Round 14 Central Cyclocross League - Corley Cycles - MK Bowl
Today saw the penultimate round of the Central Cyclocross League season with another excellent event at Milton Keynes. It was absolutely freezing with frost on the floor and a thick fog when we arrived today. Conditions did improve slightly as the sun came out but it is still a massive credit to our young people that they drag themselves out of bed at the weekend to compete in this tough sport. Credit also to all of the parents who supported their kids today and to the volunteers who make such an event possible.
The Bowl lends itself naturally to a cyclocross course with continuous slopes on cambers and tricky drops out through the hedges at the top. The frost and ice made it tricky in places but also helped a little at slowing the course from cutting up.
Also impressive was the organisation led by Mark Evans with spare bikes and the pressure washer in the pits. Mark himself benefited later as parents and kids providing vital support and very slick bike swaps.
Star of the day was once again Jake Bird with 1st place in the Under 8 race. There was an element of fortune or indeed misfortune (depending on your perspective,) for Jake as his nearest rider fell on the last lap. There's no telling if that was critical to the outcome as Jake was actually closing fast on him at the time. Charlie Guest also had another good day with a second podium finish in consecutive weeks. My understanding is that Jake now has an unassailable lead at the top of his league and is the 2016/17 Champion! Really well done Jake!
In the under 10 Boys, Ruben Hickman had his race face on with a creditable 11th place. The standard of racing from the kids was again absolutely top notch and in this race Welwyn Wheelers dominated with all three podium places.
The biggest representation from KCC today came in the Under 12 boys. Dominic Bell continued his good season with an 8th place in a race where those scarily good Milton Keynes lads took the first five places. Eddie Hennah was his usual hard working self, he always gives it everything, finishing in 15th. I was especially proud of Sam Lindsley today (yes I know I have to say that as he's my son but this is an objective view.) Sam, like others, is in his first season of Cyclocross and is on a steep learning curve. It's been those steep bits that he's struggled with and today we saw a real improvement in that area.
The Under 14s, 16s and Novices all race together on the full course. It's a staggered start and the Dad's club watched Josh Brown get a great start and then saw his chain come off. As a result it came as quite a shock when suddenly our race started too! Those Welwyn Wheelers were as impressive as they'd been the week before and set a ferocious pace. Watching and reporting on what actually happened in the race is difficult when you're taking part. One of the bits I can tell you is that Bethany Spencer took a very nasty tumble down one of those slippy muddy slopes. To her credit she got right back on and kept going. As the course zig zagged around we were able to encourage each other which was nice as was the support from all in the Cyclones family. Josh, despite his mechanical managed an excellent third place. Bethany finished in 4th, just missing out on a podium for the second week running. Charlie Stockham also go in the top ten with 8th place, no mean feat with those Welwyn speed merchants around.
For Dad's club it was the biggest field we've seen in the Novice race, which is good because it means more people trying the sport. The course was great and the riding, although exhausting was a lot of fun. Ashley got a second again this week and we're trying to encourage him to move into his age group, however he's actually an Under 23 still so that will stop him beating us when we move to Vets 40-49. Of the actual Dad's Andrew Brown did the best with 8th, Chris Barratt was 11th and I got home in 19th.
Many of us stayed around to watch Mark in the Vets 40-49. It's good for the kids to see coach riding as there were some elements of master class especially with his bike changes. However Mark we all saw you stall trying to overtake on the inside and expect you to cover this at the next training session ;)
Well done again to all the riders, parents and supporters today. The final round is next Saturday at Misterton Hall, hosted by our near neighbours, Welland Valley CC. I'm looking forward to another day of a sport which truly is highly addictive!
Under 8 Boys
Jake Bird 1st
Charlie Guest 3rd
Under 10 Boys
Ruben Hickman 11th
Under 12 Boys
Dominic Bell 8th
Edward Hennah 15th
Sam Lindsley 17th
Under 14 Boys
Joshua Brown 3rd
Under 14 Girls
Bethany Spencer 4th
Under 16 Boys
Charlie Stockham 8th
Dad's Club (Novice Men)
Ashley Easton (C&D) 2nd
Andrew Brown (C&D and KCC) 8th
Chris Barratt (C&D) 11th
Richard Lindsley (C&D and KCC) 19th
Mark Evans 20th
report by Richard Lindsley