It’s tight at the top of the elite men’s British Cycling National Trophy standings as the series heads for its penultimate stop in Bradford on 14 December.
With the top three of Alex Paton, Jody Crawforth and Ian Field separated by just five points, the Peel Park round of the 2014/15 competition is set to be a thriller.
Ian Field began the National Trophy with back-to-back wins in Shrewsbury and Southampton giving him a runaway lead. But Alex Paton profited from Field’s absence in Durham to take the win and, combined with sixth place in the Milton Keynes round, tops the table on 141 points.
Consistent scoring by Jody Crawforth has given the Hargroves Cycles-Ridley RT rider the second place spot, three points adrift of Paton, while Field sits two points back on 136.
Field has made it public that the National Trophy crown is a key objective for him, in a heavy season that includes participation in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Superprestige and Bpost Bank Trofee series.
It’s a different story in the elite women’s category, with junior Amira Mellor’s performance being perhaps the story of the entire season.
The Paul Milnes Cycles/Bradford Olympic RC rider leads Merce Pacios Pujado by 28 points, her Durham win propelling her to the top of the standings and a strong ride amid an international field at Milton Keynes keeping her firmly in the driving seat.
With the penultimate round taking place in the home town of her team, Mellor will be keen to show her club colours at the head of the race.
Behind Mellor the fight for the second spot in the final podium is tight, with Pacios Pujado, Annabel Simpson and Adela Carter separated by just eight points.
The under-23 men’s category is beginning to turn into a two-horse race between Jack Clarkson and Ben Sumner. Despite two wins in Shrewsbury and Durham, Sumner sits six points behind Clarkson thanks to consistent finishing by the Team Hope Factory Racing man.
Nicholas Barnes of www.zepnat.com RT/Kuota/GSG trails Sumner by 15 points in third place and will be looking for a good ride in Bradford to be in with a chance of stealing series honours.
In the junior men’s category, the runaway train that is Alfie Moses’ season was temporarily derailed in Milton Keynes, the Paul Milnes Cycles/Bradford Olympic RC rider finishing seventh after a hat-trick of wins in the first three rounds.
Despite the fourth-round glitch, Moses still leads the series on 138 points to David Barnes on 106, while behind Joshua Waters is in touch on 102 points.
A firm favourite of riders and spectators alike, Bradford’s Peel Park is one of the iconic venues on the British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-cross Series, as well as hosting the national championships on a number of occasions.
Racing begins at 10:15am with the veteran men with the elite and under-23 men rounding out the schedule at 2:30pm. Reports, results, images and reaction from all categories will appear on the British Cycling website.