Report: Round 1 of the Wessex Cyclo-Cross League

Graham Robins reports on Round 1 of the Wessex Cyclo-Cross League won by Ben Sumner on Saturday

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Wessex League Rd 1 Bikezone Cycles (Oxford) Cross Saturday 15th September 2012

From Graham Robins - Ben Sumner (Beeline Cycles) won the first round of the Wessex League at Oxonian’s event at Cowley to the west of Oxford. Ben out sprinted Luke Gray (Trek Cross Collective) by a second on the line to win the league opener.

The event was held within the ground of the Oxford Spires Academy on terraced football pitches which provided the climbs and a very narrow technical wooded section to the north of the school. The weather was warm and sunny and the riders had to ensure they took on plenty of fluids before and after the race.

Once the race got underway a select group of five riders eased themselves of the front and set about putting time into the chasers. The leading group of Ben, Luke, Will Bjergfelt (Cycle Premier/ Kovert), reigning league champion Michael Cotty (Wheelbase/ Cannondale and Andrew Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles) riding here before he travels to Belgium for the coming cross season.

This group started to ease away and the first rider to pull clear was Luke as he managed to ‘bunny hop’ the fallen tree while the others in his wake had to dismount. Will was having a steady ride while Andy slipped away and Michael rolled a tube on the third lap and had to limp to the pits to swap bikes.

Whilst the others were having troubles Ben and Luke distanced themselves by over 30secs. The two young riders were not going to get caught and it was down to them to fight it out for the spoils. Michael, now on two round wheels set about closing Andy down as the young Southampton rider was soon dropping back.

As the two leaders took the bell there was nothing between them and we waited to see who would emerge on to the playing pitches first. It wasn’t too long to wait and they both appeared together. As they weaved their way around the course Ben soon started to apply the pressure and at the last turn got a couple of meters ahead and while catching slower backmarkers he crossed the line to win the opening round of the season.

Provisional Result
1st Ben Sumner Beeline Cycles
2nd Luke Gray Trek Cross Collective @1sec
3rd Will Bjergfelt Cycle Premier/ Kovert
4th Michael Cotty Wheelbase Cannondale
5th Andrew Hargroves Hargroves Cycles
6th Paul Lloyd Rides on Air
7th Jamie Norfolk PedalOn
8th Chris Minter PedalOn
9th Ian Legg Primera Specialized
10th James Cotty Wheelbase Cannondale

The day also saw races for Juniors/Vets and Women. The combined race was dead heated by Matt Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles) and Sean Williams (Wightlink Offshore). The two riders soon pulled clear of the rest after a couple of laps and increased their time. At the bell they were together and on the line they were also un-separable.

Provisional Result
1st Sean Williams Wightlink Offshore
Matt Hargroves Hargroves Cycles Junior
3rd Lewis King Beeline Cycles
4th Joe Griffiths Dream CC Junior
5th Will Girvan North Hants RC
6th Mike Simpson GS Henley
7th Matt Woods Hargroves Cycles Junior
8th Kevin Knox Vicious Velo

Provisional Women’s Result
1st Maxine Filby RWD Brakes
2nd Tamina Oliver Hargroves Cycles
3rd Sarah Woods Wightlink Offshore
4th Nina French Wight Mountain



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