Quagmire in final round of trophy series

“One load of sticky mud” was how EADT Cyclo-Cross League administrator Tim Butler described conditions at the final round of the National Trophy Series at Derby.

“One load of sticky mud” was how EADT Cyclo-Cross League administrator Tim Butler described conditions at the final round of the National Trophy Series at Derby.

In particular it was a clinging sort of mud that built up around rear brakes before dropping neatly onto gear mechanisms with all sorts of unwanted consequences. Helpers in the pits fought a race-long battle to get bikes washed and ready for the next bike change.

The course, at Derby College, west of Derby, mixed concrete paths with grass, soon turning to mud.

The largest EADT League contingent was contesting the Youth race where Ipswich Bicycle Club's Hugo Robinson started the day just six points behind Under 14 Series leader Sam Lowe.

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The race was for combined Under 16 and Under 14 age groups. Robinson started from the second row of the grid, got away well and was up with Lowe and in sixth place overall at the end of the first lap. However on this course, where technique mattered less, Lowe was eventually able to open a gap and finished 21 seconds up on Robinson to secure a convincing series win.

But Robinson still finished with a flourish - beating Edward Gill in a sprint for 11th place. The timekeepers could not separate the pair.

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Best EADT league finisher was 15-year-old Luke Newby who finished ninth. Newby, from the Diss & District CC, wasn't as quick off the line as Robinson. But he chased hard, and although he had a fall on the concrete he remounted quickly and linking with Ipswich BC's Tom Castle, caught up with Robinson.

Frequently taking a fresh-washed bike at the pits Newby eventually finished 37 seconds ahead. Castle was unlucky - mud-clogged gears caught a spoke in his back wheel at the furthest point from the pits. He had to shoulder his bike for a long run and finished out of the points. However he still held his 10th place in the series result, just one point and one place ahead of Newby. In the points by a whisker at Derby was Mildenhall CC's Matt Cook who finished 20th out of the 52 finishers.

David Nichols (Glendene/Biketrax) successfully defended his 5th position in the Junior series though his was a race against the odds. Mud did for his gear mechanism on a practice lap, so he had no option but to use his spare bike throughout the race. A puncture forced him to finish on a flat tyre, 4:35 down on winner Alex Paton. But the points for his 8th place were enough to hang on to 5th overall.

In the women's race Jen Ives (Interbike RT) was up with the leaders on the first lap but later fell twice, once on a grass descent followed by an encounter with a building by the side of the course.

Tim Butler made a good start among the veterans aged 50+ but was brought down on the first lap, dropping to about 10th place. Later, progress was arrested when his rear hub became entangled with loose course marking tape.

Sole Eastern representative in the Elite race, Nathan Miller (53-12 Multisports), had to cope with a course cut up by earlier races and was lapped by winner Ian Bibby with four laps to go.

With the national competitions completed, the EADT League resumes on Sunday with Colchester Rovers' promotion at Furze Hill, Mistley. First race 11am.

On the same day there is mountain bike racing at High Lodge, Thetford Forest, where a maximum field of 500 is already entered.

Also on Sunday, there is a change of venue for the East District CA Prize Presentation. This will now be at Carbrooke Village Hall. Reliability trial at 10am; award ceremony 1.15pm.

The death last week of Ron Hunt who was Press Officer -and much more - to the EADT League will cause great sadness across the cyclo-cross community in the East.

Ron, who was 77, never recovered from the stroke he suffered on Christmas Eve 2006.

Until then he had been writer of these race reports throughout the EADT sponsorship.

He first obtained help for the League from the Eastern Daily Press in 2001 and after three years followed that up with the present link with the EADT.

Ron was a big man in every way, more so than ever when well wrapped up for a long stint of marshalling on a wind-swept corner. From such a spot he would shout warm encouragement to the riders or offer a helping hand to a stumbling six year-old negotiating a man-sized obstacle.

In summer he was a regular helper at Diss and District CC evening club events, sending off a report to the local press directly after the event, and making no small contribution to the present prosperity of the club. He also travelled to support his grandson Robert in road races, MTB and Four-Cross events across the country.

Following a family funeral, there will be a service of thanksgiving for his life at 1pm on Thursday January 24 at St Mary's Church, Yaxley near Eye. A Ron-sized celebration is promised. Bikes and cyclists' attire welcome.

Results from National Trophy, round 5, Derby:

Youth: 1 Samuel Harrison (Cwymcarn Paragon) 29:08, 9 Luke Newby (Diss & District) @2:32, 11 Hugo Robinson (Ipswich Bicycle Club) @2:53 (2nd U14), 13 Sam Fry (Interbike RT) @3:38, 20 Matt Cook (Mildenhall CC) @ 5;04, 32 Tom Castle (Ipswich BC) @ 7:17, 49 George Wood (Maldon & District) @ 1 lap.

Junior 1 Alex Paton (VC Deal) 37:50, 8 David Nichols (Glendene/Biketrax) @ 4:35.

Women: 1 Annie Last (Matlock CC) 36:39, 8 Jen Ives (Interbike RT) @ 5:53.

Veterans 40-49: 1 Noel Clough (Fietsen Tempo), 32 Gary Wood (Maldon & District) @ 1 lap.

50+ 1 Barry Kipling (Inkland) 39:20, 13 Tim Butler (IBC) @ 5:11. 16 John Terrell (IBC) @ 6:16.

Elite: 1 Ian Bibby (SiS) 1-00:19, 31 Nathan Miller ( IBC) @ 1 lap.

SERIES OVERALL: Under 14: 1 Sam Lowe (Go-Spex) 182 points, 2 Robinson 170, 12 Green 40, Wood 21.

Youth; 1 Luke Gray (Hargroves Cycles) 216, 7 Fry 137, 10 Castle 102, 11 Newby 101, 13 Robinson 94, 19 Cook 59.

Women: 1 Annie Lowe 158, 8 Jen Ives 95.

Junior: 1 Paton 1866, 5 Nichols 94.

Veterans 50+ 1 Roy Hunt (Kinesis) 194, 10 Butler 59, 19 Terrell 17.

Elite: 1 Paul Oldham (Hope) 198, 37 Miller 14.

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