Three-way fight dominates

CYCLO CROSSA three-way battle with a strong tactical element dominated round eight of the EADT Cyclo-Cross League at Hillyfields, Colchester.The course at the Hillyfields public open space was dry and fast.

CYCLO CROSS

A three-way battle with a strong tactical element dominated round eight of the EADT Cyclo-Cross League at Hillyfields, Colchester.

The course at the Hillyfields public open space was dry and fast. Some parts were on raised grassland, exposed to the strong wind, elsewhere the course climbed, dipped and twisted through scrub and over rough ground left by Roman industry and Civil War siegeworks.

The wind made it advantageous for the leading riders to work together but the short climbs were a temptation to potential breakaways.


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The leading trio included two riders keen to show well because they ride for local businesses - Nathan Miller (53-12 Multisports) and Shaun Aldous of Marks Tey team Interbike. The third leader was mountain bike World Cup rider Phil Cooper (Blue Sky Cycles), who had won the last two EADT League races.

Miller put in a lot of work at the front of the group, calculating that it was best to control the pace on the uphill bits where good climbers like Aldous might otherwise open a gap.

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In the end the successful attack came from Cooper, who blasted across the heath with two laps to go, flew up the climb into the scrub and was on his way to a third successive win.

Afterwards Cooper, from Hoddesdon, said that he thought any one of the three might have won and that during other's attacks he was: “Having to dig deep and give it everything to keep up”.

Nevertheless, at the line he had 10 seconds over Miller and was 31 seconds in front of Aldous.

KEGS Chelmsford student David Nichols (Glendene CC/Biketrax) took fourth place and was first junior.

He was initially up with the leading group, but lost contact on a run-up and finished the race alone, just over a minute up on unattached rider Nick Ainsworth from Haverhill.

Second in the Junior race, and 25th overall was Dominic Schils (Interbike RT), who has had a very successful road season commuting across the North Sea and racing in Belgium.

Ian Newby duelled with new senior Ben Spashett for sixth overall, dropping the XRT/Elmy rider amongst the trees, but finding Spashett's young legs closing the gap on the straights.

And when that danger subsided, a last-lap burst by Andrew Griffiths threatened, but just failed, to claim the sixth spot.

Incidentally, it has just been announced that Griffiths, who was league youth champion in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, is to join top Belgian Under-23 team WB2000 for next year's road season.

A tangle between several riders on the first lap had a big influence on the veteran's race. League leader Gavin Rumbles (VW/Trek) had to change bikes and ride most of the race on his spare bike - an MTB. Tim Butler (Ipswich BC) was first vet to finish. Clive Ling (Diss & District) lost out in a sprint finish with clubmate Jonny Ramsey, but his position as second veteran was enough to take him to the top of the veterans league table.

Interbike RT's Jen Ives had a comfortable win in the women's section.

Luke Newby, 15-year-old son of Ian, put in an outstanding ride to lead the Youth race from start to finish. Luke's lap times were a few seconds faster than those of his dad in the senior race. Next season, when the two will be in the same senior races, competition between the Diss & District pair looks likely to be interesting.

Behind, Ipswich BC club-mates Tom Castle and Hugo Robinson fought a close battle. The young but experienced Robinson, enjoying a good run of form, nipped neatly through the singletrack, while Castle used his power to gain on the open stretches and to win the headwind sprint for second place.

There was a ding-dong battle between Jenny Hardwicke (Plomesgate CC) and Ellen Triggs (Colchester Rovers) in the Youth race, with Jenny eventually taking the girls' prize.

Sean Dunlea (PCA/Ciclos Uno) led the 19 rider Under-12s race and held off a challenge from Alwyn Newstead (Ipswich BC) by one second. Jack Hardwicke (Plomesgate) was third and James Jackson of Colchester Rovers took fourth and also the prize for the first Under-10 competitor.

On Sunday, cyclo-cross riders from all over the south-east of England will converge on Fakenham, Norfolk, for the Regional Championship races. These are also EADT League events and the first league finishers will score maximum league points.

The course at Hempton Common is just outside Fakenham, on the Dereham side, between the A1065 and the B1146. The non-championship race for Under-12s starts the programme at 11am; the Senior Championship is at 2pm.

Also on Sunday there is mountain bike racing at Mayday Meadow, between Brandon and Elveden Road at 10:30am. There is a full field of 500 riders, and the next round on January 20 has nearly 200 of the 500 available places already taken.

Results

Seniors, Juniors, Veterans, Women

1 Philip Cooper (Blue Sky Cycles) 8 laps in 1:00:46; 2 Nathan Miller (53-12 Multisports) +0:10; 3 Shaun Aldous (Interbike RT) +0:31; 4 David Nichols 1st Jun (Glendene CC/Bike Trax) +1:39; 5 Nick Ainsworth (Private Member) +2:58; 6 Ian Newby (Diss & District CC) +3:13; 7 Andrew Griffiths (Glendene CC/Bike Trax) +3:18; 8 Ben Spashett (XRT/Elmy Cycles) +3:30; 9 Tim Butler 1st Vet (Ipswich BC) +5:03; 10 Jonny Ramsey (Diss & District CC) +5:50; 11 Clive Ling Vet (Diss & District CC) +5:51; 12 Kevin Wilby (Ipswich BC) +6:03; 13 Dave Copland Vet (Ipswich BC) +6:08; 14 Julian Parker Vet (Ipswich BC) +6:23; 15 Joe Perret Jun (Glendene CC/Bike Trax) +6:31; 16 Dennis Van Gaveren (Interbike RT) +7:14; 17 Gavin Rumbles Vet (Trek VW) +7:18; 18 Craig Stevens Vet (PCA Ciclos Uno) +7:33; 19 Steve Halsall (Fred Russel Racing) +8:15; 20 Tim Bonnett (VC Baracchi) +8:26; 21 Bruce Robinson Vet (Shaftesbury CC) +8:29; 22 Dan Oakley (Chelmer CC) +8:39; 23 Geoff Bores Vet (Ford CC) +1 lap +0:13; 24 Gary Wood Vet (Maldon & District) +1 lap +0:39; 25 Dominic Schils Jun (Interbike RT) +1 lap +0:56; 26 Clive Harrison Vet (Ford CC) +1 lap +1:04; 27 Russell Cook Vet (Ford CC) +1 lap +1:20; 28 Jim Hardwicke Vet (Plomesgate CC) +1 lap +1:27; 29 Greg Andrews (Interbike RT) +1 lap +1:45; 30 Terry Smith Vet (Interbike RT) +1 lap; 40 Jen Ives 1st Woman (Interbike RT) +1 lap +4:35.

Youths

1 Luke Newby (Diss & District CC) 4 laps in 31:48; 2 Tom Castle (Ipswich BC) +1:29; 3 Hugo Robinson 1st Yth/U14. (Ipswich BC) +1:29; 4 Matthew Cook (Mildenhall CC) +3:19; 5 Robert Green (Ipswich BC) +4:14; 6 Ben Bailey Yth/U14. (Palmer Park Velo) +4:22; 7 Andrew Constable (Ipswich BC) +6:13; 8 Tom Fitzpatrick (Diss & District CC) +7:51; 9 Matthew Constable (Ipswich BC) +8:41; 10 Joshua Green Yth/U14. (Glendene CC/Bike Trax) +10:32; 14 Jenny Hardwicke 1st Yth/Girl/U14. (Plomesgate CC) +1 lap +1:01.

Under-12s

1 Sean Dunlea (PCA Ciclos Uno) 6 laps in 11:40; 2 Alwyn Newstead (Ipswich BC) +0:01; 3 Jack Hardwicke (Plomesgate CC) +0:30; 4 James Jackson 1st U10 (Colchester Rovers) +0:52; 5 Tristan Price U10 (Chelmer CC) +0:59; 6 Emily Wilkins (Chelmer CC) +1:35; 7 James Madgwick (Lee Valley Youth CC) +2:43; 8 Matthew Madgwick (Lee Valley Youth CC) +1 lap +0:04; 9 Thomas Adams (Mildenhall CC) +1 lap +0:31; 10 Henrietta Colbourne U10 (Fat Birds) +1 lap +0:51.

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