Nikki's National Trophy win

A GRIPPING battle between series leader Paul Oldham and German rival Johannes Sickmueller formed the climax to a day of National Trophy cyclo-cross in Chantry Park, Ipswich.

Fergus Muir

A GRIPPING battle between series leader Paul Oldham and German rival Johannes Sickmueller formed the climax to a day of National Trophy cyclo-cross in Chantry Park, Ipswich.

The two climbed, dipped and dived around the rolling parkland with first one attacking and then the other, all against a background of trees in autumnal glory. The following entourage of potential challengers thinned out with every lap. Finally with two to go, Sickmueller, winner of the previous National Trophy round at Derby, opened a ten yard gap which Hope Factory Racing rider Oldham could not close.

The glory was Sickmueller's. “Perfect because I am winning” he said afterwards. Though Oldham still heads the overall table, he did not hide his disappointment: “It's all about going over the line with your arms in the air” was his comment.

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Chelmsford full-time racer David Nichols (Arctic Premier RT) was the highest placed local rider among the seniors, coming eleventh overall and taking over the Under 23 series leadership. Finishing just 33 seconds later was his brother Andrew (Cambridge University CC) who, than 24 hours earlier, had been equal second out of 153 contestants in the British Universities hill climb championship on Curbar Edge.

Former EADT League champion Shaun Aldous (Extreme Sports Therapy) improved on his position in the previous round. He worked well with Bristol star - and former Suffolk schoolboy - Will Bjergfelt and took 21st place 4:54 down on the winner. Nathan Miller (Lotto Interbike) was flying in the first half of the race but then, he said, “the parachute went out”, though he still finished 26th, at 6:06.

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Riding only her fourth cyclo-cross, Nikki Juniper (PCA Ciclos Uno) from Brentwood won the women's race despite crashing twice in the woods and changing bikes three times.

With 250 yards to go the EADT League newcomer attacked, and though Hannah Barnes (Candi TV) was closing, at the line Juniper still had two seconds in hand.

As well as Hugo Robinson's second place in the Youth event, Ipswich Bicycle Club had Tim Butler 12th in the veteran's 50+, and Julian Parker 16th in the 40-49 age group.

Just ahead of Parker were James Price (Ciclos Uno, 14th) and Stuart Chatting (Amis Velo 15th), while Thetford MTB had Phil Buick 13th in the 50+ and daughter Imogen 7th in the Youth Girls.

Daniel Tullett (Herne Hill Youth) bounded up the climb on the Under 12 circuit to win by a 44 second margin.

On Sunday the Eastern Region has strong teams in the Inter-Area Team Championships in Leicester. New salaried British Cycling Regional Events Officer Rachel Fenton competes herself as part of the women's team endeavouring to repeat their outstanding win in this race last year.

Well, someone had to come last… Dominic Castle is The Psyclist at

National Trophy Round 3:

Elite/U23: 11 David Nichols (Arctic Premier RT),13 Andrew Nichols (Cambridge University CC),

21 Shaun Aldous (Extreme Sports Therapy), 26 Nathan Miller

(Lotto Interbike).

Women: 1 Nikki Juniper

(PCA/Ciclos Uno).

Junior: 14 Matt Cook (API),

18 Tom Castle (IBC).

Veterans 40+: 8 Gavin Rumbles (CC Luton), 14 James Price (Ciclos Uno) 15 Stuart Chatting (Amis Velo),

16 Julian Parker (IBC), 17 Craig Stevens (Ciclos Uno), 18 Dave Copland (IBC).

Veterans 50+: 12 Tim Butler

(Ipswich BC), 13 Phil Buick (Thetford MTB), 15 Geoff Bores (Ford CC), 18 Chris Gooch

(VC Revolution).

Youth men: 2 Hugo Robinson (Ipswich BC),12 Josh Hannan (Extreme Sports Therapy). U14s: 7 Sean Dunlea (Ciclos Uno)

Youth girls; 7 Imogen Buick

(Thetford MTB)

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