It’s taken a few days to get around to reporting on the CX National Championships held at Shrewsbury last weekend, mainly owing to the muddy aftermath!!
Yes it was an extremely muddy event, helped in this respect by the vast amount of rain that has fallen on the Sundorne Sports Village over the past few weeks.
Firstly, big Kudos to Dave Mellor and his merry team of Mid-Shropshire Wheelers who put on a fantastic weekend of racing.
From the Inspire VCUK racing team we had our biggest fielding of riders this season, with five from six racing including Northern Champion Lewis Hartley, Cory Edmondson, Nathan Hawthorn, Daniel Gibson and young gun Tommy Ashcroft.
The team assembled at the venue on the morning of the 9th January, having earlier completed some warm up and recce laps.
The race was scheduled to start at 13:15 but eventually set off a little later than scheduled, using the closed circuit tarmac strip as a starting point.
Over 70 riders took to the grid, probably the biggest field any of our riders have faced in CX to date with the very best of British talent lined on the first two rows of the grid.
The field included winners of previous rounds such as Euan Cameron, Toby Barnes, Lewis Askey, Ben Tulett and other consistently strong contenders such as Charlie van der Craig and Matty Taylor.
As the riders set off, very fast, the first challenge was to get up the first small grassy rise and over the top in a good position – this short video illustrates the challenge quite well:
After the first lap, leaders of the race began to make their mark with Euan showing good strength near the front with Harrison Knight. Lewis Hartley was placed a little further back in 7th stuck to Lewis Askey’s wheel.
Cory was lying around 20th, with Daniel and Nathan riding in around 50th place. Tommy meanwhile was having a nightmare after his bike clogged up with mud very quickly to the point where his rear derailleur detached from the frame – game over!
To be fair, Tom and Daniel were doing well to get round the course considering the fact that they each only had one bike whereas most of the field had two bikes that were being cleaned every half lap!
By the mid-point of the race Lewis had moved up to 5th place and was looking good for maintaining that position to the end. Meanwhile at the very front of the race, Ben Tulett had made a cracking move off the front of the race and looked good for a solo victory.
As the race came to a close, Lewis H started to look a little tired. With only a couple of hundred feet to the finish, a group of three chasers managed to catch up and Lewis had nothing left for the sprint, having to settle for 8th. Still a great result considering the quality in the field and nature of the course.
Cory meanwhile managed to take a few places and finished in 17th, with Nathan in 49th and Daniel in 55th.
The winner of the race was Ben Tulett riding for Beeline-Gener8, who recently finished 2nd at the Bradford Trophy. Ben will have the honour of sporting a stripy jersey through 2016/17 as he is only a first year youth A so a big win for Ben. In 2nd place was another Ben, Healy this time from Solihull CC and the final podium place went to Lewis Askey from Lichfield City CC.
The full results are here >>> https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/zuvvi/media/2016_Cross_Champs_-_U16_Boys_Results.pdf
Thanks very much to Gammons Cycling Photography for the images https://www.facebook.com/Gammons-Cycling-Photography-233997400140597/ contained in the report.