Round 10 of the Eastern Cyclocross League was held at Haughley Park on Sunday 22nd January, hosted by Stowmarket & District Cycling Club. It was a cold, frosty day that had intermittent sun and clouds of mist. The course was the mix that riders have come to enjoy – off camber turns, a sandpit (albeit frozen solid this year), a set of uphill hurdles and a wooded section.
The Under 10 and Under 12 riders were first off, around a loop of the wooded section, exiting via a temporary bridge. Samuel and James Ollenbuttel were both in the Under 10 race (though Samuel is an Under 8 rider), with James pleased to achieve his goal of not being lapped by the lead riders.
In the Youth race, Thomas Lewis (Ely & District CC) and Oliver Beale (Welwyn Wheelers) continued their season-long battle, with Thomas coming out on top this time for the win. Isabel Beale (Welwyn Wheelers) had a great race finishing 10th overall and 1st girl, having pulled clear of Daniel Elliot (Welwyn Wheelers) and Sam Brook (WSW) who fought out a sprint at the finish with Daniel pipping Sam to the line.
The mist re-appeared for the start of the Vet50 Men’s race. Greg Simcock (Luton CC) took the win, with Paul Watson (WSW) finishing 7th overall and 1st Vet60. Peter Golding and Kevin Burton of WSW finished seconds apart in 33rd and 34th, followed a little further down the field by Shaun Woodley, Karl Hale, Nick Rush and Will Tate.
In the Vet40 Men’s race, Simon Christie was first WSW rider home in 32nd with Stephen Brook finishing 46th after a flat rear tyre (requiring an impromptu pit stop – thanks Karl…). Jon Ferris made his Eastern CX debut, finishing 55th – and commenting later that he hadn’t expected to need crampons to scale the icy off camber slope!
Elvita Branch (XRT – Elmy Cycles) and Katy Simcock (Trek Bike Club) were very closely matched in the Women’s Race with Elivta pulling away to take the win on the last lap. Laura Prime, Megan Free and Nicki Davis represented WSW finishing in 7th, 12th and 16th places.
Harley Gregory was the only WSW rider in the last race of the day for Junior and Senior Men, his endurance showing through as he clawed back Toby Pullen (Cambridge Junior CC) to overhaul him on the last lap to finish 1st Junior and 11th overall. Callum Laborde (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) took the win, moving into an early lead and extending it through the race.
The next league round is at Milton Park (near Cambridge) on Sunday 29th January. It’s great to see so many Wheelers riding – as a club we are currently tied on points with Lee Valley in the Team competition with riders across the different genders and age groups scoring points through the season.