While the Belgian invaders dominated the senior podium on the day, Lancashire’s Paul Oldham took fifth spot in the final round of the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series in Leicestershire, to seal the overall series.
The Hope Factory Racing rider crossed the line 1:26 behind event winner Rob Peeters (Belgium, Fidea), who was one of several to make the trip over the North Sea in search of competition on a weekend with little action in Belgium while the World Cup continued in Roubaix.
A scenic and challenging course around Rutland Water near Oakham proved a real hit with riders and spectators alike, with hundreds of enthusiastic cross fans turning out to watch the event while almost 300 of the best riders made a worthwhile journey to the event.
Oldham took the title after holding off rival Jody Crawforth, the Arctic Premier RT rider who was the only man who could have pipped him to the overall title.
Oldham’s fifth spot was just over a minute ahead of Crawforth, who had been towards the front in the early stages before tailing off.
“Those Belgians are quick,” said Oldham afterwards. “It was a cracking race and I’m happy enough with my performance.
“Jody needed to win to take the overall away from me, so having Peeters there helped my cause, but in the end it didn’t matter because I races well enough.”
“Kenneth Van Compernolle had a flyer – both he and Peeters started so quick. By the time I had got up to the leading group he was already 50 metres clear and kept going.”
“Me and Jody were with Peeters for the first few laps, but he went off after Van Copenolle and we couldn’t stay with him.”
As the race progressed the top riders strung out, and Crawforth had already lost Oldham’s wheel when he came off.
“I slipped in the mud and hit a wooden stake,” explained the 29-year-old from Leatherhead in Surrey. “I went over the bars and landed on another stake, which left me struggling to get going again and I went off the boil.”
Organiser Colin Clews declared himself pleased with the day’s racing, especially after compliments from the visiting Belgians. “It was great to have them there, and it really helped make it a top quality event,” he said.
“Peeters said he liked the course – there was something for everyone – and he thought it was good enough to run a World Cup event on, which would be great to see!”
Vets race start
Also worthy of a mention in the senior race was the rider in 15th place, Nick Craig (Scott UK). Not normally a position worthy of mention, except that Three Peaks Classic winner Craig had finished second in the veterans race earlier that day and chose to tackle the main event as well.
Coventry Road Club’s Darren Atkins had just held off Craig to win the veterans race, with Phil Roach just holding off former National Champion Chris Young (JD Cycles, Ilkley) for the final podium spot.
Halfords Bikehut rider Annie Last secured victory in the women’s race after making a slow start but working her way through the field, and won by a comfortable margin.
Not so comfortable was second-placed Lily Matthews (100 Per Cent ME), who had to work to hold off Ruby Miller (Forza Cycles).
Junior series winner Tom Moses
Series winner Hannah Barnes (Candi TV) had to battle with mechanical problems and crossed the line seventh, but she had already sewn up the series before Sunday’s sixth and final round.
Hargroves Cycles’ inform junior Dan McLay (Hargroves Cycles) scored a hard-fought victory in the junior race, and he held off team-mate Luke Gray for the win, while series winner Tom Moses (Team Wallis CHH) had to settle for third.
|National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series (Rutland Water, near Oakham, Leicestershire):|
|1 Rob Peeters (Belgium, Fidea)||1:00:53|
|2 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Belgium, Sunweb Projob)||at 5sec|
|3 Ben Berden (Belgium, Q1N Cycling)||at 59sec|
|4 Jan Van Dael (Belgium, Sunweb Projob)||at 1:09|
|5 Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)||at 1:26|
|6 Jody Crawforth (Arctic Premier RT)||at 2:37|
|7 Tomas Vernackt (Belgium, Asfra RT)||at 2:56|
|8 Angelo de Clerq (Belgium)||at 3:12|
|9 Kris Lapere (Belgium, Mez Team)||at 3:13|
|10 Daniel Booth (Cult Racing)||at 3:16|
|Under-23s: Kenneth Van Compernolle.|
|1 Annie Last (Halfords Bikehut)||43:17|
|2 Lily Matthews (100 Per Cent ME)||at 2:52|
|3 Ruby Miller (Forza Cycles)||at 3:26|
|1 Darren Atkins (Coventry RC)||40:46|
|2 Nick Craig (Scott UK)||at 3sec|
|3 Philip Roach (Coventry RC)||at 44sec|
|1 Martin Eadon (Hargroves Cycles)||43:32|
|2 Ian Wright (Raleigh Avanti)||at 1:12|
|3 Douglas Fox (Crawley Wheelers)||at 1:17|
|1 Dan McLay (Hargroves Cycles)||47:09|
|2 Luke Gray (Hargroves Cycles)||at 3sec|
|3 Tom Moses (Team Wallis CHH)||at 58sec|
|1 Sam Lowe (Raleigh Avanti)||33:35|
|2 Adam Martin (Activ Cycles)||at 20sec|
|3 William Worrall (Towy Riders)||at 23sec|
|Under-14s: Harvey Lowe (Hargroves Cycles).|
|Girls: Lucy Garner (Leicestershire RC).|
|Under-14 girls: Grace Garner (Leicestershire RC).|
|1 Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)||245 pts|
|2 Jody Crawforth (Arctic Premier RT)||196|
|3 Stuart Wearmouth (MTS Cyclesport)||172|
|4 Dave Collins (Hope Factory Racing)||141|
|5 Rob Jebb (Wheelbase)||123|
|6 Stuart Bowers (Hargroves Cycles)||119|
|Under-23s: Tom Payton (Cult Racing).|
|1 Hannah Barnes (Candi TV)||184 pts|
|2 Joanne McRae (Arctic Premier RT)||140|
|3 Louise Day (Fat Birds)||103|
|1 Chris Young (JD Cycles)||266 pts|
|2 Philip Roach (Coventry RC)||219|
|3 Geoff Giddings (Raleigh Avanti)||209|
|1 Ian Wright (Raleigh Avanti)||222 pts|
|2 Martin Eadon (Hargroves Cycles)||200|
|3 Peter Wilkin (Fietsen Tempo)||141|
|1 Tom Moses (Team Wallis CHH)||200 pts|
|2 Luke Gray (Hargroves Cycles)||156|
|3 Dan McLay (Hargroves Cycles)||154|
|1 Sam Lowe (Raleigh Avanti)||266 pts|
|2 Hugo Robinson (Ipswich BC)||244|
|3 Ed McParland (JD Cycles)||208|
|1 Lucy Garner (Leicestershire RC)||228 pts|
|2 Bethany Crumpton (Halesowen A&CC)||194|
|3 Hannah Payton (Stourbridge CC)||180|
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