Congratulations to all those brave souls that took on what Bakewell had to offer. In the main the weather stayed fair and despite challenging conditions MCC managed to build a very tough and energy sapping course. There was no where to catch your breath and the only positive about the amount of water was that there was so much that it produced slurry rather than sticky mud.
The first of the larger lap races was the Youth race and much to the delight of the grid there was a lastminute decision to reduce the lap size by taking out the arduous trudge around the showground field. Despite not starting on the front row Josh Giddings (MI Racing) was quickly in to the lead, a position he held until the finish to take victory in the U16 Boys. Jack Husselbee of Derby Mercury put in a very determined effort in pursuit of Josh, but although the gap often varied it always appeared that Josh had that little bit extra when needed. Jack Brough (MI Racing) made up the podium with a typically dogged ride from back in the grid, gradually making his way through the field.
The U16 Girls race was dominated by Lizzy Edge of Nottingham Clarion with a gap of 2 minutes to Lotta Mansfield (MI Racing) and Ellie Dilks won the battle of the Cycle Derby girls to take third place. In the U14 Girls race Libby Bell (Leicester Forest CC) rode impressively in the conditions to take a clear victory, and would have finished second in the U16 race. Second was Harriet Limb (Matlock CC) who is no fan of the cold, but her strong running ability served her well. Evie Steed took third place for Bolsover & District and looked like she enjoyed the sight of the chequered flag.
Christopher Hilbert (Sherwood Pines) was the stand out rider in the U14 Boys race, winning by nearly 4 minutes. Form that is serving him well at the National Trophy and we wish him well if he can take this form to Ipswich and Hetton. Second, and often the bridesmaid never the bride, was William Longden (Matlock CC) and Fred Shenton-McQueen was third.
Next up was the largest field of the day and the Male Vets race. The start was fast as the lead riders left the tarmac strip and hit the swamp of the infield sending spray and bow waves on to those spectators that had been foolish enough to stand too close. Lee Shunburne (Fossa Racing) and Dan Alexander (Zepnat) were soon off the front as the over 50s set off in pursuit. It wasn’t long until the leading over 50 riders were in to the back of the over 40s. The Col de Bakewell proved to be as challenging as ever as each rider had to make the decision to ride or run and at which point to transition. As the race went on Lee finally managed to get a reasonable gap on Dan, but it was never comfortable and a slight mishap or miscommunication with the pit crew could be costly. Tim Gould (Zepnat) produced another impressive ride through the field and at one point looked as though there was a possibility that he might bridge across to the leaders, but in the end the gap stabilised as he took an impressive victory in the over 50s. Steve Wood (Geared Up) completed the Vet 40s podium, Nigel Gregory and Michael Davies (Both of Pedal Power Loughborough) made up the podium for the Vet 50s.
The final race of the day saw 20 women take on this, by now, mudfest of a course. Maddi Smith (Bolsover & District) was the first lady to finish and as such took the top spot in the Vet women’s race. Second Vet went to Helen Dussek (Nottingham Clarion) who ploughed a lonely but determined furrow through the mud and Louise Wainwright (Bolsover & District) took third. For the Senior Women Alexandra Farquhar from the Army took first place and the two ladies fighting for second and third were faced with a dilemma when approaching the bell. The leader of the race was closing them down, should they ease and finish, or hold him off and battle on for another lap? They chose to battle on and Tiffany Fletcher (Empella and 1st U23) was the victor over Cheryl Vaughan (Matlock). In the Junior ladies race Poppy Wildman (SF Racing) made a welcome appearance and rode a strong race to take the victory with Ffyona Booker (Matlock CC) in second and Beth Stevens of Cycle Derby in third. Lorna Wania deserves a mention as the winner of the Vet 50 race and the lantern rouge, but she was out there trying as hard as anybody else.
The Senior Men’s race witnessed a battle between David Fletcher (Sherwood Pines) and Cameron Orr (100% ME and 1st U23), but David always appeared to have a little more strength and guile against Cameron’s determination. David took first place with Cameron in second and Kieren Brown (Agri+) took third and second U23. The Juniors was won by Tom Dussek (Nottingham Clarion) with a very strong race from start to finish and Finn Mansfield of MI Racing put in one of his strongest rides of the season to take second from Tim Elsmore-Martin (Fossa Racing) in third.