Askey and Baker ride to victory in WMCCL R2


Lewis Askey (Zanatta Ride Coventry) used his road form to good effect and took his maiden victory of the cyclo-cross season in round two of the Ridley Lazer West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League.

Lewis Askey works his way through a wooded section on his way to victory in the men’s event. Picture: David Perry

Meanwhile Team Empella team-mates Melissa and Alderney Baker dominated the women’s event with the former riding away to take the win following a crash.

The gravel and dusty tracks around the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre hosted the second round of the series organised by Solihull CC made for fast racing.

Ahead of travelling to the Junior Road World Championships later this week Askey, 17, from Cannock, started his cross season in fine style.

After winning last weekend’s opening round under-23 rider Toby Barnes (Lichfield City CC) was Askey’s main challenger.

The pair forced a gap on the opening lap before Askey made his move on the second lap and looked to have the victory sealed.

Despite losing time on the last two laps and having his advantage cut to 17 seconds by the finish he held on for victory.

Daniel Barnes (Lichfield City CC) led the charge behind to take third overall and second junior while Edward Woodward (MI Racing Academy) finished third junior.

After being narrowly beaten in a sprint finish in the last round Philip Glaze (Stourbridge CC) finally got the better of Darren Atkins (Ride Coventy) in the veteran’s over 40 category.

Glaze pulled out a five seconds gap on the third of nine laps and grew out his winning margin. Behind Colin Miller (Ride Coventry) was a lone chaser in third.

In the women’s race 18-year-old Melissa Baker, from Wheaton Aston, gapped her team-mate in the closing two laps to clinch victory.

Melissa and Alderney Baker built up an unassailable margin in the women’s race. Picture: David Perry

After finishing fifth in last week’s opening round Baker was joined at the head of the race by junior rider Alderney Baker.

The duo found themselves off the front on the third lap and worked well together to build up a substantial lead.

However, with two laps to go Alderney Baker crashed on a gravel corner leaving the older rider to clinch the win by 15 seconds.

Madeline Gammons (NJC-Biemme-Echelon) had looked beaten into third but was the fastest rider on the course in the closing stages finishing just three seconds off second.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the race as the course was flat and open which didn’t suit me,” said Melissa Baker.

“We didn’t really have a team tactic but when Alderney attacked we got a gap and worked together. We had planned to work together to the end and sprint it out.

“Unfortunately, she came off on a sharp bend when her wheels went so I had two laps on my own.”

 Melissa Baker won the overall league series last year and is hoping to retain her title this season.

The familiar face of Stephen Knight (Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe) led the veteran’s over-50 race from start to finish once again.

After a slower start Glenn Coltman (Leicestershire Road Club) worked his way to the front and was challenged by Kirby Bennett (Knight (Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe) and Chris Wreghitt (Second Wind) for second.

Coltman gapped his rival on the final lap for second while Bennett took third.

The youth boy’s race was dominated Kieran Riley (Langdale Lightweights) who led from start to finish to win by over a minute.

A three-way battle behind saw Alex Barker (Team Backstedt/Hotchillee), Ben Askey (RST/Cycle Division Racing Team) and Samuel Holwill (Hafren CC) battle it out.

The trio matched each other until the sprint finish which Barker won to take second and Askey in third.

Spencer Corder (Rotor Race Team) once again dominated the under-14 event taking the win ahead of Thomas White (Wolverhampton Whls) in second and Tomos Pattinson (Halesowen A&CC) in third.

In similar fashion Grace Lister (Wolverhampton Whls) dominated the under-16 girls event finishing almost two minutes ahead of Isla Blain (Halesowen A&CC) in second.

Bethany-Ann Jackson (Leicester Forest CC) was the under-14 girls winner ahead of Hannah Cockroft (unattached) in second and Cerys Greaves (Lichfield City CC) in third.

In the under-12 category George Cooper (Sherwood Pines Cycles Forme) took the boy’s victory while Zoe Parker (Stratford CC) won the girl’s event.

Noah White (Mid Shropshire Whls) made it two wins from two in the under-10 boy’s category and Rose Lewis (Halesowen A&CC) was fastest girl.