Barnes and Baker win again at WMCCL R5

Toby Barnes (RST/Cycle Division Racing Team) saw off the challenge of his younger brother to clinch victory at the fifth round of the Ridley Lazer West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League, while Alderney Baker (Team Empella saw off her rivals in the women’s event.

In a repeat of the opening round at Shrewsbury both Barnes and Baker were winners on the grassy banks in Shropshire.

Newport Shropshire CC hosted the fifth round with the course being used in an opposite direction to previous years and a long climb missing due to groundworks.

After missing last week’s round, won by brother Daniel Barnes (Garden Shed UK-SCOTT-Verge Sport), Toby returned to action and took the senior men’s victory in emphatic style.

The under-23 rider has featured at the front end of National Trophy rounds this season and proved his form to ride away from his rivals.

The student, from Lichfield, put a 21 seconds gap into his lone chasing brother in second after the opening lap and grew his margin every lap.

Junior rider Dan Barnes took a clear second place finishing over two minutes ahead of the chasers.

Behind Stourbridge CC team-mates Anthony Neave and Thomas Payton were locked in a battle for third, with Neave eventually riding clear in the last two laps.

With Dan Barnes taking a clear win in the junior category Ryan Greaves (Lichfield CC) and Oliver Baker (Wolverhampton Whls) battled for the remaining podium places.

Greaves was able to edge out an unassailable margin over his rival throughout the race, despite Baker coming back strongly in the final lap.

There was a new face for this season leading the veteran’s 40-49 age category after a race-long battle for honours.

David Griffiths (Clee Cycles) made his first appearance in the series and thrived on the harder ground than previous weeks.

Winner of the last two rounds Philip Glaze (Fishface Cycles RT) led away from the line and was joined by Griffiths on the third lap.

The pairing matched each other until Griffiths powered away at the mid-way point pulling out a winning margin while Jason McNulty (Royal Leamington Spa) finished third.

“It was a good event and I hadn’t raced there in a while,” said Barnes.

“It was quite a good course and there was a boggy section and a few off-camber slippery descents, the rest of it was quite slippery. I got a good start and went for it in the muddy section at the start and pulled away and kept going.

“The boggy section was okay on the first lap with fresh legs but after that it was quite hard. The lap to my brother was going out each lap.”

In the women’s race under-23 rider Baker, who had to fight back from a crash in the opening round, had a more comfortable win on this occasion.

Quick starting Baker had a nine seconds advantage after the opening lap over Ceris Styler and edge it out to over a minute by the finish.

Behind Shropshire-based veteran riders Jules Caddick (Brotherton Cycles) and Karen Summers were locked in an early battle for third.

At the mid-way point Caddick powered away to take third and first veteran finisher on her home course.

Summers was second veteran while Alison Bagnall (Stratford CC) finished third.

Meanwhile, Isla Mason (Team Empella led the junior category home ahead of Molly Lewis (Halesowen A&CC) in second.

After being beaten in the last two rounds Stephen Knight (Team Jewson MI Racing) returned to top spot in the veteran’s over-50 age category.

With previous round winner Darren Atkins (Zannata Ride Coventry GSG XGea.r) absent Knight was the favourite to take the spoils.

He was joined in the early stages by Leon Field (CC Giro) before pulling out a gap on the second lap and riding away to take the win by over a minute.

Behind Kevin Payton (Stourbridge CC) worked his way up from fifth after the opening lap to lead the chase behind in third.

Finishing strongly Payton under pressure from Chris Wreghitt (Second Wind) pulled the gap back to Field to 40 seconds with Payton just edging third place.

A fine ride by Wreghitt saw his take fourth overall and first over-60 age category rider.

In one of the day’s closest finishes Ben Askey (RST/Cycle Division Racing Team) fended off the charge of Harry Cockroft (Malvern Cycle Sport) to take the under-16 boys’ category.

Askey pulled out his winning margin in the first half of the race only to see it fall as Cockroft responded, but the youngster held on to win by 17 seconds while William Ryan (Solihull CC) took third.

Meanwhile, Spencer Corder (ROTOR Race Team) made it four league wins on the bounce in the under-14 boys’ category.

Behind Corder’s team-mate Lewis Tinsley was a lone chaser in second while Alex Hart (Mid Shropshire Whls) finished third.

Fellow Mid Shropshire Wheelers rider Daphne Jones continued her winning run in the under-16 girls’ category riding clear of her opposition.

Similarly, to the previous week she was chased by under-14 leader Hannah Cockroft (Malvern Cycle Sport) who took second place overall.

Fellow under-14 rider Mari Porton (Redditch Road & Path CC) finished third overall and second in category.