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
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 isnâ€™t one of them. That said, Iâ€™ve never seen parking so close to the pit area before which many were thankful for! Weâ€™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 â€˜bergâ€™, planks, long straights and twists and turns.
It was â€˜longâ€™ 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 wasnâ€™t too bad as the weather stayed dry with the first spots of rain not falling until the very end of the Menâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 â€˜cafÃ©â€™ next to the finish line, the course had plenty of places to watch but the favourite was the â€˜Durhambergâ€™, 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 Oliâ€™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. Itâ€™s a tough series and a costly one to compete in explained Paul Oldham and it doesnâ€™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 isnâ€™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-Robsonâ€™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 leaderâ€™s jerseys and race hard to entertain those watching.
In a road event, few will hang around to watch the Elites but in â€˜cross, itâ€™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 holdsâ€¦ dry, ice, snow, mud…
Dylan Kerfoot-Robson Â gets the better ofÂ Jack Ravenscroft with a late sprint
A photo taster of the event â€¦
Future stars …Â Lucy Horrocks andÂ 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,Â Steven Davies (Hargroves Cycles) Â 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 …Â
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…. ;-)
Â Daniel Tulett proud of his sponsors Hargroves Cycles as he wins the Under 16 boys race.
Charlotte Broughton won the girls in a sprint withÂ 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.Â Next stop Milton Keynes Bowl.
Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)
- Result: Seacroft Wheelers Road Races
- Result: Preston Park Races 6
- Result: SERRL Road Races
- Result: Rhos on Sea Spring Series 2
- Result: Bristol Women’s Road Race
- Report: Sam Walton Trophy
- Result: Cramlington CC 18
- Result: Teesdale CRC Sporting 21
- Result: Tricycle Association NW Trikes TT
- Top 10: Fenwick Masters Road Race
- Result: Manchester BC/Wills Wheels CC two stage RR
- Result: First Manchester Regional Track League
- Report: Tour of Taiwan Stage 2
- Result: MK Bowl March Races 4
- Result: Ythan Valley 2017 APR
- Result: Scorpion CS Road Race
- Result: 2017 Western Time Trials Association Hilly Time Trial
- Result: Coalville Wheelers CC Open 10
- Results: Youth National Series
- Valverde Dominates Catalyuna with third stage win
- Result: Ilkley CC Sporting 10
- Result: Common Lane Occasionals Sporting 17
- Report/Result: Gent Wevelgem
- Result: Rhino Velo Race Team Hilly 21
- Result: Border City Whs Sporting 20
- Top 10: Southern Counties CU 10, Saturday
- Top 10: Southern Counties CU 25
- Top 10: Plomesgate CC 10 TT
- Result: Hillingdon Saturday Crit Series 2
- Result: CTT Classic TT Series – Wessex
- Result: Full Gas VeloPark Crits
- Result: VC Sevale Open 10
- Result: Cardiff Ajax CC 10
- Report/Result: Volta Catalunya Stage 6
- Result: Bristol Uni CC Open 10
- Result: Reivers RR (2/3/4)
- Result: Reivers Road Race
- Report/Result: Ipswich Spring Scramble
- Result: Crewe Clarion Wheelers CC 15
- Report: E3 Harelbeke
Other News on VeloUK
- News: Klondike Grand Prix
- Q & A: Cleethorpes Super Prix Organiser Richard Stoodley
- Womens Teams for Tour Series Named
- Kittel to Race Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde
- Report: Tour of Taiwan Stage 2
- News: CiCle Classic Getting Popular
- News: Storey Racing Team Launch
- News: Quickstep to E3 Harelbeke
- News: Belgian CX Project
- News: Onimpex Bioracer SpoCo TT Series
- News: Aberystwyth Crits 2017
- Report: Dwars Door Vlaanderen
- Feature: Bioracer Aero Virtual Wind Tunnel
- Preview: Classic Time Trial Series 1
- Team News: Contador Happy with TTT
- News: Van Avermaet Back Home to Race
- Teams Revealed for Tour de Yorkshire
- Team Bikes: Madison Genesis
- Feature: Glenn Longland signs Golden Book
- Team News: Madison Genesis at Normandy
- Team News: Quickstep to Catalunya
- On Now: Milan San Remo
- News: 2017 ORRO Tour of Sussex
- News: Carthy rides Catalunya for Cannondale Drapac
- The story behind ‘THRE Datawolves Racing Team’
- Feature: MSR ‘race of many outcomes’
- Starts Today: Mallorca Six Day
- News: Racing on the road
- News: Van Avermaet Targets Milan-SanRemo Podium
- News: Quickstep for Milano-Sanremo
- News: Shropshire team put in the miles
- News: New Team in Hertfordshire
- This Weekend: 58th Wally Gimber Trophy
- Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6
- News: The Final Paris-Nice GC Battle
- Team News: Sagan wins Stage 5 of Tirreno – Adriatico
- Paris-Nice: De La Cruz wins Final Stage
- Report & Result: Jock Wadley 2017
- News: Quintana beats Thomas to stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico
- News: Adam Yates Now 2nd on GC at Tirreno Adriatico