Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s) was the winner of the latest round of the league after nearly an hour of racing on one of the toughest courses riders had seen for many a year. Jody made his break on lap four and quickly pulled out a lead over Alex Forrester (Zepnat.com) and early race leader Sam Allen (PedalOn).
Today’s offering of a course was a ‘brutal’ one with a lot of climbing which quickly found out those who had left their legs at home this morning. The course was the Motocross track nestled in the Hampshire country side and was promoted by Fareham Wheelers with support of Solent Cycles. There was a mixture of surfaces for riders to tackle with some of rough grass and chalk climbs. The rain leading up to the racing and the light drizzle in the morning made sections of the course cut up as riders transitioned between the two surfaces.
The senior was got underway with the rain drifting in from the surrounding downs around the exposed course and this was in for the race duration. The first rider to make light of the tricky conditions was Sam Allen as he lead the race away and into the first of the twisty in field section. Allen was joined on the front by Crawforth, Forrester, Tom Budden (Sotonia CC) and Tom Sewell (Cotswold Veldrijden).
As riders sorted themselves out into some sort of order the five managed to ease out a gap over the remainder of the chasers. Climbing away from the infield Allen and Crawforth were together with Sewell and Forrester losing ground and Budden just beginning to lose contact. It was lap four that Crawforth made a big attack when he dropped Allen by 27secs after the PedalOn rider had lost contact on a downhill section and parted company with his bike; although he was quickly up he had lost a place to a charging Forrester. Lap five and Crawforth was 30secs clear of the pair of Forrester and Allen with Sewell now distanced by over a minute. Despite a late charge by Forrester who now had dropped Allen by 40secs he was not close enough to do anything about our leader. Crawforth took his second win in as many weeks with Forrester 18secs down and Allen at 1min 49secs.
The combined women’s race saw a win for junior Amy Perryman (Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s) as she pulled out a gap once she manage to drop team mates Helen Pattinson (vet) and fellow junior Abbie Manley. Manley had made a good start leading Perryman up the climb on lap one; in fact five of the first six were all riders from the Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s team as Katie Scott was in close contention in the early laps. The first senior was Sarah Barber (North Hants RC) who was fighting back after a crash. On the third lap Pattinson attacked on the climb leaving Perryman and Manley chasing her down for the remainder of the third lap.
As the front of the field began lapping riders the remainder of the podium positions were being filled and both Jessica Conner (Cotswold Veldrijden) and Cam Powell (PedalOn) took the remaining vet podium places.
The vet 50+ men saw Gary Barlow (Reading CC) continue his early season form winning for the third week running. First to make the going was Mike Williams (Fareham Wheelers) who had the GS Vecchi duo of Tim Costello and Kevin Holloway in close contact until the latter had a big tyre blowout leaving him a trip to the pits for a bike change later in the race. Dave McMullen (Cotswold Veldrijden) was slipping back but with both the riders from GS Vecchi having troubles he soon found himself back on the podium.
Barlow attacked on lap two distancing the chasing pair and Williams before all the action happened behind him, first Costello slipped back, Holloway pitted and Williams lost ground before McMullen got past. Back on a fresh bike Holloway tried to close down McMullen but he soon ran out of laps in which to do it. Barlow secured his win by 34secs from Williams with McMullen a further 32secs down.
The vet 40+ race was another win for Paul Lloyd finding some early season form with his third consecutive win. The combined race saw Will Cooper (Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s) riding with Lloyd all race and there were to be more to come from the pair later in the race. The third rider was Barney Clacy (Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s) and the junior podium was closed out by last weekend’s Three Peaks junior winner Callum Macleod who in turn had Dan Guest (Cotswold Veldrijden) for company. Within the race there was a tricky tussle between Crispin Doyle and Harry Dridge (Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s) and Phil Bowley (Owens Cycles) although they were 90secs down on the leader.
In the closing laps and with Lloyd and Cooper clear, Clacy was at 50secs, Guest and Macleod just over a minute down and Doyle had finally broke clear of Dridge and Bowley. But the action was to come on the finish line. Despite the race being a combined event for vet 40+ and juniors there were still league points on offer for the overall positions and the end of the season. Junior rider Cooper exited the last corner with his nose in front he could see the finish line and began to salute his win. However Lloyd had other ideas and he continued his sprint, as the spectators on the line were debating the result the timing chip showed Lloyd had made up ground whilst Cooper was enjoying the win. Several minutes passed and several looks at the finish line camera later Cooper was finally declared the winner.
Sam Bishop (Charlotteville CC) was the winner of the youth race beating Sam Freeman (Solent Pirates) by 1sec in a sprint, Matthew Day (Solent Pirates) was third. In the female category Maddie Wadsworth (Beeline Bicycles RT) got the better of her sister Anna with Madeline Cooper (Spokes BPC Racing) closing out the podium.
1st Jody Crawforth Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 55mins 00secs
2nd Alexander Forrester Zepnat.com @18secs
3rd Sam Allen PedalOn @1min 49secs
4th Tom Sewell Cotswold Veldrijden
5th Tom Budden Sotonia CC
6th David Spencer VC Venta
7th Paul Elliot PM
8th Callum Hughes Banjo Cycles
9th Joe Hickerton Spokes BPC Racing
10th Jamie Norfolk PedalOn
1st Amy Perryman Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 1st junior
2nd Helen Pattinson Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 1st vet
3rd Abbie Manley Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 2nd junior
4th Sarah Barber North Hants RC 1st senior
5th Kara Perryman Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 2nd senior
6th Katie Scott Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 3rd junior
7th Alison Rothnie Spokes BPC Racing 3rd senior
8th Jessica Connor Cotswold Veldrijden 2nd vet
9th Lauren Cracknell PedalOn
10th Lindy Larkin Sarum Velo
11th Cam Powell PedalOn 3rd vet
1st Gary Barlow Reading CC 36mins 48secs
2nd Mike Williams Fareham Wheelers CC
3rd Dave McMullen Cotswold Veldrijden
4th Kevin Holloway GS Vecchi
5th Tim Costello GS Vecchi
Vet 40+ Juniors combined
1st Will Cooper Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 1st Junior
2nd Pau l Lloyd PM 1st vet
3rd Barney Clacy Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s 2nd Junior
4th Dan Guest Cotswold Veldrijden 2nd vet
5th Callum Macleod 3rd Junior
6th Harry Dridge Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s
7th Phil Bowley Owens Cycles 3rd vet