Cyclocross National Trophy Round 4 Gravesend
Nine LVYCC riders travelled to Cyclopark on Sunday to take on the challenge of Round 4 of the cyclocross National Trophy, taking place on a magnificent course designed by Huw Williams and John Mullineaux. The weather was cold but dry and sunny, no mud forecast. The course was packed with features – some with names – Comedy Camber, Big Bank, plus sandpit, hurdles, steps, plenty of tricky corners. Many of the riders had practiced the course the day before, some had attended a training day the previous weekend (when there was plenty of mud) and some had raced on it at the London X League fixture on the preceeding Sunday. It seemed to be popular and the racing was keenly anticipated.
First up was Bruce Mackie, LVYCC’s very own cyclocross expert, racing in the V50s. Arguably the vets had the trickiest conditions of the day as the overnight frost hadn’t yet evaporated, leaving a slippy layer of slime over the course. Comedy Camber certainly lived up to it’s name as many riders slid down it on the crowded first lap. From a distance it looked a little like a domino rally. Bruce made it down on his feet and rode a strong race to finish well up the field in 21st.
In the Youth race the three LVYCC ‘Orange Hats’ – Max Bolton, Alex Dale and Harrison Powell battled closely together to finish 16th, 17th and 19th. Harrison was the leading rider of the three for the first part before crashing into the sand – didn’t taste good apparently. Max then went past, followed by Alex. Harrison recovered but couldn’t close the gap. Aidan Kerrigan competed in his first National Trophy to finish 50th and gain valuable experience. In the U14s Daniel Lloyd put in a great first year performance to finish 25th and Samuel Leslie completed his first National Trophy round to finish 41st. Owen Prenelle was riding strongly before an unfortunate crash that led to him having to pull out. Much respect to Owen for getting back to racing after a long enforced break from riding due to breaking his leg earlier in the year. Eleanor Bolton was very disappointed to have to withdraw from the girls race due to illness after all the course practice she’d put in beforehand.
Nesta Ferguson was the final LVYCC rider, riding as a first year Junior in his third ever cross race, first National Trophy and after a season of illness followed by GCSEs. He has since been adding to his training by delivering pizzas by bike. He rode very strongly, finishing 24th, beating several very good local riders. Nesta has very luckily just been given two cyclocross bikes to race on by pro rider Alec Briggs who is keen to encourage youth talent.
Unfortunately a great day out at Cyclopark had the edge taken off it for us when James Madgewick (former LVYCC rider, cyclocross coach and staff member at Redbridge Cycling Centre) had his bike stolen from the carpark where it was locked onto the car. James went on to compete in the highly competitive U23s, finishing 7th. A big well done to him. And thank you to his dad, Tony, for his help in the pits. Please keep your eyes open on ebay etc for James’ beautiful bike (picture below).
Many congratulations from me to all the riders that dared to take on the challenge. Thank you very much to Huw Williams and his team for creating such a fab event. And many thanks to Bob for the pit support and bringing the pressure washer.