Pictures by David Perry
JUNIOR rider Simon Wyllie (Halesowen A&CC) returned home from racing the Cyclo-Cross World Cup the previous day to win round nine of the Ridley Lazer West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League, while Ceris Styler took the women’s victory.
Wyllie, aged 17, from Worcester, finished 29th in Tabor, Czech Republic on Saturday morning before returning to the UK and winning in a muddy Baggeridge Country Park, near Wolverhampton on Sunday afternoon.
Like previous years the wet conditions led to sloppy conditions on the banks of the park which included several sharp climbs and wooded sections for the event organised by Halesowen A&CC.
Wyllie, who also won the second round of the series in firmer conditions, led from the front and broke clear of his rivals on the opening lap.
He was initially chased by Max Gibbons and last week’s runner-up Anthony Neave (Stourbridge CC).
Gibbons then went in search of Wyllie alone and pulled out a clear gap in second before starting to reel in the youngster on the closing two laps.
After losing time of the opening lap Jonathan Brain (Mid Shropshire Wheelers) pulled his way back up and passed Gibbons in search of the lone youngster.
Despite pulling Wyllie back to 13 seconds the teenager held on and Brain finished second while Gibbons settled for third.
Nicholas Popham (ROTOR Race Team) held off the challenge of Philip Glaze (Fishface Cycles RT) to clinch the veteran’s 40-49 race victory.
The pair traded blows throughout the race swapping places before, despite breaking his gear level and being restricting to one gear, Popham charged clear on the final lap to clinch the victory by six seconds.
Meanwhile, Jason McNulty (Royal Leamington Spa CC) finished third.
Overall winner Wyllie finished well clear in the junior category ahead of Josh Field (Halesowen A&CC) in second and Ryan Greaves (Lichfield City CC) in third.
After finishing second on six occasions in the West Midlands league so far this season Styler took the women’s victory in emphatic style.
On this occasion Styler, from Worcester, rode away from her rivals on the opening lap and built up a lead of almost five minutes by the finish.
Natalie Brooks (Paramount CRT) took a clear second place while first veteran Alison Bagnall (ROTOR Race Team) finished in third place overall.
Meanwhile, Molly Lewis (Halesowen A&CC) took the junior category win ahead of Freya Gibbons.
Following Bagnall in the veteran women’s category was Jackie Lake (Stourbridge CC) in second while Julia Birch took third.
Darren Atkins (Zannata Ride Coventry XGear) clinched his fifth win of the series in the veteran men over-50 age category with another masterful display.
Fast-starting Atkins pulled out an advantage of 27 seconds after the first full lap and then increased his margin into an unassailable one.
Behind Stephen Knight (Team Jewson MI Racing) was a lone chaser in second while quickest veteran over-60 Chris Wreghitt (Second Wind) took third overall.
In the youth category Ben Askey (RST/Cycle Division RT) rode away for his third win in a row as he continued to dominate in the muddy conditions.
Harry Cockroft (Malvern Cycle Sport) once again chased behind in second while William Ryan (Solihull CC) was also a lone chaser in third.
After suffering a rare defeat last weekend Spencer Corder (ROTOR Race Team) returned to the top spot in the under-14 boy’s race.
He was once again chased home by team-mate Lewis Tinsley in second while Max Bufton (Hafren CC) held off the challenge of Alex Hart (Mid Shropshire Whls) to take third.
In the girls’ event under-16 rider Daphne Jones (Mid Shropshire Whls) continued her domination of the series with another victory to add to her collection.
Once again the younger under-14 age group riders led the chase behind with Hannah Cockroft (Malvern Cycle Sport) finishing second overall and first in her category ahead of Mari Porton (Redditch Road & Path CC).