From Left to right
Junior Champion William Worrall, Vet 40+ Champion Phil Roach, Senior Champion Lee Williams, Vets 60+ Champion John Lloyd, Womens Champion Claire Bowen and Vets 50+ Champion Paul Bennett
After days of heavy rain one thing was certain - it would be a muddy 2011 Welsh Cyclo-Cross Championships! A window of dry weather, albeit with a strong wind, gave the younger riders the opportunity to race relatively mud-free on a less waterlogged section of the sports fields at Penlan in Brecon. But thereafter the weather, and with it the course, rapidly deteriorated.
In the Senior Men's race reigning Welsh Cyclo-Cross Champion Lee Williams (Team Wiggle) wasted no time in opening up a substantial gap ahead of Welsh Cyclo-Cross League leader Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny), Dan Lewis (RAF CA) and Andy Baum (Cwmcarn Paragon), making a return to racing after breaking his collar-bone at the start of the season.
While a puncture saw Baum slip out of contention for a podium place, Williams was expertly soloing to yet another Welsh Championship victory with the field strung out behind him and helpers kept busy hosing down bikes. He crossed the finish line, after exactly an hour of racing, 4 minutes ahead of Lally, with Lewis a further 49 seconds behind.
Earlier in the day reigning Junior and Veteran 40+ Champions Will Worrall (Towy Riders CC) and Phil Roach (Rugby Velo) had also dominated the combined Junior, Veteran and Women's race. Worrall finished 12 seconds ahead of Roach, with Junior Cardiff JIF riders Adam King and Matthew Thompson at 1.58 and 2.11 respectively after their usual race-long tussle.
But the Veteran 50+ title came down to the line as Cardiff JIF's Paul Bennett crossed it narrowly ahead of Ian Evans (Clwb Rasio Mona). Claire Bowen (Abergavenny RC) and John Lloyd (mtb-marathon.co.uk) comfortably regained their Welsh titles in the Women's and Veteran 60+ categories respectively.
Currently third in the National Trophy Series, Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos-on-Sea CC) was favourite to take the Youth U16 title and, although waiting until the final lap, it was no surprise when he quickly pulled away from Bynea CC's Joe Holt to better his silver medal of last year.
Finishing in an impressive fourth place, first year Youth Tomos Owens (Brooks Cycles) added the U14 title to his collection and, riding strongly to seventh, Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) took the U16 Girl's title. Towy Rider Jessica Roberts comfortably won in the U14 Girl's category.
The U12 race promised to be the most closely fought of the day and it did not disappoint. Craig Rogers (Birkenhead North End CC) may have headed the field from the start but he was being closely followed by 2010 silver medallist Solomon Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos-on-Sea CC), Joe Beckingsale, Megan James and Huw Higgins-Worrall (all Abergavenny RC).
A tumble on the second lap saw Megan dropped and battling to catch rival Lucy Nelson (Halesowen A & CC). Meanwhile Solomon and Joe were trading places behind the leader. By mid-race Megan had caught and overhauled Lucy. Craig looked to have opened up a gap on the chasers by the end of the penultimate lap but a sudden attack by Joe took him to the front and he held on for victory with Solomon taking silver ahead of Craig. Megan made it a double for Abergavenny RC.
In the U10 race Rhys Thomas (Abergavenny RC) led through the field after the first lap but was passed on the second by rival Guto Dafydd (Towy Riders) and subsequently dropped out, leaving Guto a comfortable winner.
Towy Rider Eluned King was in determined mood and soon had an advantage over club-mate and rival Emma Finucane which she held onto to the finish. The U8 race was dominated by Josh Tarling with Heledd Hunt (both Towy Riders) the winning girl.
1 Lee Williams (Team Wiggle)
2 Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) @ 04:00
3 Dan Lewis (RAFCA) @04:49
4 Gareth Barnes (Cardiff JIF)
5 Andrew Baum (Cwmcarn Paragon)
6 Luke Cornish (Cwmcarn Paragon)
7 Richard Bowen (Abergavenny RC)
8 Adrian Peall (Forza Cycles)
9 Dan Taylor (Acme Wheelers)
10 Michael Tarling (Towy Riders CC)
1 William Worrall (Towy Riders CC)
2 Adam King (Cardiff JIF)
3 Matthew Thompson (Cardiff JIF)
1 Philip Roach (Rugby Velo)
2 Ross Porter (Cwmcarn Paragon)
3 Simon Nurse (Cardiff JIF)
1 Paul Bennett (Cardiff JIF)
2 Ian Evans (Clwb Rasio Mona)
3 Donald Gray (Cardiff JIF)
1 John Lloyd (mtb-marathon.co.uk)
2 Mike Davies (unattached)
3 Rob Lally (CC Abergavenny)
1 Claire Bowen (Abergavenny RC)
2 Rebecca Hunt (Cardiff Ajax)
3 Stephanie Best (Abergavenny RC)
Youth U16 Boy:
1 Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos-on-Sea CC)
2 Joe Holt (Bynea CC)
2 Robert Rogers (Birkenhead North End CC)
Youth U16 Girl:
1 Ffion James (Abergavenny RC)
2 Emily Haycox (Maindy Flyers)
3 Manon Lloyd (Towy Riders)
1 Tomos Owens (Brooks Cycles)
2 Teifion Best (Abergavenny RC)
3 Scott Dunster (Brecon Wheelers)
1 Jessica Roberts (Towy Riders)
2 Elizabeth Bennett (Cardiff JIF)
3 Tanwen Jones (Towy Riders)
1 Joe Beckingsale (Abergavenny RC)
2 Solomon Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos-on-Sea CC)
3 Craig Rogers (Birkenhead North End CC)
1 Megan James (Abergavenny RC)
2 Lucy Nelson (Halesowen A & CC)
3 Elena Shaw (Maindy Flyers)
1 Guto Dafyyd (Towy Riders)
2 Bevan Smith (Maindy Flyers)
3 Dyfan Roberts (Towy Riders)
1 Eluned King (Towy Riders)
2 Emma Finucane (Towy Riders)
3 Rosie Finucane (Towy Riders)
1 Joshua Tarling (Towy Riders)
2 Ashley Cole (Abergavenny RC)
3 Ieuan Owens (Bynea CC)
1 Heledd Hunt (Towy Riders)
2 Awen Roberts (Towy Riders)
3 Evelyn Higgins-Worrall (Abergavenny RC)
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.