Neil Hayward took victory in a close run race in Wolverhampton in round 11 of the Waldron’s Solicitors West Midlands League on Sunday afternoon.
It was a narrow victory over Simon Maudsley of Crosstrax with the Leeds rider staying with Hayward for the whole race.
22-year-old Wolverhampton Wheelers rider Robert Burns Jnr took third place, finishing around a minute after the front two.
In the over 40 race, Phil Roach of Rugby Velo was victorious with Pete Harris (Pearce Cycles RT) running out winner in the over-50s category.
The fastest woman of the day was National Junior Champion Hannah Payton (The Kinesis Morvelo Project) who narrowly beat Lauren Creamer of Brotherton Cycles in a close-fought battle.
The youth race was a battle royale for the Barrie Elson Trophy. This trophy has been awarded by Adrian Elson in memory of his late brother for the last several year and includes esteemed previous winners such as Josh Papwoth, Luke Grivell-Mellor and Joe Fox. National under 16 champion and National Trophy winner Jack Ravenscroft (Solihull CC) were in the strating line-up, riding in his one and only opportunity to show off his jersey this season.
All eyes were on Ravenscroft but with Danny Fox (Solihull CC) also returning to the form that saw him take round 2 of the National Trophy and wear the yellow jersey for two rounds along with the ever-improving Chris Welburn, it was destined to be a real fight. As usual, Ravenscroft took off from the gun, however was unable to shake his rivals in the opening exchanges unlike the last three rounds of the trophy.
At the end of lap one, Ravenscroft and Fox were together a handful of seconds up on Welburn. Over the next few laps, Ravenscroft and Fox exchanged blows with each other and gradually eased clear of Welburn. Neither of the leaders was going to hand the win to the other. At the bell lap, the Solihull duo had ninety seconds in hand over third and were still determined not to give each other an easy ride to line as they constantly fought to take advantage in the technical sections.
Coming through the final corners, it was Ravenscroft who had the lead with Fox right on his tail although a small mistake nearly let Fox through with three corners left. However in the lunge for the line, it was Ravenscroft who took the verdict by a wheel over Fox. It was the first time in many years that the Barrie Elson Trophy has been won in such a tight race and Adrian was clearly delighted with the way all the riders had ridden. Welburn rounded out the top three to secure his overall league victory in the under 16 category of the Waldrons Solicitors/West Mids Cyclo-Cross league.
In the junior section Jacob James (Halesowen A&CC) came first with Joe Atkins (Coventry RC) in second.
1. Neil Hayward (Sportstest.co.uk)
2. Simon Maudsley (Crosstrax)
3. Robert Burns Junior (Wolverhampton Wheelers)
Over-40s: Phil Roach (Rugby Velo). Over-50s: Pete Harris (Pearce Cycles RT). Women: Hannah Payton (The Kinesis Morvelo Project). Youth: Jack Ravenscroft (Solihull CC). Junior: Jacob James (Halesowen A&CC).
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.