West Midlands Regional Cyclo Cross Championships 2019 – Top Barn, Worcester
Sunday 8th December saw regional cyclo cross races taking place all across the UK in order that each region could establish their champions.
Previously the East and the West Midlands used to share one Regional Championship but as the sport has become more popular, and the number of riders grown, there is now a separate race in both East and West Midlands. The West Midlands Championship race was due to take place on an exciting new course at Hawkbatch Woods, Bewdley but heavy rain saw a switch of venue to Lakeside Campus (Top Barn) in Worcester. It was important that the event was to go ahead, and with the recent weather, a venue that could hold up to all of the rain was needed. The course for the championship was a new design and more challenging than the league event that had run at Top Barn earlier in the year. The circuit incorporated many traditional elements of cyclo cross and was well worthy of a championships with a number of steep muddy cambers and switchbacks. A long soggy lakeside embankment which had to be ridden straight into a unbelievably strong head wind was definitely the toughest part of the course. The races started on a long straight allowing the riders to establish their positions early in the race before entering wooded switchbacks and then heading out on course that made use of the lakeside topography.
The morning saw MSW children and youth riders take to the course. The U8s race saw two laps of the long windy course for Eleanor Killeen and Annie Oxley. Eleanor at one point battling for the lead and Annie smiling the whole way round. Eleanor finished a very creditable 3rd. The U10s race took place over three laps which in the conditions was plenty. Isaac Vickery gained the lead in the wooded switchbacks and then tucked and made himself as small as possible on the long windy embankment to open up a gap on his competitors. On the third and final lap, whilst leading, Isaac had to dismount and run with his bike to avoid a bunch of riders that had crashed trying to ride the muddy off camber. Remounting his bike, Isaac road to victory, raising his hands aloft on the line to become the U10 West Midlands Regional Cyclo Cross Champion. Jude White was a clear second place with a usual gutsy ride. Sennen Brown, when a few metres behind third place and catching on the last lap, fell on the last off camber and remounted to finish 5th. Tom Oxley (MSW) riding in his first regional championships finished strongly in mid pack 18th. Evie May Stones was MSWs only female U10 and gave her usual consistent performance to finish her second championship race. The U12s saw the experienced Noah White and the not so well Noah Killeen represent MSW. The long straights on the course suited both riders who are strong on the track and used to tucking small. Noah White won a sprint finish to take 2nd place and Noah Killeen road home in 7th.
The U14s race took place over the full course with Alex Hart riding for MSW. Alex is a first year U14 and road a great race to take third step on the podium behind two older second year riders. MSW was represented by Daphne Jones in the U16s race and she did not let us down. Daphne has got stronger as the season has progressed and yesterday she led the race from start to finish, passing a number of U16 males on the way, to become the West Midlands Cyclo Cross Regional Champion U16. In the afternoon MSW was represented by Jonathan Brian who rode to a fantastic third place in the senior male category, Alec Bond finishing 28th Senior and Lewis Page who finished 5th Junior. In a very strong women’s field Natalie Brooks finished a very respectable 5th. Andy Collins came home 10th in the Vet 50 category and Dave Mellor 14th in the Vet 55 category.