Hurst races to first senior win at Grafham Water
Thinking and pre-planning riding lines helped Cam Hurst to his first Senior cyclo-cross win, which came at the Grafham Water event promoted by the St Ives CC, writes Fergus Muir.
The young Colchester rider was soon in the lead with only Kieran Jarvis (Team OnForm) able to hold his pace. One mistake from Jarvis at the ditch was enough to open a gap, which became 34 seconds at the flag.
Junior riders – in the same final event of the day – had a close fight, with Adam Lightfoot making the best start but Iceni Velo’s Angus Toms, starting from well back on the grid, proved nimble on those hurdles and working his way through the field to his first Junior win.
Meanwhile some fast mid-race laps from Tom Martin briefly lifted the Verulam rider past Lightfoot, who however, regained second Junior spot by the finish.
Further back, Chelmer Junior Chester Tribley was in close combat with Fred Gill (On Form), a battle which ended when Gill took on a tree instead – and lost.
The course was in a country park along the banks of the vast Huntingdonshire reservoir. The stretches along the beaches seem to ride differently every year. This time the water’s edge was too distant to offer a viable route.
Most settled for ploughing along a developing furrow in gravelly shingle – a single racing line which lapped riders proved tardy in relinquishing when the leaders sought to pass.
Those that did dutifully move aside were all too likely to lose control on the loose stones and prostrate themselves in front of their betters.
The Women’s race opened with a sparking first lap from Harley Pell (LIV AWOL), but steady work by Push Sport’s Alison Hogg closed the gap and by lap three Hogg was on her way to a second League win, pursued by Pedal Power Ipswich rider Gemma Melton, who was eventually second.
There were Vets age group wins for Jo Newstead (40+), Jackie Field (50+) and Stowmarket club member Christine Hart-Davies (60+).
There was a debut win in the Youth race for Charlie Johnson, also from the Stowmarket & District club. Putting in progressively faster laps he overhauled early leader Daniel Hall (Colchester Rovers).
It was a well deserved culmination of a year of steadily improving results for Johnson.
Hall finished third – a valuable contribution to Colchester Rovers’ points score in the League Team Competition. Helped by six wins in the Under 10s by George Collins and many other scores reflecting the club’s strength in depth, Colchester Rovers now lead the League Team Competition, long the province of clubs nearer London.
Consistent fast lapping saw Jimmy Piper carry his Renvale colours to a 35 second win over teammate Richard Muchmore in the Vets 50-Plus.
Matt Webber won the Vets 40-49 where Glenn Davey, Mark Powell, Ian Newby and Andy Hurst formed a close group in the top ten.
Looking further afield, Orwell Velo’s Chris Crabtree produced an astonishing average power output of 546 watts in the National Championship Hill Climb at Stocksbridge just outside Sheffield.
The Championship has grown dramatically in the last few years from a niche event to a full field of 300 riders. Crabtree’s two minutes 27.3 seconds time put him in 15th place, less than ten seconds down on winner Andrew Feather (2:18.9).
There was an age-group win for Charlie Knowler (West Suffolk Wheelers) who won the 14 years group with 3:39.1, while Josh Aiken of Pedal Power Ipswich was 26th overall in 2:33.1.
The annual East District Short Distance Time Trial Competition has a new Coordinator in Gary Smith of VeloVelocity.
Women who have ridden at least three ten mile time trials, plus two 25s in the EDCA area qualify. For men the minimum is four x 10 miles plus three x 25.
Claims need to be made to Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 23rd. Note that only full Open events count.