Liam Killeen (Malvern Cycle Sport) and April Tacey (Team 22 WRT) took the senior men’s and women’s victories respectively in round seven of the Ridley Lazer West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League.
Killeen, 35, from Malvern, made his first appearance of the season at the league and despite having to chase early on road to a clear victory.
Round seven, organised by Welland Valley CC, took riders to the picturesque Misterton Hall in Lutterworth with the course including a combination of fast wooded and grass sections.
Junior rider Toby Barnes (Lichfield City CC), who has won three of the opening six rounds, got off to a perfect start in the senior race and led by nine seconds after the opening lap over Killeen and Dan Booth (Hope Factory Racing).
That gap stayed the same until the mid-way point when Killeen, who won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal earlier in his mountain biking career, showed his experience to catch Barnes.
With his junior competitor fading Killeen kept consistent lap times for victory.
Barnes’ Lichfield City CC team-mate and fellow junior Marcus Holmes took third after winning a close battle with four other riders.
Booth fell back to the chasing group and eventually finished seventh.
Darren Atkins (Ride Coventry) continued his domination in the veteran’s over-40 category finishing 10th overall, despite starting over a minute behind the seniors.
Dan Alexander (Zepnat.com) won the battle for second in the veterans ahead of Philip Glaze (Stourbridge CC)
Tacey, 17, from Leicester, finished second at the same venue earlier this month in the Leicestershire league but went one better on this occasion.
The velodrome and road specialist used the speed she learnt from the track to devastating effect pulling out an early lead and holding on for victory.
Jules Toone (unattached) lost a minute on the leader after the opening lap but was the fastest on the course pulling back Tacey’s lead.
However, she would run out of time as the junior took victory by 20 seconds.
Third place saw a close battle between series leader Melissa Baker (unattached) and veteran rider Karen Summers.
The duo traded blows throughout the race but it was eventually Baker who took third by just seven seconds.
“I had a plan to just lead from the start and try and hold it to the end,” said Tacey.
“The course suited me as it was quite fast and following. I do a lot of track and road racing as well which helped me today.
“I did the Derby National Trophy a couple of weeks ago and started at the back and moved up to 19th which I was pretty happy with. I also aim to do the National Trophy at Shrewsbury as well as a couple of the local leagues.”
Stephen Knight (Team Jewson-MI Racing) made it seven victories from seven in the veteran’s over-50 event.
Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles) won a close battle for second from Kirby Bennett (Team Jewson-MI Racing) in third.
Simon Wyllie (Halesowen A&CC) took victory in the under-16 boys race after continuing his season-long battle with Daniel Barnes (Lichfield City CC).
Wyllie had won the four opening rounds he had competed in before being beaten by Barnes last week.
However, the Halesowen A&CC rider took the lead from the outset and increased it ever lap on a chasing group of three riders.
In a close finish for second Barnes edged out Alec Gregory (Pedal Power) for second while Emile Alexander (Lichfield City CC) finished a handful of seconds further back.
The under-14 boys race was equally as close with four riders battling it out for victory with Ben Askey (RST Racing Team) taking the win during a close sprint finish.
Series leader Alex Barker (Halesowen A&CC) was edged into second while Max Greenshill (unattached) took third.
Young Grace Lister (Wolverhampton Whls) again shone in the girl’s event taking victory by a minute.
The under-14 rider beat those in the older category and Isla Mason (Redditch Road & Path) finished second but first under-16.
Spencer Corder (Stratford CC) continued his domination of the under-12 category while Cerys Greaves (Mid Shropshire Whls) was first girl.
In the under-10 category George Cooper (Pines Cycles Enve) took the boy’s victory while Rose Lewis (Halesowen A&CC) took the girls win.
Louis Inman (Bolsover & District CC) took his fourth victory of the series in the under-eights while Rose Neely (Solihull CC) was first girl.
Finally, Harry Donald (Leicester Forest CC) took victory in the under-six category while Millie Barton (Mid Shropshire Whls) took the girls victory.