Cyclocross visits Thornbridge

Notts & Derby League Cyclocross Closes the 2011 Season at Thornbridge



It was soggy terrain for the final cyclocross race of 2011 Nottingham and Derby league. The weather held but the ground was already waterlogged from the deluge of rain over the past few weeks. Thornbridge was the venue and the Lee Shunburne (course designer & event organiser) course was described as short but technical by the riders that braved the Derbyshire Peak District on New Years Eve.

Some big names in the sport were present taking the opportunity of one final race of 2011. Local legend, ex-Senior and current Veteran national champion Nick Craig (Scott) was victorious in the race. A field of 179 in the main race was led away by David Fletcher (Boardman Elite) and Tom Last (Sigma Sport) with Craig down in around 5th place. By lap two Craig had got across to and past Last and was chasing hard to catch Fletcher, which he did by lap 3. They stayed together for a while but as the course cut up further Craig came into his own and was able to pull away by lap, employing his usual technique of taking lines that few others use in order to find traction.

By the end of the race he had pulled his advantage out to 46 seconds over Fletcher and 1-21 to Last. After a steady start Zepnat's Jim Bryan rode through the field to 4th place, 2-09 behind Craig.

On a day with a top-class field (ex national champion Ian Bibby was a non-finisher with mechanical troubles), Notts and Derby league regulars found themselves a little further down the order than usual, the first of these being Andy Naylor (Ashfield RC) in 9th followed by Chris Metcalfe (Charge Bikes) in 10th, just behind another local Pete Middleton (Zepnat) in 8th.

Annie Last (Boardman Elite) took an anticipated victory for the women's honours, using all her technical ability to finish 28th overall after a recent break from training and competition.

The Final Results are:-

Nick Craig (Scott) 9 laps in 52-17

David Fletcher (Boardman Elite) @46"
Tom Last (Sigma Sport) @ 1-21
Jim Bryan (Zepnat) @ 2-09
Lee Westwood  (Cycleshack) @3-35
Alex Welburn (Cycleshack) @4-25
Jack Humphreys (Wheelbase Cannondale) @5-12
Pete Middleton (Zepnat) @5-26
Andy Naylor (Ashfield RC) @5-42
Chris Metcalfe (Charge Bikes) @ 5-54

Women: Annie Last (Boardman Elite). Juniors: Alex Welburn (Cycleshack).

For images from al the days racing go to gallery pages or click on link

In the preceding Youth race, James Shaw (Heanor Clarion) continued his current run of good form, finishing 24 seconds in front of the visiting Billy Harding (Paul Milnes Cycles) and Dylan Robson (Rhos-on-Sea) after 24 minutes of racing. Arthur Green of the promoting club took 4th and Sarah Lomas, also of Matlock, was the first girl.

Top 5 

James Shaw (Heanor Clarion) 5 laps in 23-56
Billy Harding (Paul Milnes Cycles) @24"
Dylan Robson (Rhos-on-Sea) @44"
Arthur Green (Matlock CC) @1-20
Thomas Craig (Scott) @1-55

Girls: Sarah Lomas (Matlock CC). Under-14s: William Gascoyne (Matlock CC). Under-14 girls: Jess Willett (Heanor Clarion).


1 Sol Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos on Sea CC) 7 laps in 14-32
2 Jenson Young (Pedalsport CC) @ same time
3 John Webster (Matlock CC) @ same time
Girls: Poppy Wildman (Nottingham Clarion).


1 Ben Chilton (Derby Mercury RC) 4 laps in 7:05
2 Alex Colston-Shield (Lichfield City CC) @ 1sec
3 Libby Smith (Matlock CC) @ 24sec
Girls: Libby Smith.

For images from al the days racing go to gallery pages or click on link


Images by M Ludbrook & D Thorburn of sportsshots. Words by M Ludbrook and L Shunburne

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