Barnes and Harnden charge to victories in WMCCL R9

BARNES brothers Toby and Daniel took a one-two victory in the senior race at round nine of the West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League while Junior Women’s National Champion Harriet Harnden dominated the women’s event.

Stourport Sports Club held a cyclo-cross race for the first ever time with a course based around their closed circuit cycle track organised by Worcester Forest CC.

Due to the recent dry conditions the short banks and hard ground led to some fast racing with one short muddy section which forced some riders to dismount.

In the men’s race Toby and Daniel Barnes (Lichfield City CC) dominated the event and road together to build an unassailable margin and celebrated the one-two together despite the former crossing the line first.

Toby and Daniel Barnes celebrate a one-two in the senior men’s event. Pictures: David Perry

A fast downhill road start led to a fast opening to the race but by the end of the first complete lap the brothers had a gap of 13 seconds over the chasers.

The pair worked together throughout the event with Toby waiting for his brother at times leading to them crossing the line together 37 seconds clear of their next rival.

After starting near the back of the grid Ross Harnden (Malvern Cycle Sport) had to battle his way to the front before riding away to clinch third overall.

Despite finishing second to his brother Daniel Barnes was first junior ahead of David Hird (Halesowen A&CC) with Sam Wainwright (Redditch Road & Path CC) in third.

“With my brother we pulled away from the start and Toby stayed on the front and waited a few times out of some sections so we could finish together,” said Daniel Barnes.

“That was kind of the plan from the start to get away and stay together.”

Daniel Barnes will miss the fourth round of the National Trophy next weekend in York as he has been selected to ride in the UCI World Cup on the sand dunes of Koksijde.

The veteran’s race for ages 40 to 50 ended in one of the closest finishes of the day with Philip Glaze (Stourbridge CC) edging out Nicholas Popham (Rotor Race Team) by the throw of a bike in the road sprint finish with Ed Moseley (Malvern Cycle Sport) taking third.

In the women’s event Harnden added another win to her league collection after returning to racing following a break.

Harriet Harnden on her way to winning the women’s event

The junior rider, who finished fourth in the under-23 World Championships last season, from Malvern, road away from the start to win by over four minutes.

Behind veteran rider Karren Summers initially led the chase pulling away from her rivals on the second lap.

However, Melissa Baker (Team Empella came back at her rival and after a close battle finished second just 14 seconds ahead of Summers.

“It was my first race back after a break so it went better than I expected, said Harnden.

“I’ve just had three weeks off with a bit of riding so I just gave it my all from the start. It was definitely not the course I expected as there was a really muddy section in the middle.

“Coming out of the pits my gears decided not to work but I kept riding and they worked themselves out in the end.

“I am riding the York National Trophy next as I thought that would be a good one before the bigger races later in the season.”

The veteran’s over-50 event had a new winner as Mark James (Team Jewson MI Racing-Polypipe) road away from team-mate and series lead Stephen Knight.

Mark James celebrates winning the veteran’s over-50 event

James, from Hereford, joined Knight at the front after the opening lap and then attacked on the second lap growing out a winning margin of 23 seconds.

Behind a close battle behind developed for third between Stephen Whitehouse (Stourbridge CC) and Mark Mullender (CC Giro) with the former pulling out a slender margin on the last lap.

Ben Askey (RST/Cycle Division Racing Team) added another win to his collection in the youth boy’s event.

Ben Askey won the youth boys event

Askey distanced rival Samuel Holwill (Hafren CC) on the second lap before gradually increasing his lead lap on lap to build a winning margin of 17 seconds.

Behind a race-long battle for third between Alex Barker (Team Backstedt/Hotchillee) and Sullivan Berry (Redditch Road & Path CC) ended in a sprint finish with Baker the fastest.

Despite starting two minutes behind the under-16s the under-14 winner Max Greensill (Rapid Racer Products) road through the field to finish fifth overall.

Behind Spencer Corder (Rotor Race Team) took second with Tomos Pattinson (Halesowen A&CC) in third.

In the girl’s event Daphne Jones (Mid Shropshire Whls) took a clear victory finishing almost two minutes ahead of her nearest rival.

Behind a trio of under-14 riders was led home by Hannah Cockroft with Rebecca Woodvine (Mid Shropshire Whls) in second and Posie Forrester (Wyre Forrest CRC) in third.

Second in the under-16 category was Molly Lewis (Halesowen A&CC).