Race Report – NDCXL Round 4 – Shipley Park

Round 4 of the SRAM NDCXL was hosted by Heanor Clarion this weekend at Shipley Park. The forecasted early rain arrived on cue, and the first few races in the day attempted to dodge the downpours.

The organiser delivered a new and improved course, and what it lacked in technicality it made up for in climbs, making the most of the altitude available in Shipley Park.

Despite the rain, conditions remained relatively good under wheel, with just a few greasy corners testing riders in the later races.

Almost fifty Under 9s braved the weather to prove how family-focused a league Notts and Derby is, with Ben Mellor and Jude Du Toit taking the boys and girls victories respectively.

In the Under 12s, last week’s winner Josh Giddings (Heanor Clarion) was narrowly beaten into 2nd position by Owen Lightfoot (Rutland Rouleur). Josh’s team mate Jack Brough came in close on his heels to grab 3rd.

In the girls under 12, Nottingham Clarion’s Lotta Mansfield won decisively over Matlock CC’s Libby Smith and Jeff Tiffney (Derby Mercury).

Lotta said ‘It was a really good race on a tough course, and I was pleased to take the win’

The Youth race saw Lotta’s brother Finn Mansfield take the win two weeks in a row in the U14 boys, with the girls U14 claimed by Elena Smith (Fossa Racing)

The U16 girls win was a hard fought contest between Nottingham Clarion’s Joni Wildman and Madeleine Gammons (Bourne Wheelers CC), with Gammons proving the quicker of the two in the end. Proving that there’s strength across the Garner genes, Welland Valley’s Amy Garner took third.

In the Boys U16, Sherwood Pines’ Cameron Orr took the victory over James Armstrong (VC Lincoln) and Nottingham Clarion’s Calum Fernie.

The weather eased up for the start of the Vets race, and Chris Rathbone (Naked Bikes), Andrew Hilton (Bolsover and District CC) and Derby Mercury’s Matt Crouch wasted no time in getting away to a good start. The trio held their positions for the whole race to take the first three spots.

Rathbone said “I was pleased to take the win today, especially as it’s a course I’m not normally friends with!”

The leading three V50 men worked their way through the field into the top 20 again, with Mick Davies (Pedalsport CC) taking the win over Graham Clark (Ellmore Factory Racing) and Pete Harris.

The final race of the day proved a treat for spectators, as the Senior men’s race developed into a cat and mouse contest between the four leading riders. Jonathan Harper (Mansfield RC), George Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers), Andrew Naylor (Fossa Racing) and Charge Bikes’ Chris Metcalfe spent most of the race swapping and changing across the first four places, with the race finally decided on the last couple of corners. Harper, Thompson and Naylor eventually took the first three places, with Metcalfe a close fourth.

The women’s race has it’s share of drama too, with early leader Diane Lee (Team MuleBar) being forced to run most of a lap with a broken rear derailleur. Despite this destroying the early lead she had built up, Lee rode her second bike into third place behind Nutcracker Racing’s Junior rider Sarah Lomas, who looked strong on the hills, and Empella’s Tracey Fletcher, who also took the Vet Women’s win.