Nineteen year old Winchester rider Paul Double (VC Venta) had to come from the fourth row of the grid to win today’s final round of the Wessex Cyclo Cross League at the Army Cycling Union event at Tidworth close to Salisbury Plain. Double soon started to pass riders and by the second lap was running in third place behind League Champion elect Sam Allen (PedalOn) and Alex Forrester (Zapnet). Double took the lead on the finish line as they were ringing the bell for the final lap.
The venue for today’s racing was a mixture of playing fields and the wooded section surrounding the course. There were several sections of twisty technical parts and the overnight rain made these tight turns tricky for some. The course held up well and rode quickly all day.
As Allen came to the line as leader and winner of this season’s senior league there was a very good quality of riders around him coming out for the final round? On the opening lap Allen held a 10secs lead from Forrester followed by Jamie Norfolk (PedalOn), Tom Budden (Sotonia CC) and Joe Hickerton (Eden Veranda RT). By the second lap Double had climbed to third ahead of Hickerton and Ryan Smith (Team Moore Fitness).
By lap four Double was running 15secs down on Allen with Forrester right on his wheel. Budden was in fourth just ahead of Smith and Hickerton. Another rider coming through the field was ACU rider Matt Marriott running inside the top ten.
So as the race started its final lap Double passed Allen while Forrester was pitting for a wheel due to a slow puncture. Despite this Forrester still managed to finish on the final step of the podium.
In the combined vet40+ and junior race Dan Guest (Performance Cycles) didn’t hang about as he stormed to lead off nearly a minute on the opening lap over Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) and Graham Rogerson (Cotswold Veldrijden). Just behind these three were the junior riders Tom Sewell (Cotswold Veldrijden) and Josh Hooper (Primera Sport) By mid race Guest’s lead was 1min 30secs to Doyle while Rogerson had team mate Sewell for company. PedalOn rider Tim Hyde was fifth in an event within ten minutes of home and a venue he knows really well. Despite dropping a few seconds on lap four to Doyle Guest put in a strong last lap to make his winning margin 2mins at the end.
The vet 50+ race was won by Tim Costello (GS Vecchi) from Dave McMullen (Cotswold Veldrijden) and Kevin Holloway (GS Vecchi). Costello lead the race away and quickly established a lead of 33secs by lap three. McMullen’s lead over Holloway held constant throughout the race and at the end the gap was 40secs.
Helen Pattinson (Solent Pirates) started quickly in the women’s race and soon had a lead of 30secs from Sarah Barber (NHRC) and her team mate Susan Parker. Fay Cripps (Southdown Bikes) was riding well and soon was up to third having passed Parker on the third lap. Cripps held onto third place from Parker and Lydia Brooks (GS Henley) at the end
The youth race started with the relatively long starting straight and things seemed a little less frantic this week. As the race turned into the first off-camber uphill Callum Macleod (Palmer Park Velo) rode effortlessly round the outside of Archie Scott (Cotswold Veldrijden), Erin Baker (Team Milton Keynes) and Will Cooper (i-team CC) to take the lead. This he increased during the first lap with Erin Baker bridging leaving Archie Scott, Will Cooper and the rest of the field to chase. The pattern of the race was set while a fierce battle in the U16 girl’s race ebbed and flowed behind with Alderney Baker (Corley Cycles/Drops RT) in hot pursuit of Katie Scott (Cotswold Veldrijden). Macleod and Baker swapped the lead periodically testing one another all the while being sure to maintain a comfortable lead of the chasers. On the last lap and out of the final one-eighty bend, Macleod surged forward gapping Baker to take control of the race and wrap up the win. Scott and Cooper held station finishing close to one another in a tight battle for third. In the girl’s showdown, the superior strength of Alderney Baker took her to a very well earned victory.
Report by Graham Robins
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Full results on the Black Sheep Timing website HERE
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