Round 14, Abingdon, 24th January 2016


Sam Allen (PedalOn) took another big step towards securing this seasons Wessex League with his fourth win of the season while Tom Budden (Sotonia CC) claimed his best finish in a Cyclo cross race with a fine second.

The racing today was promoted by Oxfordshire based team Take3 and held at the Abingdon airfield. The course utilised the tarmac airfield and the 4×4 course on the northern end of the airfield. The course was quite bumpy but ran very fast and despite the recent rain it held up really well which was a relief as we have seen plenty of mud on the last two rounds.

As the senior race got underway in the failing light Allen made a very fast start and before the end of the opening lap he had a commanding lead over a chasing group of five riders. After a successful season Tom Budden (Sotonia CC) found himself in second place with Joe Hickerton (Eden Veranda) for company. Next was Graham Rogerson (Cotswold Veldrijden) who had only just finished riding in the earlier v40 race when he came to the grid for this race. With Rogerson were Jamie Norfolk and Chris Minter from PedalOn closing out the top six.

After a couple of laps Allen had extended his lead to 30secs over Budden and Hickerton whilst Rogerson was on his own at 46secs. Next up were the two riders Norfolk and Minter riding line astern of each other. The race order remained the same over the next three laps before Norfolk caught and passed Rogerson but he was 20secs down on Hickerton and seemingly unable to close the gap.

At the bell Allen’s lead was over a minute to Budden and nearly 1min 30secs to Hickerton. Rogerson was at 2mins but now climbing into the top six came Alex Watkins (Sarum Velo) who had caught and passed Minter in the closing stages of the previous lap. Allen’s win see’s him edging towards his first Wessex League title which could be confirmed at next week’s race the final round of the season.

Earlier in the programme Dan Guest (Performance Cycles) was victorious in the vet40 race from Lewis King (Beeline Cycles) and Andrew Baum. On the opening lap Guest stormed away putting almost 30secs into King by then end of the second lap. The top three was confirmed when visiting rider Baum from the Welsh League coming through the field to catch and pass Graham Rogerson (Cotswold Veldrijden). The top six now included Jason Painton (Rides ON Air) and Nick Onslow (PedalOn).

At the bell Guest held a lead of 1min 20secs over King with Baum at 1min 38secs followed by Rogerson, Painton and finally Onslow. The order remained the same to the conclusion of the lap to the finish. Edward Gronbech (Oxford City RC) was the winner of the junior race after a tussle to get past Josh Hooper (Primera Sport) and Charlie Cooper (Eden Veranda). Hooper looked in control until a puncture and a run to the pit for a spare ended his race.

In the combined vet50+ and women’s race there were wins for Dave McMullen (Cotswold Veldrijden) and Helen Pattinson (Solent Pirates) respectively.  McMullen had to be patient as Tim Costello (GS Vecchi) had lead the earlier laps finally passing him with a lap to go. There was no such drama for Pattinson as her first full season of Cyclo Cross just gets better. She stormed away from the front of the grid and was never challenged throughout. In second place was Susan Parker (NHRC) with Fran Whyte (Bicester Millennium CC) third. In close contact with the leaders were Lydia Brookes (GS Henley) and Harriet Guest (Performance Cycles). With a couple of laps to go Pattinson held a lead of over 2mins from Parker but the action was behind them as Brookes was now onto the back wheel of Whyte. The two women were inseparable for a lap until Brookes finally found away to close out the podium.

In the Youth race from the off, the front runners assumed familiar positions with Archie Scott heading the field from Erin Baker, Will Cooper and a fast charging Callum Macleod. As Macleod moved to the front he punctured seemingly ending his race as there was, after all, the best part of a lap back to the pits. With Macleod running, Scott, Baker and Cooper forged on while being chased hard by Matt Coulson (Palmer Park Velo) and Couzens until, one by one, the lead contenders started to suffer from the gremlin of CX fate. Cooper suffered a rear mech failure and Scott succumbing to a puncture. Shouldering his bike, Cooper set off towards the pits with Macleod in hot pursuit but both still going backward through the field. Given their running pace, you’d have been forgiven for assuming this was a school cross-country race had it not been for the fact that they were carrying their bikes! Scott faltered retiring while Cooper and Macleod made it to the pits towards the back of the field. And this is where the real character of both youths started to shine. Charging through the field, Macleod and Cooper managed to regain the majority of places they had lost with Macleod managing to overtake all but Baker in a show of skill and strength that had those who witnessed his exploits praising his efforts. In the girls race Alderney Baker (Corley Cycles/Drop RT) took a fine win from Amy Perryman (Solent Pirates) with league leader Katie Scott (Cotswold Veldrijden) in third, having suffered a puncture too.

Report by Graham Robins

Photo Gallery by Graham Robins HERE

Full results on the Black Sheep Timing website   HERE

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