[text: Jez Hart, Simon Bowler, Alex Forrester, Bev Taylor, Catherine Pascoe]
Do please send in more reports if you can, and they will be added below
Round 3 of the Parentini Wessex CX league gave us a new course on the Foxhill motocross circuit at Swindon, hosted by ASE Racing and Hargroves Cycles, and riders knew they could expect one thing – hills. Given the topography of the area, the course was surprisingly moderate in its demands on the riders but ‘raced’ very well by all accounts. Overnight rain resulted in a few slippy corners for the early races. As the day progressed, however, sunshine and strong winds had dried the course for some fast, exciting racing on the rolling grassland course that featured short, punchy climbs, fast straights, and an off-camber Koppenbergcross style switchback descent
Robert Brown – My first CX race in novice category and 2nd place. It’s a bit different to enduro. I looked at strava and couldn’t believe how much effort it takes to travel such little distance. Didn’t help being a bit over biked!
The U14 and U16 riders have impressive skills.
There’s a CX afterglow that I’ve had for the rest of the day. Stoke levels are high, thank you to the organisers for a great intro to the sport!
Rachel Clay My stinking cold didn’t slow me down too much but my gosh did I feel rough by 5pm! Fab day out in the sun but the mud dried out so there wasn’t any sliding by the time we raced
Paul Lloyd I crashed, you nearly rode over me
(most of them)
Wilf Jones (Banjo Cycles) and Harrison Hendy (Hup) led off the start and were soon joined by a flying Sam Genazzini (Solent Pirates Youth CC). Harrison and Sam battled it out for much of the race, before Sam pulled away over the final two laps. Montague Flavell (Sotonia) emerged from the chasers to come in third, nearly catching Harrison by the line. Lauren Charles (Charlottville CC) was first of the girls ahead of Emma Davies (Banjo Cycles) and Aimee Taylor (Oxonian CC).
The U14 boys got off to a very quick start with a pace which didn’t let up for the entire race, top 3 changed throughout the course of the race, with Ben Copolla, Mack Mellish and Edward Charles taking a turn in the top spot, with Ben finally taking the win, Mack 2nd and Edward 3rd, a significant gap formed between the top three and Ollie Boarer who maintained his fourth place for the whole race. Things were changeable in the following spots, with Alex Taylor (5th) shortly followed by a hard chasing Adam Jones (6th) and James Brown (7th). Great to see a couple visitors from the Western League in Sam Budd (14th) and Benjamin Pearcey (10th) in this race.
Vet 40 & Junior Men
Alex Forrester (www.Zepnat.com – Lazer Helmets) led off the line with Sam Coulson (Palmer Park Velo) but was soon passed by Paul Lloyd (Banjo Cycles), who had pulled out a five-second lead by the end of the first lap, with Phillip Bowley (Owen’s Cycles) a further 15s down. Forrester gradually clawed Lloyd back over the next two laps, before a slip by Lloyd gave Forrester the upper hand. Racing in Westmorland the day before seemed to affect Forrester’s form rather less than jetlag from a recent trip to the US affected Lloyd, with Alex pulling out a 31-second lead by the end. Tim Dunford (Renvale RT) recovered from an early crash to take third at 1min23s. Sam Coulson took the win in the Juniors ahead of Angus Beggin (MCC) and Matthew Day (Hargroves Montezuma’s RT).
The V40 and Junior Men start the Koppenbergcross descent:
Lindy Brazier-Larkin (Sarum Velo) made the early running in the women’s race, with Jen Forrester (www.Zepnat.com – Lazer helmets), Carly Ibbitson (Fareham Wheelers) and Lydia Brookes in pursuit. A slow starting ‘Stassi’ Bowler (GS Henly) made it through the field to make contact with Lindy towards the end of the first lap and, after briefly “catching her breath”, she led a group of five through the line. Stassi then gradually increased her lead to win by 34 seconds. Jen (first V40) had a race-long battle with Lydia but eeked out a 12 second lead by the end. At times it looked like she might be closing on the leader but Stassi’s power on the straights kept her safe.
Stassi, whos background is in time trials, only got her cross bike and started riding off road three weeks ago! She said she is “just so blown away by the whole CX scene, the camaraderie, the support, the inclusivity, and the help from everyone.” She is very conscious of the inequality in sport between men and women, and “CX is a great example of how to do it right”.
We have an exclusive rider’s view report for the V50 women’s race from Catherine Pascoe… hmmm – my view of the V50 women’s podium battle was from the back! Beckie Hamilton Unwin had a faster start than me and got through the first chicanes quicker than I did, then I never regained the ground. I kept seeing her at the same place every lap and knew that we were riding at more or less the same pace but she was that crucial few hundred metres further on! As for the first placed V50 woman, Clare Hoskins, we never saw her as she is obviously super-strong, finishing 7th overall, well ahead of both Beckie and me!