The action moved from Bethlem Hospital to Herne Hill Velodrome for the final round of the London Summer Cyclo Cross Series.
New track centre works meant organisers had tarmac sections in the track centre, and some trails had been resurfaced and widened. While there was still plenty of work to be done to the trails, riders were keen to check out the new features with 105 riders in the main race. Fittingly, Friends of the Velodrome - the Velodrome's impartial user group hosted this round.
Being the final round there was plenty to play for for those riders aiming for overall series results. Herne Hill Youth CC's Joe Blackmore bookended the series, riding the first and last rounds and winning on this, his home course, but it was Sannah Zaman of Bigfoot CC that took overall series honours, from Dru Dennis of HHYCC and Geroge Harding of round 4 promoters Penge CC. Her tenacious and consistent riding earned her a brand new cyclo-cross bike courtesy of Worx Bikes specific junior range – she’ll be using it in her first year of winter season racing over the next few months. Pleasingly this is Sannah and George’s first introduction to open cyclo-cross racing, exemplary of many other riders throughout the age categories choosing to start their cyclo-cross careers at the Summer Series.
Toby Martin of Team Darrenth won his second Youth race of the series, but it was George Finch of PMR Racing that took the overall series honours in probably the closest contested category, only two finishing positions ahead of Team Darrenth’s Luke Mitchie, who in turn was four positions ahead of VC Deal’s Noah Charlton. They all took T-Shirts from Morvelo as well as vouchers from the very generous, long term off-road racing supporters Brixton Cycles – who also provided the weekly prizes for most categories.
The main race was the busiest yet, with Herne Hill Velodrome’s unrivalled central London location, club links, pedigree and promise of new features enticing many new riders.
Sam Titmarsh took his second win of the series in the Junior race but Oliver Priddle of Eastbourne Rovers, the only Junior rider present at every round (even though only four out of six were counted) took overall honours. VC Deal’s Jake Charlton and HHYCC’s Stanley Nutter rounded off the series podium. They were adorned by Russ Jones’ Hackney GT brand jerseys.
The Women’s race had the greatest influx of riders, with as many riders in today’s race as had ridden the entire series so far. Familiar face on the cyclo-cross scene, Vicious Velo’s Clair Beaumont took the day's victory, but was only good enough to boost her to third in the overall standings, won by Julie Dinsdale, again the only women rider in attendance at every round, from Rachel Fenton of Canyon UK. Julie took home goodies, including a full cyclo-cross hydraulic brakeset from Hope, as well as clothing from weekly sponsor Ana Nicoola.
The Vets competition was taken up a notch with the influx of new riders. Kevin Knox of Vicious Velo took first place on the day, but Dougie Fox of Crawley Wheelers had started the day with an insurmountable lead in the overall competition to take the prize of a full body MOT from Anne Dickins – Oxted Physio, which may be well needed after 6 weeks of dry and bumpy summer cyclo-cross. Russ Jones’ who also didn’t miss a round came in second overall from Simon Stocklett of round 3 promoters, Addiscombe CC.
The hotly contested Senior race had seen Jules Birks of VC Londres and Matt Webber of Hackney GT trading blows all season, but with Matt absent for this last round, Jules was left needing to win this final round in order to take the series. Easier said than done with Rob Purcell of Neon-Velo doing his best to prove mountainbikes need not be a hindrance in a cyclo-cross race. Nonetheless, Jules took the win for the series, leaving Gabor Doroghazi of series sponsors and fruit basket providers to the category winners, Fruit 4 London and VC Londres’ team mate Philip Glowinski to take second and third spots overall. Jules bagged himself an exclusive £1000 holiday voucher from adventure holiday company Exodus travels, while Gabor and Philip got £250 vouchers. We’ll be expecting some postcards!
Herne Hill Youth CC, putting 10 riders into the series (as of round 5), took the overall team classification, though we insisted only present over 18 coach Bill Wright handled the champagne. Round 5 hosts Dulwich Paragon, represented by the one rider who stayed for the presentation – Greg Anderson came second with 11 riders, but a slightly lower average score, with VC Londres coming third.
Organisers would like to thanks to all our sponsors, promoting clubs and riders and promise to be back in July 2014!