Report: Bill Higson Memorial Cross

Graham Robins reports on the Wessex Cyclo-Cross league won by Crispin Doyle

Wessex League Round 4, Sunday 23rd October 2011

Crispin Doyle on his way to winning the latest round of the Wessex League. Photo Graham Robins

Today’s race was held in Prospect Park to the west of Reading on another warm day and on a course primarily dry. The course consisted of a large park with a technical wooded copse and apple orchard. There was a large climb which the leading riders could ride up must most decided to revert to scrabbling up in single file. The prizes were presented by local shop owner Rikki Pankhurst from AW Cycles.

The day got underway with the young riders in the u10 and u12’s races. With league leader Ben Tulett away it was Harry Dridge (Southdown Velo) that was seeded first on the line. He faced strong opposition from Bethany Lewis (PPV), Jay Allen (PPV), Ryan Hodgkyns and riding in their first League race this season was last season winners Alderney and Erin Baker.

The race was won by Bethany Lewis who beat Liam Sewell in a tight fought battle by just a single second. Harry Dridge was third a further 3seconds behind. First and second under 10’s were sisters Maddie and Anna Wadsworth, with Ryan Hodgkyns just eleven seconds down on the winner.

Provisional Result Combined
1st Bethany Lewis PPV 14mins 09secs
2nd Liam Sewell Swindon RC @1sec
3rd Harry Dridge Southdown Velo @4secs
4th Erin Baker Southdown Velo @9secs
5th Ieuan Woods Charlotteville @1min 15secs.

1st u10 Maddie Wadsworth Beeline Cycles 14min 10secs
2nd Anna Wadsworth Beeline Cycles @5secs
3rd Ryan Hodgkyns Poole Wheelers @11secs
4th Euan Taylor BCDS @25secs
5th Ellis Jones SRC @1min 24secs


The next to race were the youths, eighteen riders lined up with Harvey Lowe (Hargroves Cycles) at the front of the grid. It was Harvey the first to show on the front with Robbie Bolwell (Wight Mountain) a handful of seconds down. The leading girl was Zoe Sheehan (Swindon RC).  By the second lap Harvey had stretched his lead over Robbie to 20secs with third rider Jack Saunders (SRC) now slipping away. Zoe on the other hand had Bethany Taylor (BCDS) for company until with a lap to go she managed to pull out a gap.

The next couple of laps saw Harvey extend his lead over Robbie with the next rider Jack back now at 2minutes. On the final lap Harvey puts in a fast lap of 4mins 20sec and this is enough to take a fine commanding win from gun to flag. Robbie was second 42secs down. In the girls race Zoe pulled away from Beth by 24secs on the last lap.

Provisional Result
1st Harvey Lowe Hargroves Cycles 26mins 30secs
2nd Robbie Bolwell Wight Mountain @43secs
3rd Jack Saunders Swindon RC @ 2min 43secs
4th Tom Sewell Swindon RC @1Lap
5th Zoe Sheehan Swindon RC @1Lap


The next up was the combined Junior, Vet and Women’s race. There was a fast start by Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles) and Luke Cowley (Swindon RC) riding his first race in the Wessex League this season. Once the riders had shuffled themselves out it was Matt at the front with vet rider Sean Williams (Wight Mountain) who had a gap of 8secs over three riders Luke Cowley, Keith Sheridan (Hargroves Cycles) and Mike Groves (StevensUK/Hargroves). Also running near the front on the early laps were Dave McMullen (GWR Team) and Joe Griffiths (Dream CC).

On the second lap Matt started to pull away and had a gap of 20secs over Sean with Luke, Keith and Mike riding wheel to wheel in a race of their own. The third lap saw Matt maintain his lead over Sean but the chasing trio were slipping back and were now back at 53seconds.

Matt then on the third lap put in a quick one and extended his lead over Sean to 53secs with Luke now 1min 30secs back with Keith close by and Mike was 7secs behind these two. It was Matt who took the win ahead of Sean by 56secs with Luke sprinting away from Keith by 1sec with Dave McMullen getting past Mike in the closing stages of the race.

The women’s race was won by Tamina Oliver (Squadra Donna) from Claire Smith (Swindon RC) who was 1min 30secs back with third rider Charlotte Lewis (CCB) back at 6min 29secs

Provisional Result
1st Matt Woods Hargroves Cycles 41mins 46secs
2nd Sean Williams Wight Mountain @56secs
3rd Luke Cowley Swindon RC @1min 31secs
4th Keith Sheridan Hargroves Cycles @1min 32secs
5th Dave McMullen GWR Team @1min 32secs

Women’s Provisional Result
1st Tamina Oliver Squadra Donna 43mins 51secs
2nd Claire Smith Swindon RC @1min 31secs
3rd Charlotte Lewis CCB @6mins 29secs
4th Karen Murphy Wight Mountain @1lap
5th Nina French Wight Mountain @1lap

Senior Race
The senior race was the last race of the day and a very strong field was assembled at the start area with Mike Cotty (Wheelbase/Cannondale) at the head of the field along with Crispin Doyle (Swindon RC) and Jamie Newell (Corley Cycles). Also up the front was Ben Sumner now riding in Beeline Cycles colours and Luke Gray now riding for (Baboco Cycling Team)? First up the climb was Crispin with Michael Cotty 20secs back with Luke, Jamie, Ben Dan Lewis (RAF) and Matt Macdonald (Stevens/Hargroves) in close order behind each other. Crispin kept the gap on the next lap while the rest sorted themselves out, and soon he had extended that lead by a further couple of seconds on the next lap.

By half distance Crispin had a gap of 47secs over Luke and co who was riding all together. This was the race order with three laps to go but it was Luke the first to slip back and Jamie and Michael now moving away from Ben and over a minute behind the leader.

At the bell Crispin was clear by 1min 5secs from Jamie, Michael and Ben with Luke now 1min 50secs down on Crispin. Michael took his chance and put in an attack so as not to end up in a sprint with Jamie and pulled away by about 10secs. Ben was 5secs down on Jamie and Luke was now well back at 2mins 12secs. Crispin came up the last climb towards the line arms aloft to take a fine win on a very warm day. Michael stayed away from Jamie by 9secs but was 41secs behind Crispin.

Provisional Result
1st Crispin Doyle Swindon RC 58mins 24secs
2nd Michael Cotty Wheelbase/ Cannondale @41secs
3rd Jamie Newell Corley Cycles @50secs
4th Ben Sumner Beeline Cycles @ 54secs
5th Luke Gray Baboco Cycling Team @ 2min 12 secs.
The next round of the League is next Sunday at Brookes Uni in Oxford ahead of a short break as they we running a National trophy race at Southampton Sports Centre on 13th November.

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