Cross: Hargroves wins in Wessex League

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Location: Thruxton motor circuit, Hampshire
Event: 24 November 2013

Andy Hargroves (Felt Colbornes-Hargroves RT) pipped Steve James (Hargroves Cycles) by a couple of seconds on the line after the two young riders had been wheel to wheel all race all race.

The Thruxton Motor Racing circuit in Hampshire hosted round ten of the Wessex League; the course was laid out on the spectator car park with lots of tight twisty turns as they made their way up and down the grassy hill side.

The race got underway after a minutes silence in memory of Wessex League Chairman Geoff Shergold who died last weekend, and soon it opened up into a race Geoff would have loved to watch. A group of six riders soon eased out a gap and started working to extend the gap. Along with Hargroves and James was Michael Cotty (Wheelbase Cannondale), Joe Griffiths (Strada), Matt Macdonald and Matt Hargroves of Hargroves Cycles.

The gaps were beginning to appear between these leaders as the rest tried to keep pace with the fast start. The lead changed several times on the first couple of laps with Cotty leading at the start of lap two. The three leaders were Hargroves, James and Cotty and as the small chasing group formed they started to lose time.

At this point Cotty started to slip away and was now 21 seconds down on the leading pair of Hargroves and James. The chasing trio of Griffiths, Matt Hargroves and Macdonald were now 42 seconds back and running together. At the front the leaders began to extend their grip on the race as it twisted its way around the sea of yellow and black tape.

The leaders were now comfortable with a couple of laps to go as the chasers slipped further back, Cotty was now over a minute back with the Macdonald lead trio were at 1min 35sec. These three looked like they were on for a sprint finish until Griffiths rolled a tub and slipped back as he limped his way towards the pit, and at this point Macdonald decided to put some distance between himself and Matt Hargroves.

The last lap didn’t see any changes to the order as Andy Hargroves and Steve James were locked as they went up and down the hill side, however it was Hargroves who arrived at the planks first and without a mistake he was first to re mount and lead into the last corner and with his arms aloft and looking skywards he took and emotional win on a special day for the League.

The combined vet/junior/women race was won by Lewis King (Beeline Bicycles) after hard fought race as the league’s four strongest riders were locked together on the first few laps.

Along with King was Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles), Mike Simpson (GS Henley) and Sean Williams (Wightlink Offshore). The race order didn’t change too much until just over a lap to go as King and Simpson found a couple of seconds over Doyle and Williams started to drop back. At the finish King outsprinted Simpson by a second Doyle finished twelve seconds further back and Williams was at twenty seconds.

Anna Cipullo Dames Cycling was first women ahead of Tracy Cornell (North Hants RC) with Caroline Goward (Cotswold Veldrijden). The junior race was won by Joe Andrews ahead of Dan Tuley (Chapel Tri Stars) and Zoe Sheehan (Cotswold Veldrijden) was first junior girl.

The earlier youth race saw Chris Rothwell (SCRA) take a fairly comfortable win of 1min 23 seconds over Edward Gronbech (Oxford City RC) and Tom Sewell (Cotswold Veldrijden) who was at 2mins 19sec.

Provisional Results:

1st Andrew Hargroves Felt Colbourne Hargroves RT
2nd Steve James Hargroves Cycles @4secs
3rd Michael Cotty Wheelbase Cannondale @1min 08secs
4th Matt Macdonald Hargroves Cycles @1min 36secs
5th Matt Hargroves Hargroves Cycles @1min 46secs
6th Joe Griffiths Strada @1min 56secs
7th Chris Minter PedalOn @2min 23secs
8th Jamie Norfolk PedalOn
9th Richard Lewis CC Basingstoke
10th James Cotty

1st Lewis King Beeline Cycles
2nd Mike Simpson GS Henley @1secs
3rd Crispin Doyle Hargroves Cycles @12sec

1st Anna Cipullo Dame Cycling
2nd Tracy Cornell North Hants RC
3rd Caroline Goward Cotswold Veldrijden

1st Joe Andrews Fareham Wheelers
2nd Dan Tuley Chapel Tri Stars
1st Junior girl Zoe Sheehan Cotswold Veldrijden

Youth Result
1st Chris Rothwell SCRA
2nd Edward Gronbech Oxford City RC
3rd Tom Sewell Cotswold Veldrijden
4th Elliott Lassiter Cotswold Veldrijden

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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.