Race Report – NDCXL Round 11 – Darley Moor

After a break for World Cup, National Trophy and Regional Championship events, the SRAM NDCXL swung back into action with Round 11 this weekend, courtesy of Team Zenith-Buzz Cycles. Despite predictions of a typically cold day at Darley Moor Race Circuit, the weather proved warmer than expected, and an early frozen course became progressively muddier as the racing went on.

By the time the Senior Men and Women were on the course, riders were swapping bikes with some frequency, keeping the pits crews well occupied, and some course sections had had become faster off the bike than on.

Fresh from action at the Milton Keynes World Cup, David Montgomery (Loughborough Students) led for the early stages of the Men’s race, but eventually the lead was taken and extended by Mansfield Road Club’s Jonathan Harper. Harper put on a display of strength and consistency to finish nearly a minute ahead of his nearest rival, Rapha Condor’s Graham Briggs. Fossa Racing’s Lee Shunburne proved his skill in testing conditions once again to take third.
The Junior Men’s win was taken by Nottingham Clarion’s Kieran Howarth, with Bolsover’s Kieren Brown and Tom Chandler (Nottingham Clarion) taking second and third

The Women’s race saw the well-deserved first NDCXL victory of the season for Bolsolver’s veteran Maddie Smith, who finished with a convincing two minute lead over second placed mountain biker Alice Barnes (TMO Racing). Empella’s Kate George rounded out the top three overall. Second and third veteran women positions were claimed by Zepnat’s Marianne Heffron and Matlock CC’s Louise Wainwright.

Course conditions had been slightly better for the earlier Veteran Men’s race, but the racing was still hard fought. After numerous second places throughout the season, Bolsover and District CC’s Andrew Hilton finally took the top spot, beating Rick Lister (Ellmore Factory Racing) into second, with Dan Cook (Peak Road Club) rounding out the top three.

The Vet 50 race saw Steven Davies (Hargroves Cycles – Ridley RT) make light work of the short spacing between the V40 and V50 to take the win, riding through most of the V40 field in the process. Michael Davis (Pedal Power) and Leicester RC’s Nigel Gregory took second and third.

In the Junior races, VC Lincoln’s James Armstrong put in a convincing ride to win the U16 Boys race, followed over the line nearly a minute later by Derby Mercury’s Bailey Wilmot. Lyme RC’s Bailey Wilmot took third.

Despite being beaten into second on the day by Leicester RC’s Alex Haines, Nottingham Clarion’s Finn Mansfield effort’s were enough to see him clinch the U14 Boy’s league title. Mansfield’s Clarion clubmate Elliot Bannister was a close third.

Xan Crees (Derby Mercury) continued her strong season, winning the Girls U16 race ahead of Alice Warbrick (Derby Mercury) and Fran Chatto (Heanor Clarion)

First and second U14 Girls were Amelie Wayte (Matlock CC) and Nottingham Clarion’s Maddie Hubner, with Abigail Armstrong (VC Lincoln) taking third.
In the U12 Boys race, the season-long battle between Heanor Clarion’s Joshua Giddings and Derby Mercury’s Ben Chilton continued. Going into the race only two league points separated the pair, and Chilton’s close victory this weekend looks to have closed that gap to just one point. Owen Lightfoot (Rutland Rouleur) took third place.

Nottingham Clarion’s Lotta Mansfield took the Girls U12 win by over a minute, ahead of Bolsover’s Grace Fishleigh, and Matlock CC’s Harriet Limb.

In the U9 races, the familiar figure of Ben Mellor (Matlock CC) took the Boys win, and Lola Jamieson (Cycle Derby CC) achieved the same in the Girls