Lloyd will look to defend his lead at round nine to be held on the 1 November.