Kay and Michels dominate in National Trophy second round in Skipton

Kay and Michels dominate in National Trophy second round in Skipton


Anna Kay and Jente Michels showed their dominance in Round 2 of the National Trophy Series in Skipton. Cat Ferguson won the junior women’s race after colliding on the final lap with Imogen Wolff, while Jamie Stewart took the honours in the junior men’s race.

Elite women

Anna Kay led from start to finish in Skipton, continuing her unbeaten run in the British cyclo-cross calendar this year.

The Cyclocross Reds rider won three out of three races at the Hope Supercross in September and continued her dominance at Thornton Hall at in the second round of the National Trophy Series.

The race started quickly, with a long drag giving riders ample opportunity to make a difference from the beginning. Kay was fastest off the line, closely followed by Alderney Baker (Team Empella) and Hope Inglis (Brother UK-Orientation Marketing). Series leader, Elena Day (Team Spectra Cannondale P/B DAS), was slow clipping in and lost more than a dozen places before the first corner.

Within half a lap, Kay had already started to pull away from the others, carrying speed into a steep 45-degree bank to power away from Ishbel Strathdee and Ruby James (Hope Factory Racing), who was forced to unclip on the gradient. Meanwhile, Day was 25 seconds back, working her way through the main field.

Kay pushedon ahead, opening up her lead on James to 10 seconds by the end of the first lap. Day had fought her way back to the leaders and was now just five seconds behind James.

For a moment, it looked as though Day would be able to fully close the gap to Kay, just trailing behind, but Kay’s speed through the technical sections was unmatched.

After the halfway mark, and despite her best efforts, Day was unable to make any substantial dent in Kay’s lead. Behind, Baker had a comfortable gap over Inglis, James, and Ffion Gilbert.

By the final lap, the top three had solidified their positions on the course, with Kay leading Day and Baker. Kay didn’t put a foot wrong all race and, by the time she crossed the finish line, she was almost 30 seconds ahead of second place Day. Baker crossed the line a further 50 seconds back.

Day continues to lead the National Trophy overall standings heading into Round 3 at Derby.


Elite men

Jente Michels (Alpecin-Deceuninck) came out on top after a battle with last week’s winner, Thomas Mein (Hope Factory Racing).

The 20-year-old Belgian showed his class, overcoming the changing weather, course, and fellow competitors to win by almost a minute ahead of the former British national champion and current leader of the Series.

Mein and Ben Chilton (Ribble Collective) led into the first corner, closely followed by Michels and Daniel Barnes (Team Spectra Cannondale P/B DAS). The quartet quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, but Chilton couldn’t stick with the infernal pace set at the front.

By the second lap, Michels and Mein had distanced Barnes, and it seemed that the two riders would battle it out at the front, keeping the pace high and stretching out their lead.

Just before the halfway mark, the weather suddenly turned from bright sun to driving hail, making the already muddy course even more challenging. As Mein pitted to change his bike, Michels seized his opportunity and attacked.

Mein tried his best to respond, holding the young Belgian to a gap of less than 10 seconds for the next lap, but Michels was a man on a mission, and with two laps to go, he was pulling out a 25-second advantage.

Behind, Barnes was locked in a battle with Joseph Beckingsale (Montezuma’s Race Team), with the two riders going back and forth for the third step on the podium.

At the front of the race, Michels powered through the final lap to take a well-earned victory. Mein finished in second place 50 seconds back, with Barnes edging out Beckingsale for third.

Second place on the day means Mein extends his series lead on Barnes before the third round in Derby in two weeks’ time.

cat ferguson and imogen wolff

Junior women

Cat Ferguson (Hope Factory Racing) and Imogen Wolff (Trinity Racing Cross) battled all the way to the line in Skipton, with Ferguson coming out on top after the two collided on the final lap.

Ferguson applied the pressure right from the start, leading the bunch off the start line with Wolff on her wheel. Wolff passed Ferguson on the first muddy running section before Ferguson regained the lead on the fast downhill.

The two riders gradually pulled away from the rest of the bunch, with Alice Colling (Shibden Cycling Club) leading the chase.

As the race wore on, the leaders were inseparable, sharing the workload and alternating turns on the front - Wolff proving stronger on the running sections, while Ferguson led on the bike.

Coming into the final lap, it seemed that the race would finish in a sprint. However, disaster struck when the two riders came together with half a lap to go. Ferguson was up first, and Wolff lost 10 seconds to put her chain back on.

Despite a spirited chase, Wolff was unable to close the gap to Ferguson, who crossed the line with eight seconds to spare. Colling cruised to third a further two minutes back.

junior men

Junior men

Jamie Stewart (Shibden Cycling Club) powered to a solo victory ahead of the current national champion Seb Grindley (Trinity Racing Cross).

Stewart was part of a seven-rider move that pulled clear at the end of the first lap, before he attacked half a lap later, taking the rest of the group by surprise.

Mackenzie Mellish (trainSharp Development Team) led the chase behind a surging Stewart, but the Shibden rider was in his element on the flowing circuit, pushing to the limit on every twist and turn to stretch out his lead.

Grindley took over the workload at the front of the chasing group, eventually pulling clear with Joel Hurt (Beeston Cycling Club), but the two could do nothing to pull back Stewart.

By the time Stewart crossed the finish line in first place, he had over 20 seconds on the chasers. Grindley sprinted up the final drag to take second just ahead of Hurt.

The series leader, Lewis Tinsley, struggled in Skipton, finishing a minute down in seventh, but held onto his overall lead by the narrowest of margins over Stewart, who moved up to second.

Photo gallery here


A full list of podium placings is below:

Elite women

  1. Anna Kay (Cyclocross Reds)
  2. Elena Day (Team Spectra Cannondale P/B DAS)
  3. Alderney Baker (Team Empella)

Elite men

  1. Jente Michels (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  2. Thomas Mein (Hope Factory Racing)
  3. Daniel Barnes (Team Spectra Cannondale P/B DAS)

Under-23 men

  1. Jente Michels (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  2. Daniel Barnes (Team Spectra Cannondale P/B DAS)
  3. Oliver Akers (Ribble-Verge Sport)

Under-23 women

  1. Elena Day (Team Spectra Cannondale P/B DAS)
  2. Hope Inglis (Brother UK-Orientation Marketing)
  3. Kacey Eyeington (Derwentside CC)

Junior women

  1. Cat Ferguson (Hope Tech Factory Racing)
  2. Imogen Wolff (Trinity Racing Cross)
  3. Alice Colling (Shibden Cycling Club)

Junior men

  1. Jamie Stewart (Shibden Cycling Club)
  2. Seb Grindley (Trinity Racing Cross)
  3. Joel Hurt (Beeston Cycling Club)

Under-16 boys

  1. Leon Atkins (Ribble - Verge)
  2. Milo Wills (VC Londres)
  3. Evander Wishart (Beeston Cycling Club)

Under-14 boys

  1. Zach Buchan (Pentland Racers)
  2. Rhuairdh Fulton (West Lothian Clarion CC)
  3. Zachary Hutchinson (Clifton CC)

Under-16 girls

  1. Peggy Knox (ViCiOUS VELO)
  2. Aelwen Davies (TORQ Performance)
  3. Rose Lewis (Halesowen A & CC)

Under-14 girls

  1. Isla Jebb (Hope Tech Factory Racing)
  2. Olivia Poole (Deeside Thistle CC)
  3. Aisling Charlesworth (Fibrax Wrexham Roads Club)

Veteran women 40-49

  1. Verity Appleyard (Velo Fixers)
  2. Helen Jackson (Kendal Cycle Club)
  3. Karen Heppenstall (Race Off Road)

Veteran women 50-59

  1. Lucy Siddle (Reifen Racing)
  2. Helen Pattinson (Montezuma's Race Team)
  3. Caroline Harvey (Peebles CC)

Veteran women 60+

  1. Nicola Davies (www.cyclocrossrider.com)
  2. Janet Marsden
  3. Carolyn Speirs (Kendal Cycle Club)

Veteran men 40-49

  1. Robert Jebb (Hope Tech Factory Racing)
  2. Lewis Craven (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli)
  3. Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)

Veteran men 50-59

  1. Ian Taylor (Shibden Cycling Club)
  2. Stuart Marshall
  3. Nicholas Whitley (Team Enable-M.I.Racing-McCann)

Veteran men 60+

  1. John McGrath (Team TMC - Strada Wheels)
  2. Mick Style (Element Cycling Team)
  3. Grant Johnson