Barnes and Payton ride clear for victories in Ridley Lazer WMCCL R4

Toby Barnes (Lichfield City CC) and Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK) continued their dominant form to take further victories in round four of the Ridley Lazer West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League promoted by Solihull CC.

Junior rider Barnes had won two of the opening three rounds of the series and his third victory never looked in doubt around the Heart of England Events Centre in Fillongley, near Coventry.

The course gave competitors a mixed challenge of a gravel climb, sweeping grassy corners and a technical wooded section which became slippery as the days racing took its toll on the circuit.

With several of his junior rivals absent Barnes was left to battle with the senior competitors and made light work of the task in hand.

Attacking from the start he quickly pulled out of 18 seconds after the opening lap and increased it by a similar margin each lap.

“It was a really good course as it had a bit of everything and I just went from the start,” said Barnes.

 “I attacked straight from the start and pulled out a gap on the first few corners. It’s two weeks until the opening National Series round in Derby but I haven’t race many of the people I will be up against so hopefully I will have good form for there.”

Behind Stourbridge CC team-mate Thomas Payton and Anthony Neave led the rest of the field and were locked in a close battle for second.

Neave had pulled out a slender gap on his team-mate early on but Payton came back strong towards the end of the race and snatched second in a sprint finish.

Darren Atkins (Ride Coventry) put in another dominant performance in the veteran’s 40+ event to clinch his fourth straight victory.

After taking third in his opening race of the series last weekend David Griffiths (Mammoth Lifestyle) clinched second on this occasion beating Philip Glaze (Stourbridge CC) after a race-long battle.

Payton, from Stourbridge, took her second victory of the women’s series in similar style to her first attacking from the start and leading throughout.

Melissa Baker took third in two of the opening three rounds but went one better on this occasion beating local rider Sophie Faulkner (Ride Coventry) in another agonisingly close finish.

Xan Crees (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com) was fastest junior while Karen Summers was the fastest veteran woman.

Stephen Knight (Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe) also made it four victories from four rounds with another masterclass display in the veteran’s over-50 event.

As previous rounds he led from the start and left his rivals in his wheel tracks.

It was a great day for the Payton family as Kevin Payton (Stourbridge CC) took the family’s third podium of the day leading the rest of the field home in second.

Just seconds behind Payton, Kirby Bennett (Team Jewson MI Racing-Polypipe) clinched third just ahead of Stephen Whitehouse (Stourbridge CC).

In the youth race Daniel Barnes led a one-two-three for Lichfield City CC to take his first victory of the series.

He was joined on the podium by Matthew Kingston in second and Emile Alexander in third.

Max Greensill had placed second in the opening three rounds but went one better on this occasion to clinch the under-14 victory ahead of Halesowen A&CC team-mates Alex Barker in second and Luke Harris in third.

In the girl’s category Wolverhampton Wheelers under-14 rising star Grace Lister again beat those in the older age category for the overall victory.

Kinga Ingram (Halesowen A&CC) led the under-16 riders home in second ahead of team-mate Molly Lewis.

Spencer Corder (Stratford CC) continued his unbeaten streak in the under-12 category while Tia Carr took another victory for Lichfield City CC in the girl’s category.

George Cooper (Pines Cycles Enve) took victory in the under-10 race while Rose Lewis (Halesowen A&CC) was first girl.

Louis Inman (Bolsover & District CC) took another under-eight race win while Rose Neely (Solihull CC) won the girls.

Finally Toby Leavis (Leicester Forest CC) won the under-six race and Mary Heenan (Stratford CC) was fastest girl.