Ian Field and Evie Richards raced to victory in the penultimate round of the British Cycling National Trophy Series held in Peel Park in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
For Field it was his third win in the Series, while Malvern Cycle Sport teenager Richards was securing her first National Trophy Series victory.
Ian Field reclaimed the National Trophy leader’s jersey with a dominant ride in round five in Peel Park, Bradford.
The triple British CycloCross Champion, 28, has now won three of the five rounds thus far this season.
On the starting straight, Jack Clarkson of Hope Factory Racing led the field out with Steve James (Hargroves Cycles) and Alex Paton (Pedal Heaven Colbornes), who started the race as the series leader, close behind.
From this move, a small group of riders got away with Paton, Field and Clarkson being joined by Ben Sumner (Beeline Bicycles) and Grant Ferguson (Betch.nl) on his first National Trophy appearance of year.
The lead changed hands on a regular basis at this stage of the race with Sumner taking his turn at the front for the most part. He, Paton and Field had opened a small gap of around 15 seconds on Clarkson and Ferguson.
After two laps of racing, Field had started to run rule over the front of the race and was starting to pull away from the opposition.
Sumner and Clarkson were riding wheel to wheel and had a gap on Ferguson and Paton and behind them, Lewis Craven and Steve James had managed to work their way towards the front
As the race went on, Field looked stronger and stronger and never looked like relinquishing his lead as he continued to pull away.
With four laps to go, a light drizzle began to fall and Field was coping with the muddy conditions better than anyone, skipping over the mud and made light work of the the jumps over the planks.
Sumner and Clarkson were battling it out for second with Ferguson looking strong in fourth with a small gap to Craven and Paton.
Steve James had Paton in his sights and behind him, Jody Crawforth (Hargroves RT) and Nick Craig (Pioneer Scott) were going well with Rob Jebb (Hope Factory Racing) 15 seconds down on them.
Field was out of sight by this point and was marching towards victory and the real battle was between Ferguson, Sumner and Clarkson and the three riders were locked together with a gap to Craven on his own.
With two laps to go, heavy rain began to lash the course and Clarkson made a mi stake that cost him dear as he dismounted to take a bend but was in the wrong gear when he got back on, dropping him back and effectively ending his challenge for second spot.
Sumner and Ferguson remained together last lap and although Sumner got 20metres on his rival, it was Ferguson who managed to take second.
Field crossed the line unopposed to take the leader’s jersey from Paton and goes into the final round in Derby on top. Despite dropping out of the top five, Jack Clarkson retains the under-23 jersey.
Ian Field said: “It was really good as it usually is here in Bradford, it’s a brilliant course and along with Milton Keynes, I think it’s one of the best in country. It had rained during the week and was raining during the race too so it made for proper cross conditions.
“The rain was really coming down towards the end of the race; I prefer it to be more technical and muddy because it allows me to use those cross-specific skills that I train at week in and week out.
“I didn’t go to Durham so when everyone has dropped a round it’ll be interesting to see how it works out but hopefully this has given me a decent lead. Fingers crossed it should be fairly straightforward going into the final round in Derby.”
Teenager Evie Richards (Malvern Cycle Sport) took victory in her first National Trophy event, beating favourite and local girl Amira Mellor to the line after a hard fought race-long battle.
Richards took victory by just seven seconds after a strong ride on the tarmac finishing straight.
The race began with Diane Lee (Team Mulebar Girl) opening up as leader but as the contest settled down, it was clear that the winner would come from either Mellor or Richards as the two riders exchanged the lead throughout.
Merce Pacios Pujado (Beeline Bicycles) put in her usual consistent ride and constantly pushed the two leaders, breaking into the top two on occasion.
With three laps to go, Richards looked to struggle on an off-camber section and Pujado moved ahead of her with Dian Lee still holding a top-five position along with Ffion James (Abergavenny RT), wearing her National Championship jersey.
With two-and-a-half laps to go, Richards managed to find a way past Pujado and started to close in on Mellor.
Mellor had a 20-second lead on Richards with a lap to go and James was in third but slipped on a bend to allow Pujado to moved back into third.
With the end approaching, Mellor and Richards made the final climb together and it looked as though it would come down to a sprint finish but Richards still had plenty in the tank and powered away to take victory.
Speaking after the race, Evie said: “It was great to win in my first National Trophy event and I really enjoyed it, there was a great atmosphere.
“Amira and I had a real race-long battle and I had couple of things go wrong with my bike so I really had to fight to get back.
“I’d like to do more cyclo-cross and although I’m going to have a bit of a break over Christmas and see my family, I’ll still be out on my bike and doing my training.
“I’m not really sure what I’m doing next, I just take the races as they come and I’ll probably do a few local races before racing in Derby.”
Mark McGuire took a fine victory in the junior race, the GB rider taking part in his first National Trophy event this season. He held off a strong challenge from the current National Champion Tom Craig and the Series leader Alfie Moses.
After a disappointing previous event, local rider Moses had it all to do in front of a home crowd but a strong start from McGuire and Craig left Moses and the rest of the series challengers with it all to do.
Arthur Green kept his podium chances alive going into the final round with a solid fourth place along with Tom Seaman, Josh Waters and David Barnes who didn’t have the best of days on the muddy course.
Ben Tulett took his fourth win of the series in the Under 14 boys race. Reminiscent of his older brother, Tulett put the power down as the race settled and didn’t look back.
A strong start from Charlie Craig took the race from the gun but it was series leader Tulett and his nearest rival Lewis Askey who looked to dominate the muddy course.
Jenson Young, riding for the promoting club Pedalsport CC, took a fine third place giving Askey a run for his money throughout the race, Craig finished in fourth, and is now sitting one point behind Young in the overall standings.
Poppy Widman was back to winning ways in the Under 14 girls race. After a big crash at the previous round, the Nottingham rider didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the race to take the win from her nearest rival Elena Smith, leaving the series wide open going into the final round.
Maddie Wadsworth took third after a mechanical on the second lap which saw the Beeline rider having to carry her bike to the pits before working her way back through the field to claim the final podium place.
Harry Yates reclaimed the series lead in the Under 16 boys race after finishing second to Dan Tulett for the second time in as many races.
The current National Champion Tulett, who is being scouted by a number of European teams, proved far too strong for the rest of the field and was away on the opening lap leaving the rest of the field to fight it out between themselves.
Yates rode a measured race and did enough to hold Tom Pidcock into third after a close race between the two. Thomas Mein didn’t have the best of races finishing in eighth, unable to make ground on the series challengers but he remains second overall just a slender 17 points behind Yates.
Rhianna Stoves took a great win and the series lead in the Under 16 girls race after working through the field. The Derwentside CC rider looked to have lost her chance to figure in the final result but strong riding saw her come from sixth to take the win from Maddie Gammons.
Another good ride from Emily Wadsworth saw her take third, and an exhausted Shoppe Thackery finished fourth and still with a chance of taking the series.
Darren Atkins secured the win in the Over 40 veterans race from Ian Taylor who broke his rear mech coming into the closing section of the final lap.
Once again it was the two series challengers who had made the gap before the end of the opening lap, and by the second time round the pair had 30 seconds over a chase group of Peter Middleton, Dan Alexander Tim Davies and Andrew Peace.
Atkins looked the stronger of the leading duo but Taylor wasn’t going to let his series lead go without a fight and the Jedi Cyclesport rider was back with Atkins to see out the final laps of the race.
The two were coming into the final stages of the race when Taylor broke his rear mech, Atkins took full advantage and was able to have an easy ride to the line leaving Taylor to carry his bike home, wheel in hand.
Tim Gould took his first win of the series in the Over 50s veterans race. The ever-improving Zepnat rider took on series leader Chris Young and National Champion Phil Roach and held on to take the win from Young.
Gould took an early lead, and although at times both Young and Roach were challenging, the race belonged to Gould. Steve Davies took fourth spot to keep the series alive to the final round.
Maddy Smith took victory from Marie Jackson in the Veteran Women’s race. The Bolsover rider took her third victory of the series and is heading the leader board by a slender 12 points.
Tracey Fletcher finished fourth behind Alison Kinloch which puts her in joint second with Jackson, again another race to be decided at the final round.
Results (with lap splits)
Overall points (after five rounds)