Report: Wessex Cyclo-Cross League

Another win for Michael Cotty in Wessex while first woman is Ruth Eyles at the Wessex League at Didcot

The STFC RAL Cyclo-Cross at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Mike Cotty — another victory in Wessex. Photo: Graham Robins

Today’s race was held within the vast grounds of the Harwell Laboratory just to the south of Didcot in Oxfordshire. The course was laid out on a hilly course with plenty of climbs and some tricky off camber knife edges to negotiate. Once the rain started just after the start of the Vet/Women/Junior race the course got very slippery and a few riders soon found themselves picking on the ground. The event was the second round organised by Swindon RC and with a lot of co operation of the management of Harwell.

The latest round of the Wessex League was won by Michael Cotty (Wheelbase/Cannondale) his fifth of the season. Michael led from the start soon opening up a large gap over Dan Lewis (RAF) and a group of riders INCLUDING Chris Minter Karl Norfolk and Nick Onslow (PedalOn),Mike Simpson (GS Henley) and Peter Kench (Team GWR).

Gridded at the front Michael soon took the race by the scruff and opened up nearly a minute lead on the opening lap. Dan was next up closely followed by Mike. By the third lap Michael’s gap to Dan was now 1min 6secs, with Chris a further 30secs back. Chris was trying hard to close the gap to Dan but had to watch his back as Karl and Mike were close by. Nick had started to drop back and it was soon evident that he was having trouble, and a bike change confirmed he had rolled a tub on one of the many off cambers on the course.

Over the next few laps the only significant change was Mike who was slipping back and loosing places first to Chris and then to Karl but he was riding well within himself and managed to hold station on fifth place. Another rider losing ground on the tricky slippery course was Peter Kench, and he was soon on his own with only a hard chasing Onslow anywhere near him.

At the finish all riders hold station and Michael sits up to salute his fifth win of the season.

The combined vet/women/junior race started just before the rain started and soon Robin Wilmott (GA Cycles) had a narrow lead over David Phillips (Swindon RC), David Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) and Anthony Green (GA Cycles). The leading women was Ruth Eyles (Beacon Roads CC) with Claire Smith (Swindon RC) taking a break from the organising of the event second and Sarah Woods (Wight Mountain ) third.

As the race progressed Robin was still leading and it was Anthony in his first race this season finding strength to first pass David Wadsworth and then David Phillips and was soon in touching distance of the leader.
The two leaders crossed the finish line thinking they had at least two laps to go started to work together, but it was soon evident that the commissaries had forgotten to ring the bell, so one of them cut the course to tell the leaders but by this time Robin was behind Anthony and this was to be the final result as he won by a couple of bike lengths. The two David’s finished third and fourth with David Hobbs (Corinium CC) fifth.

The women’s race was to remain constant with Ruth winning from Claire and Sarah third. Jordan Wade (Poole Wheelers) was first Junior after Jason Pitt (AW Cycles) was involved in an incident when another rider rode into the back of his smashing off his rear mech forcing him to run to the pits to collect another bike.

The youth race was won in commanding style by Robbie Bolwell (Wight Mountain). Rob soon had a good lead over Tom Sewell (Swindon RC), Edward Gronbech (Oxford City RC) and Callum Mackie (LVYCC) with the first girls being Emily Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) ahead of Zoe Sheehan (Swindon RC).

As the laps ticked off Rob’s lead opened out to 2min 16secs over Tom with Edward 15secs down on him. Next up was Callum @3min 36secs and first girl Emily @4min 07secs. The leading three girls with a lap to go were Emily 38secs over Zoe who in turn was 1min 45 secs clear of Bethany Taylor (BCDS).

The morning got underway with 28 young riders in the under 12’s race. The race was won by Felix Mackie (LVYCC) from Harry Dridge (Southdown Velo) with Bethany Lewis (PPV) third and first girl.
The next round of the Wessex League Round 9 is next Sunday with the Poole Wheelers Christmas Cracker race in Wareham Forest Dorset.


1        Michael Cotty    Wheelbase/Cannondale
2        Dan Lewis    RAF CA
3        Christopher Minter
4        Jamie Norfolk
5        Mike Simpson    GS Henley
6        Peter Kench    Team GWR
7        Nick Onslow
8        Richard Fairholme    Kenilworth Wheelers
9        Ben Lewis    FPCC
10        Tony Parker    North Hampshire RC
11        Kevin Blann    Team Rose Blann
12        Joe Harris    GS Henley
13        Dance    Southdown Velo
14        Steve Bale    Reading CC
15        Andy Laycock    NRC
16        Julian Mann    Stevens-Hargroves Cycles
17        Chris Hobson    Banjo Cycles

1        Antony Green    GA Cycles
2        Robin Wilmott    GA Cycles
3        David Phillips    Swindon RC
4        David Wadsworth    Beeline Bicycles
5        David Hobbs    Corinium CC
6        Clint Sparrey    Cyclexperience
7        Kevin Blann    Team Rose Blann
8        Andy Webb    Kenilworth Wheelers
9        Pete Hutchinson    Swindon RC
10        Pete Scott    Swindon RC
11        Tim Stowe    Jewson / MI Racing
12        Andy Roberts    Team GWR
13        Martyn Dymond    Wight Mountain
14        Gareth Dridge    Southdown Velo
15        Paul Axon    Cyclexperience
16        Gary Hipwell    Rugby Velo
17        Jordan Wade    Poole Wheelers
18        Mitch Purvis    Didcot Phoenix CC
19        John Polak    ua
20        R Gostick    Reading CC
21        Gary Barlow    Reading CC
22        Richard Bremner    North Hampshire RC
23        Darren Dollery    Wight Mountain
24        G Booker    Oxonian CC    At 1 Lap(s).
25        J Thomas    SWRC    At 1 Lap(s).
26        Ruth Eyles W    Beacon Roads CC    At 1 Lap(s).
27        Richard Lewis    Kenilworth Wheelers    At 1 Lap(s).
28        Doug Gwynn?    ua    At 1 Lap(s).
29        Jason Pitt    AW Cycles    At 1 Lap(s).
30        Andy Pond    ua    At 1 Lap(s).
31        Steve Dines    Wight Mountain    At 1 Lap(s).
32        Keith Allam    ua    At 1 Lap(s).
33        Sean Stewart    TVT    At 1 Lap(s).
34        J Hodgson    ua    At 1 Lap(s).
35        Martin Hackley    Jewson / MI Racing    At 1 Lap(s).
36        Claire Smith W    Swindon RC    At 1 Lap(s).
37        Jamie Swanston    GS Henley    At 1 Lap(s).
38        S Woods W    Wight Mountain    At 1 Lap(s).
39        P Siebort    North Hampshire RC    At 1 Lap(s).
40        Karen Murphy W    Wight Mountain    At 1 Lap(s).
41        S Warwick    ua    At 1 Lap(s).
42        B Drew W    ua    At 1 Lap(s).
43        V Moore    Crabwood CC    At 1 Lap(s).
44        Hazel Jowett W    Wight Mountain    At 2 Lap(s).
45        Andy Gibbs    Swindon RC    At 2 Lap(s).

1        Rob Bolwell    Wight Mountain
2        Tom Sewell    Swindon RC
3        Edward Gronbech    Oxford City RC
4        Callum Mackie    LVYCC
5        Emily Wadsworth W    Beeline Bicycles
6        Zoe Sheehan W    Swindon RC
7        Bethany Taylor W    BCDS
8        Rhianna Jones W    Swindon RC
9        Kerrie Hutchinson W    Swindon RC
10        Ciara Hutchinson W    Swindon RC
11        Kieran Woods    Charlotteville
12        Sophie Taylor W    BCDS
13        Hannah Gibbs W    Swindon RC

Under 12
1        Felix Mackie    LVYCC
2        Harry Dridge    Southdown Velo
3        Bethany Lewis    PPV
4        Angus Hawkins    PPV
5        Jay Allen    PPV
6        Erin Baker    Southdown Velo
7        Ieuan Woods    Charlotteville
8        Alderney Baker    Southdown Velo
9        Liam Sewell    Swindon RC
10        Conor Hutchinson    Swindon RC
11        Luke Morgan    Swindon RC
12        Ryan Hodgykyns    Poole Wheelers
13        Max Swanston    GS Henley
14        Anna Wadsworth    Beeline Bicycles
15        Maddie Wadsworth    Beeline Bicycles
16        Ellis Jones    Swindon RC
17        Natalie Moore    Swindon RC
18        Alexa Hawkins    PPV
19        Tyler Smith    Swindon RC
20        Haydon Gray    ua
21        Thomas Wadsworth    Beeline Bicycles
22        Jed Smithson    ua
23        Seren Jones    Swindon RC
24        Finn Hawkins    PPV
25        Iestyn Berry    ua
26        Rohan Gray    ua
27        Jayden Blann    Team Rose Blann
28        Lewis Jones    Swindon RC


1. Michael Cotty, Wheelbase/Cannondale
2. Dan Lewis,RAF CC
3. Kris Minter, Pedal On
4. Jamie Norfolk, Pedal On
5. Mike Simpson, GS Henley
6. Peter Kench, GWR Team

First Woman: Ruth Eyles

First Veteran: Anthony Green

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