Round three took us to Heanor Clarion’s Shipley Park, and a course where conditions were not too dissimilar to last week, with fairly dry conditions. The course itself featured a long climb up past the pits, and proved a maker or breaker to many riders’ efforts, as well as fast flat-out speed segments. For the first time this season riders needed to negotiate the hurdles.
The senior and women’s race saw a variety of awesome battles across the many categories competing at the same time. In the senior men’s race it was in fact the junior rider Ben Turner (HMT with JLT Condor) who put in a very impressive performance and took the overall win, finishing with a comfortable 40 second margin over Lee Shunburne of Fossa racing. Lee took second place after capitalising on a rather serious looking incident for a strong-looking Jono Harper (Argi+ 8point8 – Winter Gr), making an error bunny hopping the hurdles, resulting in somersaulting over the second barrier and forcing him to retire from the race after bravely continuing for two more laps. A really strong ride from Alan Duncan (Jakrabbit) saw him take the final spot on the podium. The race also had a guest appearance from Nikki Brammier (previously Harris(!), Boels Dolmans) racing with the men and working her way up and up through the field but then sitting in with a small group, sprinting with Gareth Whittall (Zepnat) but not managing to pass him, to finish 7th. In the post-race interviews (listen below) both Turner and Brammier said how they are looking forward to starting their World Cup campaigns soon.
Josh Waters from Mercia CC took the win in the U23 male sub category, with Kieren Brown of Bolsover and District CC just under 30 seconds back and a solid performance by Matthew Marriott (Army Cycling RT) took third spot.
After Turner rode away with the junior win, Tom Dussek (Nottingham Clarion CC) powered to second place, with team mate James Swaddling recovering from a heavy fall, taking third place Junior.
In the women’s race, Diane Lee of Cannondale Girls made light work of the brutal course taking the win and regular MTBer Joanne Clay (TORQ Performance) taking second place. Maddi Smith of Bolsover and District CC and V40 national champion took third place and the win in the V40 category. Not far behind saw a mother-daughter battle from Tracey and Tiffany Fletcher of Empella cyclocross.com. Eventually, Tracey came out on top, taking 1st V50 (5th overall), with Ruth Sutherland from Bolsover and District CC and Karen Lifford (Velo Club Nottingham) taking second and third respectively. Tiffany Fletcher took the U23 win ahead of Clem Bird. A great ride from Xan Crees from Team Empella allowed her to comfortably take the win for the Junior women, after staying in touch with Maddi Smith until the final lap when Smith upped her pace. Joni Widman (Notts Clarion CC) took second after a solid ride and Alice Warbick (Team Empella) finishing in third spot.
In the U16 boys race, right from the whistle, Alec Gregory (Leicestershire RC), Finn Mansfield (The MI Racing Academy), Tim Elsmore-Martin (Fossa), Finlay Cooper-Oldroyd and Jenson Young both from Pedalsport CC pulled away from the rest of the field, although Tim and Finlay couldn’t keep with the pace. The leading three were battling hard all race with neither rider able to get away. Eventually, Alec took the win by just 2 seconds from Finn, with Jenson rounding out the podium.
In the U14 boys race it was Finlay Pickering from Hull Thursday RC who emerged strongest taking the win, with Joshua Giddings (MI Racing Academy) riding hard throughout to take second, getting the better of his long term rival Ben Chilton from Derby Mercury, who came home third.
In the U16 girls race, it was Ava Oxley-Szilagyi who showed off her fantastic form, taking the race on right from the off, capitalising on a great start to take the win. Next it was Sarah Briggs from Matlock CC who got the better of her usual partner in crime Amo Wayte (Empella cyclocross.com), to take second, Amo finished third.
The U14 girls race saw a continuation of Lotta Mansfield’s (MI Racing Academy) early season domination as she took the win by two and a half minutes from Hermione Pickering of Hull Thursday RC, and Annabel Parker taking third place.
Next race was the veteran men’s race, which saw a staggering 127 riders finish the race. Firstly, the V40 mens race saw the familiar flying Matt Barrett of Renvale RT, looking flawless throughout the whole race and taking the win comfortably. Second was Matt Crouch (Fossa Racing), who made the most of his great start, holding off a race long chase from a large chasing group to take second (Winning the V45 sub category). As the tempo upped as the end drew closer, the large chasing pack began to fragment, with the efforts of George Richardson proving too much, he powered off the front to take third V40.
In the V50+ race, Pete Middleton and Philip Roach had a great tussle, but Roach was distanced in the later part of the race, allowing Middleton to take the win. Kirby Bennet was the rider who finished third, and also securing a convincing win in the V55 sub category.
Great numbers again this week for Round 3 of the NDCXL and with a flat dry course resembling a race track it was bound to offer some fast and exciting racing.
Jacob Steed (Bolsover and District CC) shot of the line and up the hill leading from the start as usual with his teammate George Cooper in hot pursuit.
At the the end of lap 1 George had closed the gap and was sitting comfortably on Jacob’s wheel with yet another Bolsover rider Dillon Preece a distant 3rd
The decisive moment came on lap 2 as George took the initiative on the top corner and never looked back, extending his lead further when a back marker got between the two of them and slowed Jacob down considerably eventually trailing 20 seconds back.
So a another fantastic performance from the Bolsover and District CC boys who again took the first 3 spots.
Gemma Newall (Cycle Derby CC) had a commanding lead in the girls race which she never relinquished finishing 26th overall and 1st girl.
Behind Gemma there was an intriguing battle for 2nd between between 3 Matlock CC riders Eleanor Gordon, Gracie Day and Isla Woolf who were working together reel Gemma in.
The three girls finally finished with only 8 seconds separating them and 15 seconds back from the winner. Eleanor Gordon 29th overall and 2nd girl, Gracie Day 30th overall and 3rd girl.
With the winner of the first two rounds Ben Marsh (Heanor Clarion CC) absent form this race there was a great opportunity for several of the top riders to grab the win at Shipley.
They went off at a furious pace up the familiar start hill with Joshua Jackson (Lyme RC) proving the quickest to the first corner.
Thomas Prince (Cycle Derby CC) and Luke Kininmonth (Derby Mercury RC) closed him down on the back straight and these three battled it out over the opening laps exchanging the lead frequently.
As the race progressed Otto Chilton (Derby Mercury RC) showed his class coming from quite a distance back to join the front.
On the last 2 laps Luke and Joshua pulled away from the pack with Joshua outsprinting Luke for the win, Otto Chilton finishing in 3rd 38 seconds back
It was a very different affair in the girls section with the top three riders from the previous two rounds absent.
Evie Steed (Bolsover and District CC) looked to have little competition and was clearly enjoying the conditions as she challenged some of the the top boys for a top 10 position on the second lap.
On the third lap Grace Longden (Matlock CC) who had started further down the hill on the 6th row was now closing Evie down fast demonstrating some very powerful climbing skills.
With 2 laps to go Grace took the lead and despite being unable to drop Evie crossed the finish line 2 seconds ahead to take 15th overall and 1st girl. Evie Steed was 2nd girl and 16th overall with Niamh Campbell Williams (Derby Mercury RC) a distant 3rd girl and 29th overall.
Sam Marriott and Dominic Limb