Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK) and Jacob Knight (Solihull CC) clinched their first victories of the cyclo-cross season in the women’s and senior races respectively in round two of the Ridley Lazer West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League at Pype Hayes Park, Birmingham.
Veteran over-40 Darren Atkins (Ride Coventry) and veteran over-50 Stephen Knight (Team Jewson-MI Racing) continued their dominance in their retrospective categories with their second victories of the series.
The Birmingham setting for round two is becoming a popular one for the league with a slightly different course created by joint organisers Bicicielo and Lichfield CC.
Heavy rain showers which littered the weekend led to some slippery corners to test bike handling along with a tough climb to test rider’s fitness.
Junior riders again dominated the senior event with last week’s winner Toby Barnes (Lichfield City CC) joining Knight brothers Harrison and Jacob at the head of affairs.
The brothers from Redditch, gapped Barnes on the second lap before Jacob made road away to win by 26 seconds.
“I got away on the second lap and from there I didn’t look back,” said 17-year-old Jacob Knight.
“Last week I had a mechanical when my back wheel came loose which meant I had to stop and put it back on and my chain also came off.
“I have put in a lot of training and work so it was good to see it pay off.”
Atkins was triumphant again in the veteran’s over 40 category pulling out a clear gap from the opening lap and increasing it thereafter.
Behind Philip Glaze (Stourbridge CC) led the charge after Atkins but was continually losing time and kept increasing his gap over Colin Miller (Coventry CC) in third.
In the women’s event Payton, from Stourbridge, riding her first cyclo-cross race of the season took the lead from the outset and victory never looked in doubt.
She built up a winning margin of over a minute on Lauren Humphreys (Aspire Bicycles) who led the chase in second.
First junior rider Xan Crees (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.com) initially led the fight for third before being joined and passed by veteran rider Verity Appleyard (Brotherton Cycles).
“It’s my first race back in cross after some time off following the road season,” said last year’s Women’s National Cyclo-Cross Series winner Payton.
“It was my first time riding my new bike so it was kind of good to get used to the feeling of the bike slipping from under me.
“I’m hoping to ride some of the World Cups and National Series round this year but when I’m around will ride the West Midlands league.
“I’ve only done 25 days of racing on the road this year which is a bit less than last year as I try and ride both seasons.”
Team Jewson MI Racing put in an emphatic one-two-three performance in the veteran’s over 50 event with Knight again taking the lead early on and building it throughout the race.
Behind his team-mate Kirby Bennett was initially joined by Glenn Coltman (Leicestershire Road Club). However, his charge fell away and he was passed by Ian Wright (Team Jewson MI Racing) for third.
Simon Wyllie (Halesowen A&CC) made it two wins from two in the youth event after initially being joined at the head of affairs by Daniel Barnes (Lichfield City CC).
On the more gruelling circuit Wyllie made his strength show and distanced Barnes on the second lap before riding to victory, with Emile Alexander (Lichfield City CC) gradually increasing his gap for third over team-mate Matthew Kingston.
Alex Barker made it a great day for (Halesowen A&CC) by clinching victory in the under-14 event after winning a race long battle with Max Greensill by gapping his rival in the closing stages.
Sullivan Berry (Redditch Road & Path CC) took third.
The girl’s event provided the race of the day with Lucy Hart (Mid Shropshire Whls), Isla Mason (Redditch Road & Path CC) and Kinga Ingram (Halesowen A&CC) having a race long battle with under-14 winner Grace Lister (Wolverhampton Whls).
Hart made her move on the last lap to win by three seconds from Lister in second and Mason in third.
Spencer Corder (Stratford CC) was the victory in the under-12 event while Tia Carr (Lichfield CC) was first girl.
In the under-10s event George Cooper (Pines Cycles Enve) was the emphatic winner while Rose Lewis (Halesowen A&CC) was the girl’s victor.
Louis Inman (Bolsover & District CC) was the under-8 boys winner while Tamsin Moss (Stratford CC) was first girl.
Finally the under-six event was won by Toby Leavis (Leicester Forest CC) with Molly Kostka winning the girl’s category.