Feature incl. Photo Albums: A day at the National Trophy in Durham


With cyclo-cross on the up in 2013, VeloUK went to round 3 of the National Trophy in Durham to see who the movers and shakers were

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes


With numbers up in the regional cyclo-cross leagues around the country, this very unique sport that so many people enjoy, found the best in the country travelling to historic Durham on the weekend. The venue was a set of fields for various university sports and from the start, you could see the Cathedral and Castle with the city centre only a short walk away.

Here are the albums from each event:


Women & Juniors




This is ‘cross! The very steep, muddy DurhamBerg was a popular place for spectators.

As venues go, it had a lot going for it although perhaps parking isn’t one of them. That said, I’ve never seen parking so close to the pit area before which many were thankful for! We’re talking barrels full of water, generators, and jet sprays before we even talk bikes!

The course seemed to the outsider, ie me, to have a lot going for it. Steps, a muddy grass ‘berg’, planks, long straights and twists and turns.

It was ‘long’ said one rider to me but another replied it was also fast as well and so riders were coming round quite quickly. Thankfully, whilst a little muddy, it wasn’t too bad as the weather stayed dry with the first spots of rain not falling until the very end of the Men’s race. Best of all though, the racing was exciting from the off.

The Veterans 40 plus category has always been a great one to see some close racing. Each year, new faces come into it and whilst favourite Darren Atkins won, he was pushed all the way by the likes of Ian Taylor, Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) and Dave Ash.


Darren Atkins a winner in the Vets40 event but he was pushed all the way.

With a double act on the microphones including Matt Payne in a short sleeve shirt (it wasn’t that warm Matt!) whipping up the action on the airwaves around the venue, it is easy to see why many, including me, feel that this is one sport that deserves a bigger stage and is made for TV.

With the smell of hot food coming from the ‘café’ next to the finish line, the course had plenty of places to watch but the favourite was the ‘Durhamberg’, a tough short steep muddy bank that even the very best riders struggled to ride up. Perhaps the best piece of action for me with the camera was Hargroves Cycles rider Jody Crawforth smashing through the hurdles when he misjudged the timing of his hurdle hopping.

The fact he stayed upright was a miracle and a testimony to his bike handling skills and the former National Champion along with teammate Steven James, really pushed the leaders all the way a handful or two of seconds behind the leading three. At the front, Paul Oldham was in a class of his own. Challenged at the start for a few laps, he soon put some distance into his rivals including a legend in off roading, Oli Beckingsale (Endura MTBing).

This is Oli’s last season after many many years racing for his country and he has high hopes to go out on top although even he admits Paul Oldham is untouchable in the National Trophy at the moment. Whilst Oli will bow out, there are so many familiar faces on the National Trophy Circuit with new ones coming along as well. It’s a tough series and a costly one to compete in explained Paul Oldham and it doesn’t seem to have had the same growth that the Regional Leagues have had.


Women’s race gets underway with Hannah Payton in the lead with yellow jersey Annie Simpson chasing her all the way.

I understand too that finding organisers and venues willing to hold a round of the series is tough as well, another example perhaps where British Cycling should be reinvesting the money they reap from all those competing in cross, into the sport and making these Trophy events desirable to organisers, public and riders alike.

When you stand there on the steps to watch lap after lap, the riders running up them seemingly untroubled, you realise just how great these athletes are. Despite my 40 years in the sport, I was still wowed by the likes of Oldham, Beckingsale etc. The strength in depth isn’t perhaps as deep as it could be although I understand at Milton Keynes a certain top 20 rider in the world rider, Ian Field, will be racing! A pre nationals clash not to be missed!

Most of the races saw battle royals at the front between a handful of riders but the best finish was the Junior one where in the last 50 metres, Dylan Kerfoot-Robson surprised Jack Ravenscroft who had led by a few lengths into the last bend before Kerfoot-Robson’s sprint gave him the victory.

With darkness descending on the venue, the final race done and dusted, the car parks emptied whilst I did the last of my feature interviews and collected the results from the ever hardworking Jim Court. Jim is an example of how the National Trophy, like so many other parts of cycling, is like one big family. Happy, by and large, with few prima donnas thankfully because of the mix of those that know their place and do it for fun; and those who realise the importance of wearing the leader’s jerseys and race hard to entertain those watching.

In a road event, few will hang around to watch the Elites but in ‘cross, it’s very different which all adds to the atmosphere. The next National Trophy in Milton Keynes, a Kelvin Hoy creation, promises to be special. All we wait for now is to see what the weather holds… dry, ice, snow, mud…



Dylan Kerfoot-Robson  gets the better of Jack Ravenscroft with a late sprint

A photo taster of the event …


Future stars … Lucy Horrocks and Craig Rogers, winners in the Under 14’s race.


Right place, right time for this smashing pic of Jody Crawforth ploughing his way through the hurdles.


The award for the most dominant win of the day, Steven Davies (Hargroves Cycles)  in the over 50 category. No one got near him!


Battling all the way for a podium in the Women’s race was Abby-Mae Parkinson of the Cycle Division’s RST/Trigon team. Abby was first Junior in 4th … 


Winner and new series leader in the Women’s is Hannah Payton.


A top view of the course in Durham.


Matt Payne on the mic thought it was summer…. ;-)


 Daniel Tulett proud of his sponsors Hargroves Cycles as he wins the Under 16 boys race.


Charlotte Broughton won the girls in a sprint with Emily Wadsworth


Last race of the day and Paul Oldham was again dominant after a battle royal early on gave the crowd plenty to cheer about. Paul then had to deal with a rear wheel puncture but played it calm and held his lead after a bike change.


As the sun went down, the barriers were gathered and the course dismantled.  Next stop Milton Keynes Bowl.



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