Will rides his way to third at nationals

Riders made the short journey to Peel Park in Bradford to take part in the National Cyclo Cross Championships.

With the categories all having separate races, the events took place over the Saturday and Sunday but both days were cold and dry.

Nevertheless, the course was hard going and provided a real test for the countries finest riders.

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Matlock Cycling Club’s Will Gascoyne was one of the pre-race favourites in the Youth U16s category and got off to a great start together with Thomas Craig of Scott UK and National Trophy Series winner Thomas Franklin of Hargrove Cycles.

As the laps went on, small gaps started to open and Craig started to creep ahead.

Gascoyne tried to stay with Franklin as they set to chase the leader down, but as the laps went by, Craig got stronger and stronger and ended up crossing the line for his first ever National title to take a superb win by almost a minute.

Gascoyne couldn’t stick with Franklin as the finish line came in sight, but finished a very credible third for the bronze medal – just three seconds behind Franklin in second spot. Gascoyne’s performance did make him the fastest U15s rider as he is in his first year in the U16s category and will be looking to build on his impressive season next year.

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Matlock’s Gregg Booker also competed in the U16s Youth race and put in a solid performance – once again finishing inside the top 20 with 17th place overall – 4:48 seconds down on the winning time.

Matlock’s Sarah Lomas came home 2:53 seconds down to record yet another top-10 finish with 6th place in the girls U16s Youth race.

In the Youth U14s race, Matlock’s John Webster rode strongly to finish in 20th place overall from what was a very strong field.

In the women’s category, Diane Lee of Zepnat RT rode to 14th place overall despite battling illness.

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Mule Bar Girls’ Phoebe Sneddon also had a great race finishing 26th place overall whilst the ever-impressive Christine Howard once again showed her class as she came fifth in the women’s veterans category.

In the elite men’s race, Ian Field of Hargrove Cycles successfully defended his title in a very dominant fashion having led from start to finish.

Chris Metcalfe, Tom Last and Lee Shunburne all put in strong performances finishing in 20th, 21st and 27th place respectively.

Zepnat RT’s Peter Middleton took a fine win in the Veteran 45-49 category.

Middleton was comfortably the strongest rider in the category as he powered his way right from the line, never looking back at the chasing field.