ROUND seven of the popular West Midlands Cyclo-cross League was staged at Misterton Hall near Lutterworth and promoted by Harborough-based Welland Valley CC.
The event proved a big hit with competitors across various categories, despite a challenging course including fast shale pathways, tarmac roadways, dusty woodlands and strength-sapping meadowland.
With a number of competing clubs boasting strong youth development schemes, the under-10s’ race was contested by more than 60 riders. The racing was close but dominated by Emile Alexander (Wyre Forest CC), Ben Askey (Lichfield CC) and Jack Rootkin. Welland Valley’s Whizz Kids collected some encouraging results in the category, including: 19th Matt Garner, 21st Nicholas Wood, 27th James Bradshaw, 37th Fay Garner, 42nd Huw Wilson, 43rd Joel Ayears, 47th Ben Haines, 48th Dom Switzer, 50th Jessica Ayears, 51st Will Bradshaw, 54th Charlie Plews.
The under-12s’ race was won by an impressive Lewis Askey (Lichfield) in a field of 43. Whizz Kids participating included Fraser Ayears, 21st, Holly Barnett, 23rd, and Jamie Lydall, 33rd.
The youth event was won by Solihull’s Danny Fox. Positions for senior Whizz Kids were: 14th Louis Killworth, 17th Jake Hubbard, 21st David Robertson, 26th Ria Mobbs, 27 Jade Mobbs, 37th Ross Barnett, 43rd Max Sillifant, 44th Amy Garner, 57th Oliver Haines.
A large field of 159 riders took to the start line for the veterans’, ladies’ and juniors’ event.
Winner Alex Welburn (Cycle Shack/Forme Coaching) had made his intentions clear early on as he forged ahead of a chasing pack that included Welland’s Scott Rose.
In the women’s event Helen Clayton (Lichfield) just got the better of her mother Elizabeth.
In the over-50s’ race Pete Harris (Pearce Cycles) was another rider in fine form to take honours on the Misterton course, while the first veteran over-60 was Vic Barnett of promoting club Welland Valley CC.
Exploding out the blocks for the senior race was Andy Naylor (Ashfield RC), with the nearest challengers including local rider Matt Barrett.
However Darren Atkins managed to bridge a sizeable gap to rejoin the head of the race, where Barrett remained. As these two jostled for the lead the pace increased. With just over half a lap to go Atkins made his bid for victory as he found another gear and gapped Barrett by eight seconds. Barrett, who had been unwell all week, showed great determination to battle back but it was too late as Atkins closed the finish line, arms aloft.
Welland Valley efforts included a top ten finish for Nathan Turner. Sam Crabtree was 21st, Hans van Nierop 24th and Nick Horder 27th.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west