Fireworks at Holme Pierrepont – race report from R6

The 5th of November was one to remember due to the unusually dry conditions that delivered a fast but bumpy course at Holme Pierrepont. The course had been tweaked slightly by our hosts, Nottingham Clarion, and the strong cold wind meant that it was advantageous to ride in the wheels at times.

Senior men's race winner Dan Booth (Hope) - Photo Ray Stuart
Senior men’s race winner Dan Booth (Hope) – Photo Ray Stuart

The senior men’s race was dominated by Daniel Booth (Hope Factory Racing) right from the whistle leaving three league regulars to fight for the lesser podium places. In the end Jono Harper (Agri+8point8) managed to break clear from Joshua Waters (VeloSchils-Interbike RT) who also finished as the first U23. On this occasion Lee Shunburne was distanced and had to settle for fourth. The Junior men’s race was won by Callum Fernie (Nottingham Clarion) with Oliver Snodden (SF Racing) second and Tom Dussek (Nottingham Clarion) third.  Dan and Jono feature in this week’s interviews.

As all of those that rode will be aware, there was a short but sharp rise just before the pits on the start straight. This proved to be too much for some of the testosterone-fuelled U16 Boys and it resulted in a nasty crash. Reuben Orr (SF Racing) managed to regain his senses and remount his bike in order to give chase eventually finishing a creditable 13th. Unfortunately one of the race favorites, Jenson Young (Pedalsport CC), wasn’t so lucky and required the attention of the First Aid provider. A broken collarbone was suspected and we all wish him a speedy recovery. The race continued at pace with a leading group forming which then became three, then two, and finally Finn Mansfield (MI Racing Academy) attacked on the last climb to get the smallest of gaps to take victory. Alec Gregory (Leicester RC) took second and Marcus Holmes (Lichfield City CC) came in third. The U14 Boys race pitted a familiar pair of riders against each other, as has been the case for a number of years. One prefers the faster harder courses, one prefers the mud and the more technical routes, so on this occasion Josh Giddings of MI Racing Academy proved the victor and Ben Chilton (Derby Mercury) will have to hope for rain at Markeaton.

Team Empella truly entered the Belgian ‘spirit’, and had wins in the women vet 50, senior, junior, and U16 categories (editor is not sure what was going into the bidon!).

The senior women’s race was won by Kate George for the increasingly dominant ladies division of Team Empella CC. Kate was over a minute clear of Jules Tune in second and Sam Burman of Team WNT came in third. The junior women’s race was also won by Team Empella courtesy of Xan Crees who comfortably won from Maddie Gammons (RP Vision Racing Team) in second and Joni Wildman (Nottingham Clarion) in third. Maddie is just back from Koppenburgcross and you can hear about it in the interviews.  The Vet 40 women saw Maddi Smith (Bolsover & District) continue her domination over the field with Helen Dussek (Nottingham Clarion) in second and Caroline Mansfield (MI Racing Academy) in third despite a crash on the start line leaving her to chase the entire field on lap 1. The Vet 50 race also went to Team Empella with former National Champion Tracey Fletcher proving too strong for the rest. Ruth Sutherland of Bolsover & District came in second and Hilary Johnson (Team Empella) finished third. Hilary’s effort was made all the more impressive given that she was also involved in the crash on the start line which resulted in a lengthy delay due to a mechanical issue, and needing to pit just 100m into the race.

The U16 Girls’ race saw a similar battle between two friends/rivals that has been pretty much repeated at many races over the years. This time there never appeared to be more than a bike length between them, with Amelie Wayte predominantly on the front and Sarah Briggs (Matlock CC) tucked in behind while they kept the pace high for the entire race. Eventually Amelie was able to defend her position and take another victory for Team Empella CC with Maddie Hubner, also from Empella in third. Lotta Mansfield (MI Racing Academy) continued her success in the U14 Girls’ race bringing home the win just 6 minutes after her brother had won the U16s.  Jessica Tiffney (Derby Mercury) and Lucy Buckley (Cycle Derby) were second and third with Jessica managing to gap Lucy after a close first lap.

The largest field of the day came, as usual, in the men’s Vets race with 157 riders finishing the race. Matthew Barrett of Renvale RT rode a commanding race to take victory from Zepnat’s Dan Alexander with Matt Crouch (Fossa Racing) completing the podium. In the Vet 50 race Pete Middleton (Zepnat RT) rode through the field to 6th in the overall race, and Phil Roach (Team Jewson MI Racing) finished second. Nigel Gregory of Leicester RC was unable to match his son Alec’s 2nd and had to be content with third.

Interviews from Round 6 at Holme Pierrepont… Neil speaks to Andrew Stuart, Dan Booth, Jono Harper, Matt Barrett and Maddie Gammons about racing Koppenbergcross.


Under 9 and Under 12 race report

Today’s round of the NDCXL at Holme Pierrepoint saw over 60 riders start in both the u9 field and u12 fields.  The first proper cold race of the season – but unseasonably mud-free.  It was the morning before bonfire night, and riders were like rockets on the fast course.  All looked good at sign-on and the course was reported as being up bright and early.

U9 and U12 riders were welcomed with clear blue skies but chilly temperatures.
U9 and U12 riders were welcomed with clear blue skies but chilly temperatures.

The under 9 field ranged from single speed 14” and 16” varieties through to dinky framed 700C.

The course tackled the dreaded hill (for the younger riders on single speeds), climbing from the lake up to the wooded section.  By the top of the first climb 4 riders had gone clear lead by Lloyds Cycles’ Daniel Ward. Lap 2 saw the lead change with Jacob Steed of BDCC reaching the top of the hill first having already caught the back of the field. All riders were rewarded by the sound of the bell as they crossed the finish line – one more to go, seeing the lead change once more.

Reinforcing their individual positions Bolsover and District took 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the boys George Cooper, Jacob Steed and Dillon Preece. Matilda Harris of 4lifeTri, Eleanor Gordon of Matlock CC and Gemma Newall Cycle Derby CC taking the podium for the girls.  4 laps completed in just less than 9 minutes.

The under 12 field lined up with front line riders all haven pre-ridden the course.  The 60+ riders cleared the start straight swiftly.

The first climb of the hill strung the field out and gave a fast and safe single line through the wooded section.  By lap 2 three riders had broken clear and held this advantage until the end. The pursuers were left in no-man’s land having to do all the work into the strengthening headwind by the side of the lake.  The wind then became the young riders’ best friend as it pushed them up the climb.

Lead riders taking just shy of 3 minutes to complete each lap, 5 laps in total seeing the race finish in 14:09.  DMRC took 1st and 2nd in the boys:  George Amor-Hughes,  Luke Kininmonth and then Heanor Clarion’s Ben Marsh in third.   Libby Bell from Leicester Forest CC took first girl leading from lap 2 – she was 8th overall.  Flo Lissaman of Newark was second girl and Harriet Limb of Matlock CC third.

A great mornings racing by all! And nice to see the faster, more experienced riders showing respect to younger riders with considerate and safe overtaking manoeuvres.


Reports – Andrew Briggs and Christine Kelly