Jack Clarkson (Hope) won the seventh round of the 2012 Pedalsport Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Series, his first 'Cross race since the world champoinships, following a race-long battle with Ian Taylor (Craven Energy) and Mike Thompson (TEF Richardsons RT).
This is the second time the summer series has been to Kippax this season and to shake things up for the riders, it was run in the reverse direction. With its mix of playing field drags, numerous bankings, two run-ups and a tricky sand pit, it was a fast and testing circuit for another big field.
Clarkson was on the front from the start, but with a long string of riders behind there were initially no clear leaders on the first lap. Clarkson, Taylor and Thompson then forged ahead, distancing themselves from the chasing group which also gradually fragmented.
The leading trio gradually increased their lead over the chasers, with Taylor and Clarkson alternating at the front and Thompson, who was impressively staying in touch despite the self-imposed handicap of riding a mountain bike, holding on behind them.
It looked increasingly like the three of them would take the race to the wire, only for Clarkson to fall in the sandpit when he touched the wheel of a rider he was lapping. This in turn held up Thompson whilst Taylor to got away, opening up a gap of perhaps 10 lengths.
Clarkson kept his cool and rode himself back up to Taylor, but Thompson was not able to follow, leaving Clarkson and Taylor to decid it all on the final lap. With a third of a lap to go Clarkson made his move on the back straight of the course. He put in a burst of speed to distance Taylor from his wheel and held the gap to win the race.
Behind the leading trio Smith spent most of the race on his own in fourth. Peace had been with him but after rolling a tub on the third lap he had dropped out of the top ten and had to work hard to work his way back up the field to eventually finish in seventh. Young had a slower start but was picking off riders throughout the race to finish in fifth. Victoria Wilkinson continued her dominance of the Women's category with yet another impressive win.
Related article - Why not read about Jack Clarkson's recent visit to the UCI for a Cyclo-Cross development camp.
1 Jack Clarkson Hope Factory Racing 47.12
2 Ian Taylor Craven Energy
3 Mike Thompson TEF Richardsons RT
4 Seth Smith Paul Milnes
5 Mike Young Pedalsport
6 Andy Johnson Yorkshire Velo
7 Andy Peace SIS
8 Nick Barnes Zepnat
9 Ben Cooper Hargreaves Cycles
10 Rick Crabtree Pedalsport
1 Victoria Wilkinson UA
2 Amira Mellor Holme Valley Wheelers
3 Marie Jackson Paul Milnes
In the under 14 race the Pedalsport youngsters kept the series sponsors happy by dominating the race again with usual quartet of Young, Taylor, Rushby and Nelson starting hard and quickly taking the lead. Taylor, who has been ill recntly, withdrew after a couple of laps, leaving Young and Rushby to ride away from Nelson. With half the race gone Rushby tried to get away but Young responded and took the lead and won with a comfortable gap in the end. Elizabeth Lloyd was the first girl to finish.
1 Jenson Young Pedalsport
2 Max Rushby Pedalsport
3 Thomas Nelson Pedalsport
4 Simeon Young Pedalsport
5 Henry Hollyman Kirkless Cycling Academy
1 Elizabeth Lloyd Wakefield Junior Tri