Cross: Sumner starts Wessex season with a win

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Location: Snelsmore Common, Newbury
Event: 8 September 2013
Report and photos: Graham Robins

There were wins for Ben Sumner (Beeline Cycles), Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) Claire Smith (Cotswold Veldrijden) Tom Sewell (Cotswold Veldrijden), Anna and Emily Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) as the new season gets underway.

The races were very well supported with large entries for the start of another busy cross season in the Wessex area held in the beautiful grounds of Mary Hare School just north of Newbury.

The organisers had used to whole of the school grounds with grass, tarmac, gravel and sand as the course wound its way between the school buildings and the surrounding playing fields and wooded sections. The course was dry and although we had a little rain shower midway through the senior race the course held up very well.

Once the senior race got underway Ben Sumner along with Luke Gray (Trek Cross Selective) opened out a gap from the chasing group containing Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) who had raced and won the earlier veterans race, Richard Lewis (CC Basingstoke) and Jamie Norfolk (Pedal On).

As Ben and Luke continued to ease away Crispin also became detached from the chasers running in a lonely third. The group now chasing fourth place was between Richard, Jamie Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles), Sean Williams (Wightlink Offshore) and Peter Kench now riding in the colours of local bike shops Banjo Cycles.

As the race continued Ben had a lead of over 40secs over Luke who in turn was two minutes clear of Crispin, the chasing group were also a further two minutes down on Crispin at 4mins 20secs.

At the bell the places all stayed the same; Luke did reduce the gap to Ben to 20secs, Crispin was down at 2min 40secs and Richard and Jamie were at 4mins 18secs. Ben won with Luke charging him down but running out of distance quickly. Crispin came in third which left Jamie and Richard to sprint it out for fourth and fifth.

The combined vet, junior and women’s race saw a large field of 93 entries stream around the 2.4k course. After a couple of laps there were riders spread all over it. Last season’s winner Mike Simpson (GS Henley) along with Lewis King (Beeline Cycles) along with Keith Sheridan (Cotswold Veldrijden) are the first to make the early running with Crispin Doyle having a customary slow start running in fourth.

After the first couple of laps the four riders had almost joined up at the front but it was Keith who is the first to slip back and at that point Crispin eased of the front leaving Mike and Lewis joined together. At the bell Crispin is well clear and he retained his lead as Mike and Lewis were left to sprint for third. And they did not disappoint as they exited the last corner on the finish straight locked together, heads down and sprinting across the grass. Lewis just piped Mike by half a wheel on the line.

Claire Smith (Cotswold Veldrijden) was first women ahead of Sarah Barber (North Hants RC) and team mate Tracy Cornell. Joseph Andrews (Fareham Wheelers) was first junior ahead of Cameron Thompson (Andover Wheelers).

Tom Sewell (Cotswold Veldrijden) led the youth race from the start from Emily Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) until a lap to go when Dan Tuley (Chapel Tri Stars) got past. Charlie Cooper (Chapel Tri Stars) was fourth. Anna Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) was first overall in the under 1’s race in a large race of 43 entries.

Provisional results:


1st Ben Sumner Beeline Cycles

2nd Luke Gray Trek Cross Collective @24secs

3rd Crispin Doyle Hargroves Cycles @2mins 39secs

4th Jamie Norfolk Pedal On @4mins 22secs

5th Richard Lewis CC Basingstoke @st

6th Sean Williams Wightlink Offshore

7th Peter Kench Banjo Cycles

8th Will Girvan North Hants RC

9th Chris Atkins Specialized

10th James Cotty Cannondale


1st Crispin Doyle Hargroves Cycles

2nd Lewis King Beeline Cycles

3rd Mike Simpson GS Henley

4th Keith Sheridan Cotswold Veldrijden

5th William Girvan North Hants RC

6th Robin Wilmott Cotswold Veldrijden

7th Steve Dance Andover Wheelers

8th Pete Scott Cotswold Veldrijden

9th Nick Onslow Pedal On


1st Claire Smith Cotswold Veldrijden

2nd Sarah Barber North Hants RC

3rd Tracy Cornell North Hants RC


1st Joseph Andrews Fareham Wheelers

2nd Cameron Thompson Andover 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.