Report: GWR Team Cross (Wessex League Rd 5)

John Whittington and Sarah Barber are winners at round 5 of the Wessex Cyclo-Cross league at Swindon

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Sunday 14th October 2012  | Report and Photos Graham Robins

After a race long tussle, John Whittington (CNP Obrea) piped Paul Lloyd (Ride on Air) by a couple of seconds at the Supermarine Rugby club venue in Swindon to win the senior race. Once the race got underway, these two riders along with Ian Legg (Primera/ Specialized) eased away from the rest of the chasing bunch.

The course was laid out around a couple of Rugby/Football pitches and had a wooded copse at each end with a muddy bank, planks and a twisty section for the spectators to enjoy. The grass was dry and it didn’t cut up much and even the woods were dry.

Once the race settled, John and Paul eased away leaving Ian distanced but clear enough of a small group of three which included Richard Lewis (North Hants RC) and Scott Chappell (Behind the Bike Shed). Both leaders were working hard together and their lead soon was over thirty seconds.

At the bell the two leaders could not be separated and they entered the first copse with Paul in front but it was John that was first out. As they sped along side the pitches, John attacked but Paul jumped onto his wheel. Out of site at the bottom of the course, the two swopped places until they arrived at the planks.

John had a little slip when he seemed to catch the top of the plank but he managed to regain his balance and jumped back onto his bike just ahead of Paul. They were neck and neck into the twisty section where they managed to catch a couple of back markers. John went clear and afterwards Paul said he “wasn’t hindered by the back markers and that John was the stronger of the two riders”.

1. John Whittington CNP Obrea
2. Paul Lloyd Rides on Air @2secs
3. Ian Legg Primera Specialized
4. Richard Lewis North Hants RC
5. Scott Chappell Behind the Bike Shed

In the combined Vet/Junior/Women’s race, Lewis King (Beeline Cycles) stormed away from the start and never looked like being caught. When the race started, four riders were together until they settled down. At the front along with Lewis was Mike Simpson (GS Henley) ‘fresh’ from the National Trophy race across the bridge in Abergavenny and junior rider Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles).

On the second lap, Lewis extended his lead over Mike to forty seconds with Matt a further nine seconds back Will Girvan (North Hants RC) just behind him and as the laps ticked down Lewis’s gap hovered around thirty seconds over Mike. Will was now at 55secs and Matt had slipped back to over two minutes. At the end of the race Lewis was a clear winner from Mike.

Provisional Result VETS
1. Lewis King Beeline Cycles
2. Mike Simpson GS Henley
3. William Girvan North Hants RC
4. Steve Dance Andover Wheelers
5. Peter Scott Cotswold Veldrijden

Provisional Result Juniors
1. Matt Woods Hargroves Cycles
2. Rob Bolwell Wight Mountain

Provisional Result Women
1. Sarah Barber North Hants RC
2. Claire Smith Cotswold Veldrijden

The youth race was won by local rider Jack Saunders (Swindon RC), and once he pulled clear of a chasing pair he was never challenged. There was an interesting tussle behind between with Tom Sewell (Swindon RC) and William Crofts (BCDS), these two riders were never separated throughout the race and it all came down to a mistake at the planks when William slipped and Tom passed him and into the twisty section just before the finish line.

William pulled back Tom a little but was unable to deny Tom a fine second place. The winner of the girls race was Zoe Sheehan (Swindon RC), showing that the local club have some very good riders coming throught their youth development ranks.

Provisional Result
1. Jack Saunders Swindon RC
2. Tom Sewell Swindon RC
3. William Crofts BCDS
4. Dan Tuley Chapel tri Stars

The first race of the afternoon saw three riders locked together for the entire race until the last few metres. Angus Hawkins and team mate Jay Allen (PPV) along with Harry Dridge (Southdown Velo) were locked together for lap after lap. While Angus was winning Harry had a slip on the slippery bank within sight of the finish. He soon re-mounted his bike to take the final podium place. For the second week running Abbie Manley (Chapel tri Stars) was the first girl extending her lead in the league in only her fifth Cyclo Cross race in her first season. Second girl was Alderney Baker (Southdown Velo) with Madeline Cooper (Chapel tri Stars)

Provisional Result
1. Angus Hawkins PPV
2. Jay Allen PPV
3. Harry Dridge Southdown Velo
4. Rowan Turner
5. Ryan Hodgkyns Poole Wheelers
6. Abbie Manley Chapel tri Stars



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