Matlock cycling club
The 12th round of this season’s Notts and Derby Cyclo Cross League took place on Saturday at the Thornbridge Outdoor Centre near Bakewell.
The event usually attracts a high-class field as riders look to hone in their form ahead of the upcoming National Championships.
All riders were welcomed by rain, and with it, very muddy conditions meaning that all competitors found the going tough.
In the Under 9s race, Matlock Cycling Club’s Sam Gould returned to winning ways as he lead from start to finish to take a dominant win.
Club mate Alex Gordon came home in second place, some 40 seconds down on Gould’s time, with Beeston CC’s Fred Shenton coming third.
Spurred on by seeing his club mate win, Matlock’s Tim Elsmore-Martin started off very strongly in the boys Under 12s race.
Elsmore-Martin led from the first lap, but was caught by Scott Race Team’s Charlie Craig in the final stages of the race.
However, not one to give in, Elsmore-Martin dug deep and managed to claw his way back up to Craig, before passing him on the last lap to take a well deserved victory.
The Youth race was a very exciting spectacle, with the two strongest riders once again going head to head, with Will Gascoyne of Matlock Cycling Club and Tom Weeds of Derby Mercury fighting it out for the win.
A select group which also including the in-form Gregg Booker of Matlock Cycling Club, broke away early on before the group started to fragment as Gascoyne and Weeds pushed on the pace.
On the last lap Weeds just had the advantage by about 20 bike lengths but Gascoyne dove in to his reserves and managed to pass Weeds to take another victory, making it one of his most successful seasons to date.
Cycle Shacks Jake Poole took the final podium place, but not before being pushed hard all the way by Gregg Booker who came in fourth place overall, just 1 minute and 8 seconds down on Gascoyne’s winning time.
Not to be outshone by his teammates, Matlock Cycling Club’s Cameron Orr stepped up to the place to take a very impressive win in the Youth Under 14s race.
Orr made light work of the heavy conditions, winning by more than a minute from second placed rider Harry Lewis of Sherwood Pines.
Fyona Booker of Matlock Cycling Club narrowly missed out on a podium place in the girls Under 14’s youth race by some 39 seconds, having been well in the mix right from the off.
Despite the awful persistent rain, over 100 riders took to the start line for the senior race.
With the course already very cut up with extremely muddy sections, all eyes were on off-road expert Nick Craig of Scott Race Team who relishes the boggy conditions.
David Fletcher of Orange Monkey Cannondale had different ideas though as he started off strongly and increased his gap as each lap went on.
Fletcher eventually crossed the line in just over 50 minutes, with Nick Craig coming home in second place 1 minute 19 seconds down.
Third place went to Isla Bikes Tom Payton with local Sigma Sport rider Tom Last coming fourth – 2 minutes 38 seconds down on the winning time.
Last years league winner – Chris Metcalfe of Charge Bikes – looked strong throughout the race and secured 7th place overall, 3 minutes and 51 seconds down.
In the women’s event, Hannah Painton of Kinesis Monolo took the win, but was made to work very hard by chasing Caroline Mansfield of Nottingham Clarion, and local Mule Bar Girl rider Phoebe Sneddon, whilst Matlock Cycling Club’s Marianne Heffron had to settle for 7th place overall as she struggled, recovering from illness.