Anthony Neave (Stoubridge CC) and Hannah Payton (Trek-Drops) clinched their maiden victories of this season’s West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League in the final round.
Anthony Neave wins. Picture: David Perry
Both riders led their respective events from start to finish to claim solo wins at the Lake Side Campus near Worcester.
With many of the former men’s and women’s round winners riding the National Trophy in Ipswich Neave and Payton took advantage to take individual honours.
The Lake Side Campus previously known as Top Barn led for a tough event, organised by Worcester St Johns CC, on a course which looped around the lake and switched alongside the surrounding grounds.
Neave, who has finished consistently highly in the series so far, took the lead from the opening lap using his power to ride away from his opposition.
Behind a three-way battle developed between visiting rider to the league Scott Chalmers (Magspeed Racing), Jonathan Brain and Thomas Payton (Stourbridge CC).
The trio road together in the early exchanges chasing Neave before Chalmers powered away for what looked like a second place.
However, veteran rider Darren Atkins (Zannata Ride Coventry X Gear) had other ideas and despite starting a minute behind the seniors he worked his way through the field lapping the fastest in the race.
Atkins eventually worked his way up to second overall and first veteran 40-49 but fell 27 short of a victorious Neave with Chalmers taking third.
Local rider Ed Moseley (Malvern Cycle Sport) led the chase behind in the veteran’s 40-49 category after riding away from a group of rivals in the final stages with Colin Miller (Ride Coventry) in third.
After a packed international road racing calendar Payton, from Kingswinford, returned to cyclo-cross and rode away from the field to take a convincing win.
Payton led from the opening lap and used her road racing strength to pull out a winning margin of over a minute.
Behind three riders competed throughout the race for the final two podium places with Melissa Baker (Team Empella Cylco-Cross.com), veteran Isla Rowntree (Islabikes) and Hannah Pearson (Fishface Cycles RT).
The trio were locked in a battle until the final lap when Baker charged clear to take second place while leading veteran Rowntree finished third overall and first in category.
Previous round winner Karen Summers finished second veteran and Amanda Whitehouse (Stourbridge CC) third.
After taking a clear victory in the West Midlands Championships the previous week Mark James continued his winning streak in the veteran’s over-50 category as Team Jewson MI Racing Polypipe dominated the event.
However, the Hereford rider was pushed close as he was joined by fast starting team-mate Philip Roach for most of the race.
James made his move for victory with just over two laps to go and held Roach in the final stages to win by four seconds.
Stephen Knight completed the Team Jewson MI Racing Polypipe podium in third place.
The youth event saw the top four riders separated by just 22 seconds in an exciting encounter.
At the front Samuel Holwill (Hafren CC) was locked in a battle throughout the race with Alex Barker (Team Backstedt/Hotchillee).
It took until the final lap for Holwill to make his move for victory pulling out a winning margin of eight seconds in the last stages.
Despite a slow start Harry Cockroft came charging through the field to clinch third passing Oliver Baker (Wolverhampton Whls) on the final lap for third.
In the under-14 category Tomos Pattinson (Halesowen A&CC) road away from his rivals on the second lap to take a clear win.
Akhil Kolnaty (Solihull CC) came from behind to take second while Spencer Corder (Rotor Race Team) finished third.
Ellie Swingell (Halesowen A&CC) continued her domination of this season’s under-14 category by finishing fastest girl by over a minute.
Isla Mason (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.com) led the chase behind for second overall and first under-16 ahead of Isla Blain (Halesowen A&CC).