SIMON Wyllie (Halesowen A & CC) and Beth Crumpton (Tartelleho-Isorex) tested their early season form by taking clear victories in the men’s and women’s races at the second round of the West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League.
Abbey Sports and Fitness Stadium in Redditch hosted the latest round of the series with Redditch Road and Path CC organising a course to test rider’s technical abilities with tight corners and small banks.
Pictures: David Perry
Wyllie, aged 17, from Worcester, won the West Midlands Junior Championships last season and started his season with another win at Redditch.
The junior rider was joined at the front early on by series round one winner Toby Barnes (RST/Cycle Division Racing Team) until a crash before the mid-way point ended Barnes’ chances.
With his brother out of the race Daniel Barnes (Garden Shed UK-SCOTT-Verge Sport) was left chasing alone in second place while Jonathan Brain (Mid Shropshire Whls) finished third.
“It’s a really good start to my season and I didn’t expect it to be fair,” said Wyllie.
“With it being my first cross of the season, I didn’t know what to expect and was just hoping to do my best.
“My start was good and I was third wheel going into the first corner behind Toby (Barnes). Toby and I got past and just before the pits the second time we had a gap on Dan (Barnes) and another rider.
“I went to the front and me and Toby slowly got away. Toby made a mistake on the off-camber and I got a gap which he quickly closed.
“In the field he (Toby) hit his pedal on the floor on one of the corners and hurt his knee unfortunately.
“That just left me on my own trying to maintain the gap between me and Dan. I was expecting Toby to beat me as he is older, bigger and stronger, his crash was unfortunate as I was looking forward to the battle between us.”
Wyllie will be competing in the opening round of the National Series in Derby next weekend and hopes to represent Great Britain in the World Championships once again at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, reigning National Series winner Crumpton took the women’s race on from the start and road away from her rivals to win by 37 seconds.
Crumpton, from Redditch, fielded her new Tartelleho-Isorex team kit and bikes as she prepares for the National Series to begin next week in Derby followed by a season competing internationally.
Last week’s race winner Alderney Baker was joined in the battle for second by Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.Com team-mate Xan Crees.
In the final lap Baker powered clear of her team-mate to take second with Crees settling for third.
“It was my first cross race and it was a good,” said Crumpton.
“It was a bit more of an opportunity to try my new bikes and stuff, to test my skills and equipment. It was a local race for me so nice to go down and support Redditch Road and Path CC.
“I kind of took it from the start and didn’t push 100 per cent effort. It was just an opportunity to try my new kit and do a few bike changes.
“I also practiced bunny hopping the logs, which I managed.”
Crumpton also competed in her home round of the series last season, and was glad to return to the testing course.
She added: “It’s nice to ride the same course at the beginning of the season. It’s a really good course and tests all parts of your skills with off-cambers, tight corners and flowing corners.
“I’m riding Derby this weekend and then start my two-week blocks of racing in Belgium in October. Being in a continental team I have got new goals for this season.”
Karen Summers made it two wins from two in the veteran women’s category finishing in seventh place overall.
Finishing 27 seconds behind Summers was Isla Rowntree (Isla Bikes) in second while Sally Reid (Magspeed Racing) took third.
Ed Moseley (Malvern Cycle Sport) also returned to the West Midlands League after winning two rounds and the West Midlands Championships in the veteran over-40 men’s age category last season.
The Malvern-based veteran rider pulled out a gap of 11 seconds over his rivals on the opening lap and then extended it to win by 47 seconds.
Philip Glaze (FishFace Cycles RT) led the chase behind to take second while Jason McNulty (Royal Leamington Spa CC) finished third.
Stephen Knight (Team Jewson MI Racing) once again dominated the men’s over-50 race after leaving his rivals on the opening lap and riding away.
Behind Leon Field (CC Giro) and Kyle Martin were locked in a battle for second with Field gapping his rival in the final two laps.
After being beaten in a sprint finish last weekend Max Greensill (KTM UK Factory MTB Team) powered away from his rivals to win by 56 seconds on this occasion.
Greensill was joined at the head of the race by round one winner Ben Askey (RST/Cycle Division Racing Team) as the two continued their battle.
At the half-way point Greensill powered clear with Askey taking second and Alex Barker (Backstedt Cycling) in third, narrowly beating host club rider Sullivan Berry (Redditch Road & Path CC).
After finishing second last weekend Spencer Corder (Rotor Race Team) went one better to win the under-14 boys’ category.
Corder rode clear of his rivals to win by 45 seconds with team-mate Lewis Tinsley chasing in second while Alex Hart (Mid Shropshire Whls) took third narrowly beating Max Bufton (Hafren CC).
Under-16 girls National Champion Zoe Backstedt (Storey Racing) made a rare appearance in the West Midlands League and took a clear victory.
Round one winner of the under-16 girls Daphne Jones (Mid Shropshire Whls) took second while Kim Greening (Wyre Forest CRC) was third.
Hannah Cockroft took another win for Malvern Cycle Sport in the under-14 girls category winning by 30 seconds.
She was chased home by local rider Mari Porton (Redditch Road & Path CC) while Ella Tandy (Solihull CC) finished third.