This weekend saw Heanor Clarion host Round 3 of the Forme NDCXL at Shipley Park. After a succession of dry years, riders were treated to an intriguing mixture of fast, dry sections, and sloppy mud. With the usual pair of strength-sapping hills thrown into the mix, riders faced a tough challenge.
The senior men’s race saw George Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers) and Kieren Brown (Argi 8point8 The Winter Green) battling it out in the first few laps with Derby Mercury’s Chris Metcalfe in hot pursuit. Kieren’s pace eventually got the better of Thompson in lap three. Brown went on to take the Senior win, as well as the U23 top step.
The Junior men were hot on the heels of the Seniors with only a 20 second delay from the start, and the leaders soon began to work their way through the field ahead of them. Leading this charge were Solihull CC’s Jacob and Harrison Knight, who established an early breakaway with a small group. Jacob eventually proved the stronger of the two brothers, ultimately overtaking the entire field, including Kieren Brown. Harrison had to settle for second, with Nottingham Clarion’s James Swadling picking up third place after team mate Tom Dussek had a heavy crash and DNF.
The Women’s racing provided less close racing action but showcased some strong performances. National Vet Women’s Champion Maddi Smith (Bolsover) put on a display of dominance that was to remain unchallenged, with her ultimately finishing over three minutes ahead of her nearest rival, Empella’s Xan Crees. Crees took the Junior win, with her team mate Tiff Fletcher taking third, and the U23/Senior top step.
The Veteran Men’s race saw Fossa’s Lee Shunburne ride to his third straight win of the season, ahead of Kristian Bravin (making a return to cyclocross after an extended break). Steven Henshall (St Helens) took third. Shunburne chose to ride a patient early race, and then make a break after a seemingly innocuous effort saw his rivals unresponsive. Despite the efforts of his chasers, the gap was never to really close, leaving Shunburne to celebrate his run of successes in his first year as a veteran.
The V50s quickly caught the V40 riders with Nigel Smith (Argi 8+) starting fast and leaving a close battle between Jewson’s Pete Busby and Pedal Power’s Mick Davies with Mick just taking the 2nd place honours.
With a number of Youth riders away at the Inter-Regional MTB event (and finishing on the podium – well done team! – Ed), there was opportunity for some other Youth riders to capitalise on the absence of faster rivals.
Cycle Derby clubmates Ellie Dilks and Lucy Buckley (both U16) spent most of the first few laps glued together, just like previous rounds, with Dilks finally making her winning move on the last lap. Third Junior Female was Heanor Clarion’s Holly Bailey, who was also first U14.
The Youth Boy’s race saw an early group of five U16s develop, with the lead changing hands on more than one occasion. Ultimately Bourne Wheeler’s Owen Lightfoot proved strongest, riding to a victory only seconds ahead of Macclesfield Wheeler’s Robert Rowson, who worked hard throughout the race despite a slower start than others. Derby Mercury’s Jack Husselbee took third.
The U14s race was won comfortably by Christopher Hilbert (Sherwood Pines-Forme) but the real battle was behind him, where Fred Shenton-McQueen (Beeston) and Matlock CCs William Londgen were inseparable for most of the race. Shenton-McQueen only broke his rival on the last lap, and even then the victory was by the smallest of margins, with Longden trailing by six seconds.
Shipley Park was the venue for round 3, traditionally a fast course
with a couple of sharp corners thrown in to test their handling. A big
field of 54 riders pointed themselves up the start hill, eager to get
started. The early pace was set by Sam Clarke, leading a trio of
Bolsover & District riders (Alfie Steed, Louis Inman and Jet du Toit)
over the line on the first lap with Merle Snelson (Team Milton Keynes)
close behind leading the girls category. Alfie Steed took over the
lead in the 2nd lap and remained there for the rest of the race to
take his first win of the season, managing the gap and holding off
Louis Inman despite his best efforts in a fast last lap finish. Merle
Snelson maintained her brilliant start to the race and season,
finishing 1st girl and excellent 3rd overall, with Jet du Toit 3rd
boy. Lottie Lissaman (Newark Castle) finished 2nd girl and a strong
7th overall, with Isla Woolf (Matlock CC) taking the remaining podium
position, 3rd girl and 16th overall.
An extended version of the U9 lap awaited the 57 riders, with the
course snaking to the bottom of the hill before a long, steady climb
back to the top. Over the line on the first lap the familiar trio of
Jude du Toit (Bolsover & District CC), Ryan Oldfield (Redditch Road &
Path CC) and George Cooper (Pines Cycles Enve) were in position at the
front, with Dan Ward (Mercia CC – Lloyds Cycles) desperately trying to
stick with the pace. Lap 2 saw an attack from George Cooper towards
the end of the lap, perhaps practicing for the last lap, get him a
small gap over Du Toit and Oldfield but the soft ground and speed
caused him to lose the front end on a corner, ending up on the floor
but unhurt. A quick remount saw minimal time lost but still with a gap
to chase back down. By the following climb, the three were back
together with Cooper relieved and happy to sit 3rd wheel to recover.
Over the remaining laps, the trio swapped positions regularly, working
well together with no-one allowed to get away off the front. Would
anyone attack early on the last lap or was it to be a sprint finish?
As the riders appeared from behind the trees towards the finish,
Cooper had attacked in similar fashion to lap 2 but this time kept the
bike upright round the last corners to take his 2nd win of the season
with Oldfield 1 second behind in 2nd and Du Toit 3rd. A big round of
applause from the parents and spectators as they crossed the line,
recognising the quality of racing and effort from the riders involved.
Grace Longden (Matlock CC) maintained her 100% start to the season to
win the girls category in dominant fashion and finish an excellent
11th overall. Evangeline Kininmouth (Derby Mercury RC) was 2nd girl
(22nd overall) and Caitlyn Beardsmore (Nottingham Clarion CC) 3rd,
Top 3 riders in all categories:
|FJ||1||Xan||Crees||Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com|
|FJ||3||Madeleine||Hubner||Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com|
|FS||2||Alexandra||Farquhar||Army Cycling Race Team (ACRT)|
|FU12||2||Evangeline||Kininmouth||Derby Mercury RC|
|FU12||3||Caitlyn||Beardsmore||Nottingham Clarion CC|
|FU14||1||Holly||Bailey||Heanor Clarion CC|
|FU16||1||Ellie||Dilks||Cycle Derby CC|
|FU16||2||Lucy||Buckley||Cycle Derby CC|
|FU16||3||Codie||Strickland||VC Long Eaton|
|FU23||1||Tiffany||Fletcher||Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com|
|FU23||2||Rebecca||Laurel||Cycle Derby CC|
|FU9||1||Merle||Snelson||Team Milton Keynes|
|FU9||2||Charlotte||Lissaman||Newark Castle CC|
|FV40||1||Maddi||Smith||Bolsover & District CC|
|FV40||2||Helen||Dussek||Nottingham Clarion CC|
|FV40||3||Zoe||Codd||Velo Club Flintham|
|FV50||1||Eve||Roberts||Derby Mercury RC|
|FV50||3||Ruth||Sutherland||Bolsover & District CC|
|MJ||3||James||Swadling||Nottingham Clarion CC|
|MS||1||George||Thompson||Sleaford Whls CC|
|MS||2||Chris||Metcalfe||Derby Mercury RC|
|MU12||1||George||Cooper||Pines Cycles Enve|
|MU12||2||Ryan||Oldfield||Redditch Road & Path CC|
|MU12||3||Jude||Du Toit||Bolsover & District CC|
|MU14||1||Christopher||Hilbert||Sherwood Pines Cycles- Forme|
|MU16||1||Owen||Lightfoot||Bourne Whls CC|
|MU16||3||Jack||Husselbee||Derby Mercury RC|
|MU23||1||Kieren||Brown||Argi 8point8 The Winter Green|
|MU23||3||Samuel||Marriott||Argi 8point8 The Winter Green|
|MU9||1||Alfie||Steed||Bolsover & District CC|
|MU9||2||Louis||Inman||Lichfield City CC|
|MU9||3||Jet||Du Toit||Newark Castle CC|
|MV40||2||Mark||Stanley||Pedal Power Loughborough|
|MV45||2||Steven||Henshall||St Helens CRC|
|MV50||1||Nigel||Smith||Argi 8point8 The Winter Green|
|MV50||2||Michael||Leaney||Bolsover & District CC|
|MV55||1||Michael||Davies||Pedal Power Loughborough|
|MV60||1||Roy||Hunt||Colnago /BBB /Morgan Blue|
|MV65||1||Michael||McDermott||Heanor Clarion CC|
|MV70||1||John||Ginley||Condor RC (Calderdale)|