Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) returned to winning ways with a victory in the Black Mountains Cross, round nine of the Welsh League staged at Lower Porthamel Farm in Talgarth on Sunday.
The promoting club's Joe Lally was a convincing winner of the main race at Round 9 of the Welsh League held at Lower Porthamel Farm near Talgarth in Powys. The venue, which is new to the League this season, proved a stern test for the riders after heavy overnight rain and strong winds battered the course. What had been reasonably dry pasture the day before was sodden on the Sunday.
Lally immediately went to the front of the field with Junior Jiffies Matthew Thompson and Adam King and Wiggle's Ben Simmons for company. But Simmons was not comfortable with the conditions and soon dropped out of the race leaving Thompson to shadow Lally, King slightly off the pace and the chasers strung out behind.
Thompson continued to hold Lally's wheel until just over halfway through the race when he took a nasty tumble on the farm track just before the finish line. Though visibly shaken he wasted no time in recovering his bike, which had somersaulted onto his back.
But Lally now had the advantage and Thompson was unable to get back up to him. Lally crossed the line to take his fourth victory of the series and reinforce his position at the top of the League table, with Thompson gamely holding on for second ahead of King.
Veteran Mark James (Team Jewson) continued his winning ways, finishing fourth just behind King, and downhiller Tracy Moseley (Trek/Malvern Cyclesport), a welcome visitor to the League, was first Woman ahead of Ruby Miller (Horizon Fitness).
The Youth riders coped well with the main course and the race ended with another win for Bynea CC's Joe Holt. Towy Rider Nicholas Jones doggedly chased Holt but had to settle for second, well ahead of Alister Williams (Abergavenny RC) in third. Clubmate Teifion Best finished fifth (and first U14) after a race-long tussle with U16 Harry Sowden (Bad Ass Bikes) and Sam Tillett (Cardiff JIF) got the better of brother James to complete the U14 top three. Emily Haycox (Maindy Flyers) held off Manon Lloyd (Towy Riders) to finish first U16 Girl and Elizabeth Bennett (Cardiff JIF) overhauled Abergavenny RC's Lowri Thomas mid-race to finish first U14 Girl.
It was a fine display of gear selection by the U10s on their course as they swooped down the field and returned via a series of short climbs. By mid-race Rhys Thomas (Abergavenny RC) had established a healthy gap to rival Guto Dafydd (Towy Riders) but a further two laps on and it was Guto in the lead. The fight seemed to go out of Rhys and the race ended with a comfortable victory for Guto ahead of Rhys and first U8 Boy Josh Tarling (Towy Riders). Emma Finucane held off fellow Towy Rider Eluned King in the U10 Girls and Heledd Hunt added another win to her tally in the U8 Girls.
After early forays to the front by Towy Rider Owain Roberts and Megan James (Abergavenny RC), it was Joe Beckingsale (also Abergavenny RC) who took control of the U12s race. A tumble in the wooded section saw Megan briefly off the pace but she was soon back up again. However, neither Megan nor Owain were able to overhaul Joe and he took another win to ensure that it remains close at the top of the U12 League table.
1 Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) 11 laps in 52:46
2 Matthew Thompson (Cardiff JIF) @ 1:25
3 Adam King (Cardiff JIF) @ 1:45
4 Mark James (Team Jewson/MI Racing)
5 Gareth Barnes (Walkers CC)
6 Phil Morris (Dambusters)
7 James Nixon (mtb-marathon.co.uk)
8 Andrew Parry (Bynea CC)
9 Luke Cornish (Cwmcarn Paragon)
10 Dan Taylor (Acme Wheelers)
Juniors: Matthew Thompson. Veterans: Mark James. Women: Tracy Moseley (Trek/Malvern Cyclesport).
1 Joe Holt (Bynea CC)
2 Nicholas Jones (Towy Riders)
3 Alister Williams (Abergavenny RC)
4 Harry Sowden (Bad Ass Bikes)
5 Teifion Best (Abergavenny RC)
Girl: Emily Haycox (Maindy Flyers), U14 Boy: Teifion Best. U14 Girl: Elizabeth Bennett (Cardiff JIF). U12 Boy: Joe Beckingsale (Abergavenny RC). U12 Girl: Megan James (Abergavenny RC). U10 Boy: Guto Dafydd (Towy Riders). U10 Girl: Emma Finucane (Towy Riders). U8 Boy: Joshua Tarling (Towy Riders). U8 Girl: Heledd Hunt (Towy Riders).
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.