Contributor: Simon Nurse
After a wet Saturday, the cross course took a battering but Sundays Welsh Cyclocross League at Pembrey turned out to be a perfect setting and an outstanding event organised by A Cycling. This week’s contributor Simon Nurse provides this weeks race report. Thanks Simon!
Round 4 from Pembrey
Round 4 of the Welsh Cyclocross League was held at the popular Pembrey Country Park on the weekend, organised and hosted by Matt Page of A Cycling (The organising force behind the superb ‘Battle on the Beach’). Utilising parts of the Tide2tide course held the previous day, the CX course offered flat, fast racing over fields, paths and singletrack with one exception; A large sand climb dubbed ‘PembreyBerg’ by spectators and racers. This continental style race feature offered the perfect foil to the faster sections that preceded it.
With warm, sunny conditions and a vibrant event village, the stage was set for an excellent day’s racing. The U14 girls category proved to be the first tight battle of several with Bethany Bennett of Towy Riders edging Anwen Nesham of Cardiff Jif. In the U14 boys, Maindy Flyers made it a clean podium sweep with Sam Fisher leading the charge. In the U16 race George Marshall recorded an impressive win over Morgan Lloyd of Towy, while Shannon Haird of West Wales Racing took the honours for the U16 girls.
Veterans turned up in their masses
Maintaining the theme of closely fought battles, Simon Loose of Abergvenny broke free in the latter stages of the V40, winning by 5 seconds from Frazer White of Pontypool RCC who is enjoying a fine start to the season. In the V50s the battle at the front was even tighter with Ian Jeremiah of Cardiff JIF winning by the slimmest of margins – 0.1 of a second from Mark James of Team Jewson-M.I.Racing-Polypipe. The ladies race was won by a dominant Clare Hoskins of Cardiff Jif with Mel Alexander also of Cardiff Jif, taking second place after winning the ladies race at Tide2Tide the previous day.
Sprint finish for the Seniors race
The senior race proved to be an enjoyable spectacle for supporters and a lung-busting effort for the riders. With 1 hour in warm, fast conditions, racing was always going to be tough. Early leader Ben Knott maintained a slim advantage over the chasing pack until lap 5 when he was cruelly denied by a mechanical, ultimately recovering with his pit bike to finish 7th. This left the door open to Grufudd Lewis (Ribble cycling) and British track specialist Joe Holt to push each other all the way to the end. It came down to a sprint finish with Grufudd narrowly edging Joe despite briefly losing his rear wheel in the final 10 metres. Jake Young (Cardiff JIF) turned in an encouraging performance to win the Junior race and gained a creditable position within the overall senior top 10. The tight battles across the categories proved a fine way to end a well organised day of racing in beautiful Carmarthenshire.
Next week the league moves to Carmarthen Showground with the fixture hosted by Towy Riders. We look forward to seeing you there.