Location: Abbey Farm, Bardney
Event: 25 November 2012
Report: John Cotton
Steve Lampier (IG Sigma Sport) was the solo winner of Bourne Wheelers Cyclo Cross race in Lincolnshire leading from start to finish on one of the toughest days of the year for cross racing.
The venue, Abbey farm, Bardney, is a flat open circuit around bumpy farmer’s field and the ruins of a Roman Abbey which tests the brute strength of the riders. Its openness along with the weather conditions did not disappoint the 62 competitors who were brave enough to sign on for the main race as they were in for a brutal test of character.
Heavy rain overnight had caused several roads around the county to be closed due to flooding and some within a few miles of the venue. Its effect on the venue were to turn a hard bumpy farmers field saturated and muddy with some large boggy areas to test the competitors mud riding skills. Even the farmers track, usually a hard packed road like section, was muddy and with large pot holes filled with murky water. Worse still for the competitors was the wind which was howling around the venue which has almost no shelter, this provided one particular long slog into the wind on a muddy field which was already enough to make the going tough. The gusts whipped up leading riders at almost walking pace trudging across the field. By the time they turned to gain the benefit of the back wind the fatigued riders were slowed down with the soggy conditions and bumpy fields. The course and conditions would lead to big splits in all the days races.
Lampier took to the head of the race from the start and had a small gap to Rick Lister (Ellmore Factory Racing), George Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers) and Mark Cotton (Ellmore Factory Racing). First lap into the wind Lampier was not going to wait for the trio behind and capitalized on some hesitancy as they looked at each other to see who was willing to take up the chase. The gap was less than 25 meters but into the strong wind if would have felt like much further. Lampier looked the strongest and was away on a solo effort to maintain his lead.
Lister, Thompson and Cotton are the leading 3 riders fighting out for the Lincolnshire Championship and were close together for the first 2 laps and had company from Oliver Maxwell (Rutland CC) briefly who had fought hard to get onto the group. Cotton was the first to make a mistake as he took a poor line through a boggy section with his front wheel digging in and stopping him dead in his tracks. Thompson was close behind and also got caught up with Cotton. Lister had been at the head of the group and in the mix up behind rode off the front of the group making a small gap. Thompson was quickest to respond and set about the chase while Cotton was 10 seconds down on Thompson after unshipping his chain in the crash. The lead 4 were now spilt and Lister soon opened up a strong gap on Thompson and was chasing Lampier who looked to have a comfortable 30 second lead. Cotton was back on and into a good rhythm and managed to close the gap to Thompson half a lap later into the wind.
Lampier was fighting hard to maintain his lead which was not increasing over Lister but it was comfortable enough that baring mechanical problems, the win would be his. Lister himself had a comfortable gap on Thompson and Cotton behind. With 2 laps remaining Cotton made the pivotal move in the battle for 3rd, leading into the wind he rode hard and Thompson was not able to close the gap which had been created. Lampier crossed the line to take a strong solo win completing 6 laps which shows how tough the course and conditions were. Lister came home a comfortable second with Cotton in third, Thompson fourth and Junior Oliver Maxwell had arguably the ride of the day with an excellent fifth and the first Junior.
The Youth race was won with a solo effort from promoting clubs Tim James (Bourne Wheelers) who rode away early in the race and powered to an impressive victory. James has really come into form in recent weeks and this victory followed an impressive top 10 at last weekend’s Youth National Trophy race. Henry Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers) and leading under 14 rider James Armstrong (VC Lincoln) were in a battle for second behind. Armstrong looked the more likely to take second place and was at one point riding away from Thompson but an unfortunate mechanical allowed Thompson to catch and pass Armstrong at a crucial point in the race.
Jake Norton continued his dominance in the Under 12’s category. Norton was beaten for the first time in Lincolnshire last week but made amends this week winning by over a minute. Bradley Sprogis (VC Lincoln) took second place ahead of Cameron Neilson (Spalding CC).
1 Steve Lampier (IG Sigma Sport)
2 Rick Lister (Ellmore Factory Racing) 1st Vet
3 Mark Cotton (Ellmore Factory Racing)
4 George Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers)
5 Oliver Maxwell (Rutland CC) 1st Junior
6 Darryl Hewson (Alford Wheelers) 2nd Vet
7 Jon Wells (VC Lincoln)
8 Graham Clark (Time RT) 3rd Vet
9 Brian Stanley (Ace RT) 4th Vet
10 Richard Hamblin (Seaford Wheelers)
Rick Lister (Ellmore Factory Racing)
Vet 50 +:
Jon Clarke ( Lincoln Wheelers)
Oliver Maxwell (Rutland CC)
Samantha Thoy (VC Lincoln)
1 Tim James (Bourne Wheelers)
2 Henry Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers)
3 James Armstrong (VC Lincoln) 1st Under 14
4 Max Williamson (Lincsquad)
5 Karl Baillie (Witham Wheelers)
Abigail Armstrong (VC Lincoln)
1 Jake Norton (Spalding CC)
2 Bradley Sprogis (VC Lincoln)
3 Cameron Neilson (Spalding CC)
4 Bryn Richard (Spalding CC)
5 Christopher Hilbert (VC Lincoln)
Under 12 girl:
Maddie Gammons (Bourne Wheelers)
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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.