2013/14 British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-Cross
13 October 2013 - 5 January 2014
Preview: Eddie Allen
The 2013/14 British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-Cross series begins in Abergavenny on Sunday 13 October and while the usual suspects will all come out to play in the senior categories, the rise of key younger riders through the competition is sure to make the season’s narrative intriguing.
Above: Oli Beckingsale won the 2012/13 National Trophy, ahead of Paul Oldham (left) and Steve James (right).
Abergavenny hosted the series curtain raiser last year and opens the show in 2013, after which the Trophy caravan rolls on to Southampton, Durham, Milton Keynes, Bradford and the series finale in Shrewsbury.
Above: Abergavenny played host to the series opener in 2012 and will once again have the honour in 2013.
Twelve months ago, the senior men’s category saw Oli Beckingsale beat Paul Oldham to the series win by a slender 22 points, with under 23 winner Steve James a distant third. James however edged the under 23 title last year ahead of Adam Martin and Ben Sumner and all will begin their campaigns on Sunday.
In the veteran 40+ category, runaway 2012/13 winner Darren Atkins will look to make early headway in his title defence. Atkins won five out of six races last season so will be the man to beat, but might face some stiff competition this winter. Last season’s runner up Ian Taylor has been in great form over the summer MTB season, as has new veteran Crispin Doyle, while two riders who have previously graced the top 10 in the senior rankings, Dan Alexander and Darren Barclay, will also be making their veteran debuts.
Steve Davies was equally dominant last year, also chalking up five wins on his way to veteran 50+ honours, but can expect a strong challenge to come from runner-up Mick Davies
The 2012/13 junior men’s was a closer contest, with the spoils shared between Billy Harding and eventual series winner Jack Ravenscroft, but both are absent from the start list so the door may be open for a new challenger. Tomas Franklin, 2012/13 under 16 winner moves up for 2013/14; Franklin was impressive last year, winning the final three rounds and will be an interesting prospect as a junior.
Like Franklin, boys under 14 series winner Dan Tulett moves up a category and after an imperious performance last winter, when he won all six rounds, Tulett’s presence will be sure to cause an upset in the under 16 establishment, where Will Gascoygne and David Barnes are also contenders. As a consequence of Tulett, Mark Donovan and Harry Yates all moving up a category, the under 14 category will see a very different podium come Sunday.
In the women’s category 2012/13 series winner Louise Robinson is yet to enter but last year’s runners up Adela Carter and Delia Beddis are both on the start list. Moving up from the under 16 category in last year’s series winner Abby Mae Parkinson, who will be looking to impress in the senior category.
The ascension of Parkinson along with Sarah Lomas leaves the door open for a changing of the guard in the under 16 girls’ category. The standout name on the Abergavenny start list is Charlotte Broughton who finished seventh overall in 2012/13 after years of dominance in the under 14s. Finally in the under 14 girls’ category, the rise of top three Jessica Roberts, Emily Wadsworth and Isabelle Boon leaves the door open for riders like Sophie Holmes and Lucy Nelson to capitalise.
The racing begins at 10:30am on Sunday 5 October at Abergavenny Leisure Centre. Full details can be found at www.britishcycling.org.uk/nationaltrophy.