Ian Field made it two wins from three in the men’s 2017-18 HSBC UK | Cyclo-Cross National Trophy while 16-year-old Harriet Harnden took a dramatic victory in the women’s event.
The slippery and muddy conditions at Shrewsbury for the third round of the series played a big part in both events with riders crashing out and suffering mechanicals.
Field soloed to victory after early drama left him as the lone leader while Harnden powered clear in the final minutes of the women’s event.
Elsewhere, Ben Turner and Ben Tulett claimed the U23 and Junior wins respectively, while the same prizes went to Harnden for her impressive display.
Field breezes to victory after Turner's bad luck
Hargroves-Ridley-Montezuma’s rider Field was left alone to take victory in the men’s event after a mechanical for Turner left the national champion out front alone.
Turner, junior world bronze medallist from last season, had looked to be tough opposition for Field as the duo took an early lead.
They soon built up a 30-second advantage over a group of chasers until a crash caused a broken shoe for Turner in the wooded section and caused him to lose more than a minute and 20 places in the process of changing it.
Liam Killeen bridged across to lead chaser Yorben Van Tichelt in the last few laps but the Belgian had enough to secure second in the final lap with Killeen finishing third.
“Just riding around there is hard and chasing Ben (Turner) early on but I think he was running a little bit over the limit and crashed in the woods,” said Field, victor by more than a minute.
“It’s really good for the sport to have those young guys coming through and he was going really well so I’m pleased for him.
“That left me alone for the whole race which was quite nice because, on a lot of the track, you weren’t sure where the bike was going so it was nice to be alone and not have anyone to worry about.
“I could just ride at my own pace, get on and off the bike where I wanted to and control the race from there.
“It was one of those if you go into the red then you make mistakes, so it was nice to be able to ride my own pace."
Teenager Harnden takes the glory in a thriller
Junior rider Harnden clinched her first women’s victory of the series in dramatic style for T-MO Racing.
The 16-year-old, from Malvern, had been trailing Ffion James coming into the last muddy off-camber section on the last lap.
However, after running past her rival on the steps, James then slid on an off-camber banking allowing Harnden to take victory.
After finishing second in the first round Harnden led from the front and was initially joined by Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK) whose challenge then fell away, while series leader Bethany Crumpton suffered an eary crash and had to ride through the field to finish in the top ten and keep her yellow jersey.
Eventually James was the only challenger and with just over a lap to go she snatched the lead which grew to a handful of seconds coming into the final half-a-lap.
However, Harnden responded and rode back up to James before snatching the victory in the final moments.
“It was mad and I didn’t realise Ffion (James) had fallen off until right at the end, said Harnden.
“Ffion got away a bit but I knew I could ride the woods quite well so I slowly picked it back up and it just unravelled.
“The win is more than I could have ever expected after moving up from under-16. It was my first muddy race of the year and I liked it and gave it my all.”
Tulett back to winning ways in Shrewsbury
In a repeat trick of the series opener, Ben Tulett timed his effort to perfection to make it two wins from three in the junior men’s category.
After clinching bronze-medal in the European Championships last weekend, Tulett returned to the domestic scene in defence of his overall National Series leader’s jersey.
He suffered an early crash in the previous round at Abergavenny, eventually finishing third, and again had a slow start as round two winner Sean Flynn set the early pace.
However, Flynn suffered a mechanical just as he rode passed the pits and despite being able to swap bikes his chances were gone.
That left five leaders who traded blows until two laps to go when Tulett forced the pace, taking with him Cameron Mason while Jenson Young chased behind.
Tulett eventually forced a gap over Mason which grew as the bell rang to around ten seconds. However, Mason pegged it back to a handful of seconds in the final sections but was beaten.
1. Ben Turner - Beobank-Corendon
2. Daniel Tulett - Specialized Racing
3. Callum Fernier - Nottingham Clarion
1. Harriet Harnden - T-MO Racing
2. Ffion James - Abergavenny Road Club
3. Sophie Thackray - PH-Mas/Paul Milnes
1. Ben Tulett - Beeline Bicycles RT
2. Cameron Mason - Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique
3. Oliver Draffen - Derwentside CC
1. Harriet Harnden - T-MO Racing
2. Amy Perryman - Hargroves-Ridley-Montezuma’s
3. Fiona Turnbull - Speedflex RT