Welsh League winner Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) secured another victory in the series, winning by 40 seconds from junior Adam King (Cardiff JIF) in the tenth round at Govilon Football Club near Abergavenny on Sunday.
Lally, the 27-year-old from Powys, has only missed out on a podium finish once this season, and has won five rounds on his way to overall victory.
Second last season to Andrew Baum, his Cwmcarn Paragon CC rival broke a collar bone in a cycling accident early in the series having taken a first, second and third in the opening three races.
But Lally has looked strong all season and Baum would’ve had a hard task holding off his rival.
"Bambi on Ice" is how Joe Lally described himself as he negotiated the many slippery off-camber bends on his way to victory in the main race at a rain soaked 'Cross over the Canal. The penultimate round of the Welsh League series, the event was well attended despite the weather with riders eager to grab those last points for an overall League position.
The run-ups and off-camber banks provided a real challenge for the riders in the main race and a source of much entertainment for the spectators. Leading from the start Lally slowly but surely pulled away from a chasing group of six riders headed by Cwmcarn Paragon's Luke Cornish.
By mid-race King had dropped his fellow chasers but made no inroads into Lally's lead; he finally began to be reeled in by Morris who had clipped off the front of the remnants of the chasing group. Lally crossed the line 40 seconds ahead of King with Morris a further 16 seconds behind.
Mark James (Team Jewson/MI Racing) continued his unbroken run of victories in the Veteran category and Claire Bowen put aside her Round 8 disappointment to win the Women's race.
Conditions began to deteriorate as icy rain began to fall at the start of the Youth race. The promoting club's Sam Beckingsale took the early lead with Bynea CC's Joe Holt the filling in an Abergavenny RC sandwich.
By mid-race, however, Holt had regained his usual position at the front and finally dispensed of the opposition to maintain his winning record. First U14 Teifion Best (Abergavenny RC) again rode strongly to finish fifth as did first U16 Girl Emily Haycox (Cardiff Ajax) and first U14 Girl Elizabeth Bennett (Cardiff JIF).
Once again the U12s had the best of the weather although some judicious cornering was still called for.
Abergavenny RC's Rhys Thomas once again took the U10s race to his rival Guto Dafydd but was unable to stay with the Towy Rider who comfortably took another win ahead of Rhys and Maindy Flyer Bevan Smith.
Worthy of mention too was the battle going on just behind as Iwan Evans (Builth & District CC) pipped Aled Trott (Abergavenny RC) on the line for fourth place after a race-long tussle. First U10 Girl Eluned King (Towy Riders) rode strongly to sixth place just ahead of first U8 Ashley Cole (Abergavenny RC) who would have won the prize for the biggest smile of the day too. And U8 Girl Heledd Hunt (Towy Riders) continued her unbeaten run.
The customary quartet were soon off the front in the U12 race with Owain Roberts (Towy Riders) on the front and his Abergavenny RC rivals biding their time? The danger sign for the Towy Rider came at the end of the penultimate lap when Joe Beckingsale moved up behind him.
With the slippery bends negotiated Joe opened up a gap on the others to take the win ahead of Megan James and Huw Higgins-Worrall - another 1-2-3 for Abergavenny RC.
1 Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) S
2 Adam King (Cardiff JIF) J @ 0.40
3 Phil Morris (Dambusters) S @ 0.56
4 Luke Cornish (Cwmcarn Paragon) S
5 Matthew Thompson (Cardiff JIF) J
6 Andrew Baum (Cwmcarn Paragon) S
7 Mark James (Team Jewson/MI Racing) V40
8 James Nixon (mtb-marathon.co.uk) J
9 Ross Porter (Cwmcarn Paragon) V40
10 Simon Nurse (Cardiff JIF) S
Junior: Adam King. Veteran: Mark James. Woman: Claire Bowen (Abergavenny RC).
1 Joe Holt (Bynea CC)
2 Sam Beckingsale (Abergavenny RC)
3 Alister Williams (Abergavenny RC)
4 Jared Brooks (Abergavenny RC)
5 Teifion Best (Abergavenny RC)
U16 Girl: Emily Haycox (Cardiff Ajax)
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: Eluned King (Towy Riders)
U8 Boy: Ashley Cole (Abergavenny RC)
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.