Markeaton Park II – The Sequel. Race report.

Vets start (photo Mick Bown)
Vets start (photo Mick Bown)

Round 7 of the NDCXL saw a return to a rather more muddy edition for Marketon Park. A brutal course testing both the riders’ physical and technical ability, made for an extremely tough day’s racing.

In the U16M race it was Lichfield City CC’s flying duo, Marcus Holmes and Emile Alexander, who went to the front from the gun, with a small chasing pack behind. After a race long battle, Holmes sealed the win after pulling away on the last lap, Alexander finishing second. It was a race where the bunny hopping skills of Holmes on the planks were put to good use. Finn Mansfield (MI Racing Academy) took third spot, holding off a strong contest from Tim Elsmore-Martin (another skilled plank-hopper) from Fossa racing culminating in a very close test of nerve on the final few corners.

Diane Lee, women's winner (photo: Mick Bown)
Diane Lee, women’s winner (photo: Mick Bown)

The U14M race was almost too close to call, Finlay Pickering(Hull Thursday RC) and Josh Giddings from MI Racing Academy locked together all race, unable to break one another. Eventually, Pickering was able to open a marginal gap and take the win, Giddings behind in second. Derby Mercury rider Ben Chilton took third place.

Elena Smith produced a great ride and took a convincing win in the U16F race, gapping the rest of the field from the whistle and showing the class that has earned her a place on the Olympic Development Academy programme. Team Empella’s Amo Wayte raced hard to take second place and Sarah Briggs from Matlock CC held on for third (shoes intact…. listen to the audio below for explanation!).

Keeping to form, Lotta Mansfield (MI Racing Academy) continued her clean sweep of 7 wins from 7 races in NDCXL U14G catching all but the top 3 U16 girls.  Behind closer racing unfolded with Jessica Tiffney (Derby Mercury) showing more development with a second 2nd place in two races, with Lucy Buckley (Cycle Derby) only 10 seconds behind,

In the V40M, a dominant ride from George Richardson saw him gain an unbridgeable gap from the rest of the field riding away to tale the win. Army Cycling Race Team rider Jason Marriott (interviewed below) capitalised on a great start to finish second (1st V45), and holding off a very strong Rich Edge from Nottingham Clarion CC, who eventually finished third.

Zepnat RT- Laser Helmets’ Pete Middleton was on exceptional form as he powered away to the win in the V50M category, passing the entire V40 field in the process. Team Jewson rider Philip Roach looked strong throughout to take second, and Nigel Gregory (Leicester Road Club) claimed third place.

Dave Fletcher leading George Thompson over the logs (photo Mick Bown)

The final race of the day was the Seniors men and Women’s race. The course conditions had begun to deteriorate and a tricky course awaited. Carrying his great form from Hetton Lyons where he finished 4th place, it was Dave Fletcher from Sherwood Pines CyclesFelt-Enve, who looked effortless from the off, and taking a dominant win over the rest of the field. Another strong showing from George Thompson (Sleaford Whls CC, who won at Markeaton just a few weeks ago) saw him finish second place and first place in the U23 category. Josh Waters from Velo Schils – Interbike RT rounded out the podium. You can hear Fletch and George talk about their races in this week’s interview.


This week’s interviews: Sarah Briggs and last year’s experience, Fletch and George Thompson on the senior men race, Cheryl Vaughan on her first year on the ‘cross bike and Jason Marriot on racing for the Army.


The Junior men race saw Oliver Snodden (SF Racing) take control from the gun to take the win. Aaron Chambers-Smith from Bolsover and District CC unable to capital on a great start, having to settle for third place after a strong showing from James Swadling (Nottingham Clarion CC) in the second half of the race took the second spot of the podium.

George Thompson recovering from a slip – many went down today even at the very front of the fields. (photo Mick Bown)

In the Women’s race, a faultless performance from Cannondale Girls’  Diane Lee  saw her stamp her authority on the race and take the win. Bolsover & District CC rider Maddi Smith come home strong to second place and take first first place in the Veteran Women’s category. Sarah Lomas of Nutcracker Racing took first place and first female U23.


Report Sam Marriot.  


Under 9’s

The under 9’s race commenced under sunny skies and a quickly thawing course promising some tight and technical racing. Thanks must go to the Commissaire, helpers and parents this week for ensuring a safe and well ordered grid which all riders started unscathed from!

The familiar Bolsover and District CC trio of Jacob Steed, Dillon Preece and George Cooper were quickly in to their stride joined by Mercia CC’s Daniiel Ward completing the first lap together over 10 seconds quicker than the chasing pack.

George Cooper the league leader looked to be in fine form forcing the pace around the first two laps before taking a tumble which also brought Dillon and Jacob down.

Unfortunately George was the last off the ground and nursing a few bumps struggled to get back to the front and with a blistering final lap had to settle for 5th.

Meanwhile Jacob Steed currently standing in 2nd place in the league took his opportunity well and took a fine win with Dillon Preece and Daniel Ward coming in to fill the top 3 places.

In the girls race Edie Bott (4 Life Tri Club) was a comfortable winner achieving a brilliant 14th place overall with Gemma Newall (Cycle Derby CC) 2nd Girl and 25th overall closely followed by our current League leader Eleanor Gordon (Matlock CC) in 3rd and 28th overall.


Under 12’s

This was a particularly challenging course for the under 12’s who had to contend with sticky mud, slippy corners and a great climb!

The hot favourites for this race were definitely League Leader Luke Kininmonth (Derby Mercury RC,) Ben Marsh (Heanor Clarion CC) and the winner from last race at Holme Pierrepont George Amor-Hughes (Derby MercuryRC).

Indeed these three battled it out throughout the race with the hill proving the great leveller and George the best climber. It was on the 3rd lap that George broke away and never looked in trouble from then on finishing 20 seconds ahead of Ben who fought tirelessly for 2nd with Luke finishing a few seconds back in 3rd The Girls were not going to upstaged by the boys at the front this week and enjoyed a real tussle for the top places.

Harriet Limb (Matlock CC) and Flo Lissaman (Newark Castle CC) traded blows over the early laps with Flo demonstrating her power on the flat drags and Harriet her hill climbing prowess.

The lead changed with every half lap and it was all down to a sprint finish which Flo got by a wheel. The girls finished 9th and 10th respectively and Grace Longden (Matlock CC) was the 3rd place girl and 20th overall Well done all!


Report : Dominic Limb