Perfect conditions and the popularity of the now well established Branksome School venue in Darlington, resulted in another record entry for the Ferryhill Wheelers promoted Cyclo Cross.
100 riders signed on over the 3 races, in bright, dry conditions, with the course conditions the firmest and fastest the venue has known in its 7 year history. 78 riders competed in the main race for the seniors, the biggest field the north east has seen in many years and highlights the growing popularity of the sport. With a relatively short lap, fast conditions and big field, it made for an exciting race.
Steven Ward of MTS Cyclesport led from the start and never gave up his lead, quickly pulling out a 10 second gap over nearest challenger, Tony Fawcett (NFM RT) who won the preceding round at Hetton Lyons, but barring crashes or mechanicals Ward never looked like giving up his lead. The main scrap was for the 3rd spot, between Keith Murray (Hope Factory Racing) and Alan Nixon (Adept Precision RT), with Nixon eventually taking the place by pulling out a few second advantage on the final lap. Malcolm Lewis (MTS) came in 5th 10 seconds later. 5 Juniors competed in the main race, all finishing in the top half of the placings, with Joe Home (K Home International) the highest placed in an excellent 7th overall. Barry Kipling, also of MTS, was first Vet home in 9th, with Karen Howard the first Lady finisher.
Riding the same course as the seniors, 7 riders took part in the youth race, with Alex Hopper (Cleveland Wheelers) the clear winner in the Under 16’s event, with Joe Brown (Hetton Hawks) second. James Edmond of the promoting club, Ferryhill Wheelers, took the Under 14’s event in his first race in the category, with Elliot Davidson (Hetton Hawks) second.
A healthy field of 15 riders in the under 12’s race saw some spirited riding from children as young as 6. Eleven year old Matthew Worton (Stockton Wheelers) came home first after 7 laps of a shortened but still tough course, with Thomas Mein and Emma Brady (both of Hetton Hawks) in second and third.
The event was again supported by Darlington Borough Council, ensuring all entrants in the youth races went home with spot prizes for their efforts
Round 3 of the North east Cyclo Cross League takes place at the NHS Trust Centre (former Flatts Lane College), Eston Hills on Sunday 11th October, promoted by Cleveland Wheelers. Further information on the league can be found at its website www.neccl.co.uk