Race Report – NDCXL Round 7 – Swadlincote

Mercia CC Mercia CC

Round 7 of the NDCXL was held at Swadlincote Ski Centre this weekend, hosted by Mercia CC.

With a mixture of the traditional and technical, the course ensured some great racing action across all categories.

Spectators for the Senior Men’s race were treated to some close-fought racing action throughout. At the front, Hope’s Dan Booth and Jonathan Harper (Mansfield Road Club) battled as a pair for the entire race, with both riders holding a clear 30 second gap over chasing riders. In the end Harper broke away in the final sections of the last lap to take the win, a clear display of the performance that sees him heading up the Senior league at this point of the season.

A similar two-rider battle played out behind the top two, with Pedal Power’s Paul Cox and Renvale RT’s Matt Barrett vying for third position. Once again it was a last lap move in the final technical sections that saw Barrett take a well-deserved third.

The Women’s race was once again a less close affair at the front than the men’s. Jules Toone looked unstoppable for the entire race as she pushed on to victory, over a minute ahead of last week’s winner Kate George (Team Empella). Nutcraker Racing’s Sarah Lomas took third place, as well as being first Junior, with Maddi Smith (Bolsover & District CC) riding to fourth, and first Veteran Woman.

In the Junior Men’s race, Joshua Waters claimed first place, ahead of James Garratt (Welland Valley CC) and Matlock CC’s Arthur Green.

The Veteran Men’s race saw Matt Crouch’s first NDCXL outing for his new team, Fossa Racing, and Crouch wasted no time in notching up his first league victory in his new colours. Behind him a finish line sprint was won by Bolsover & District CC’s Andrew Hilton ahead of Christopher Green (Matlock CC), continuing Hilton’s run of second places.

In the Youth Boys race Nottingham Clarion’s Calum Fernie proved his ability to step away from his normal road and track focus by taking the U16 win, ahead of VC Lincoln’s James Armstrong and Bailey Wilmot (Derby Mercury RC). The U14 Boys race saw Alex Haines (Leicestershire Road Club) claim victory, with Lichfield’s Emile Alexander and Archie Lewis (Sherwood Pines CC) behind him.

Fossa Racing’s U14 rider Elena Smith rode a strong race ahead of older riders to to win the Youth Girls race, ahead of Xan Crees and Isabelle Boon, both Derby Mercury U16s.

Close racing and tactical moves were not limited to the senior races, with the leaders of the U12 Boys race showing excellent race craft in the final lap. Despite Heanor Clarion’s Joshua Giddings making a strong move on the final climb, he was ultimately beaten in a close-fought contest by Derby Mercury’s Ben Chilton in the final bends. Rutland Rouleur’s Owen Lightfoot took third behind the leading pair.

The Girls U12 was a less close affair, with Lotta Mansfield finishing a clear lap ahead of chasers Elizabeth Webster and Michaela Dick, both of Matlock CC

In the U9 race, last week’s winners Ben Mellor (Matlock CC) and Lola Jamieson (Cycle Derby CC) repeated the feat to win the Boys and Girls races respectively.