So close for Hugo in national finals

Suffolk & North Essex Riders at National Trophy, Round SixThe National Trophy cyclo-cross series reached its climax by Rutland Water in Leicestershire at an event organised to continental standards and with a strong Belgian entry to match.

Fergus Muir

Suffolk & North Essex Riders at National Trophy, Round Six

The National Trophy cyclo-cross series reached its climax by Rutland Water in Leicestershire at an event organised to continental standards and with a strong Belgian entry to match.

Sponsor's banners replaced much of the usual plastic tape marking the course - and mud replaced the snow of recent weeks.

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“Gloopy thick mud” said Extreme Sports Therapy's Michael Raven. “Clay - it stuck to the bikes” said team mate Josh Hannan. Indeed EST's third team member, Shaun Aldous was put out of the senior race when a build-up of mud led to his gear mechanism breaking off. Visits to the pits for freshly washed bikes were routine.

Suffolk's best hope was in the youth event where Hugo Robinson (Ipswich Bicycle Club) was lying second in the standings and had an outside chance of overhauling leader Sam Lowe.

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However Lowe soon showed his strength, accelerating into the safest place - alone in the lead - and was never seen again by any but a small number of lapped tail-enders.

Behind, Robinson tussled with Ed McParland and William Worrall. “It was never really a group” he said. Mostly it was a rotating series of moves, one rider attacking, another chasing and the third dangling off the back. Towards the end all three faded and Adam Martin came from behind to seize second place. Worrall took third with Robinson six seconds behind in fourth. Alan Trolove (West Suffolk Wheelers) was 26th and Sean Dunlea (Ciclos Uno) 37th securing eighth place in the overall Under 14 classification.

So Lowe (Raleigh/Avanti) wins the National Trophy Youth Series with 266 points, Robinson is second with 244 and finishes with a handsome 36 point margin over third placed McParland (J D Cycles).

With eighty riders in the senior field, the sprint - on a tarmac road - to the beginning of the off-road sections was important. Chelmsford-based Andrew Nichols (Cambridge University CC) fell after contriving to get his STI lever tangled with another rider's skin suit. However he worked his way back to up 45th place, one place behind Greg Simcock (XRT/Elmy Cycles). Nichols' brother David also had to make up ground after a slow start, but was the highest placed EADT League rider in the senior field at 26th and finishes second overall in the Under 23 series classification.

The course featured off-camber corners which demanded skill and finesse, a stretch of the rocky shore of the reservoir, and a long climb with the hurdles placed part of the way up. Belgian visitors took the top four places in the senior race with winner Rob Peeters beating sixth placed Jody Crawforth - winner of the most recent EADT League race - by 2:37 and regional champion Jamie Newall (17th) by 5:29.

The final round of the EADT League is (tomorrow/on Sunday January 24) at Furze Hill, Mistley. After date changes caused by the weather, the end-of-season team championships and EADT League prize presentation will now be on Sunday, January 31, one week before the National Championships in Birmingham.


National Trophy Round Six Rutland Water

Leading & Local Riders

Youth: 1 Sam Lowe (Raleigh/Avanti), 4 Hugo Robinson (Ipswich BC) @29 secs, 13 Josh Hannan (Extreme Sports) @2:51, 26 Alan Trolove (West Suffolk Whs) @5:33, 37 Sean Dunlea (PCA/Ciclos Uno) @9:16, 45 Matthew Madgwick (Lee Valley Youth CC), 47 James Madgwick (LVYCC). Senior 1 Rob Peeters (Belgium), 26 David Nichols (Arctic Premier RT) @7:41, 36 Michael Raven (Extreme Sports Therapy) @ 1 lap; 44 Greg Simcock (XRT/Elmy Cycles); 45 Andrew Nichols (Cambridge University CC).Women 1 Annie Last (Halfords/Bikehut) 43:15; 10 Anna Buick (Thetford MTB). Youth Girls: 1 Lucy Garner (Leics RC) 9 Imogen Buick (Thetford MTB)@5:41. Vets 40-49 1 Darren Atkins (Coventry RC) 16 Gavin Rumbles (CC Luton) @5:22, 33 Keiron Dunlea (Ciclos Uno) @8:06. Vets 50+ 1 Martin Eadon (Hargroves Cycles) 13 Phil Buick (Thetford MTB) @6:01

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