A trio of Welland Valley riders made the journey to Ardingly in Sussex for round 4 of the cyclocross National Trophy. In its second year the course already has a reputation as challenging technical and fun. Changes to the course since last year had removed some of the flatter sections and added extra cambers and climbs to condense the action and heavy rain in the preceding week and over the weekend ensured the course would be muddy and the pit crews would be busy.
First up on Saturday morning was Hans Van Nierop in the Vet 40 race. Hans got off to a good start, moving up from his gridding and soon finding himself locked in a battle with familiar rivals from the Leicestershire League. Hans chose his lines carefully and measured his effort to haul in other riders. With a lap to go Hans jettisoned his local rivals to finish an excellent 32nd – “it felt like a win!”.
In the afternoon Dom Switzer rode in the U16 race; Dom loves the technical nature of the course and rode particularly well on the cambers and climbs. Like Hans, Dom moved up on his gridding and hauled in riders during the second half of the race to finish a pleasing 40th Place. Both riders showed great club support by each taking their turn to help pit for the other (it was a 2 jet wash kind of day).
On Sunday Fraser Ayears took to the start line in the elite and under 23 race. On the back of good league form Fraser was keen to test himself against strong opposition and he couldn’t have picked a harder day. The start line was considered the strongest to have assembled in the uk since the World Cup at Milton Keynes, the front 2 rows of the grid stacked with Belgian pros and only one Brit getting on the front row. It was fast. After a difficult start Fraser got in to the speed of the race and raced the course, finishing 30th U23.
Well done all.
Photos all with thanks to Richard Howes Photography