CYCLING: Witham Wheelers’ round of county cyclo-cross league a success

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Witham Wheelers hosted the fourth round of the Lincolnshire Cyclo-Cross League at Stroxton last Sunday.

Conditions were good with rain earlier in the week taking the hardness out of the ground but not enough to make it muddy. The only issues were in routing round the large thistle patch at the end of the straight/finish straight.

As usual the course was tweeked with some extra curves and bends added, and the general response from riders was very positive, although next year the laps may need to be extended a little further as with a record number of riders in the senior field, the judges were kept very busy.

First up on the full course was the 30-minute under-16s race, with a slightly depleted field due to a clash with an East Midlands track session at Manchester Velodrome.

It was still a good race with James Swadling (Nottingham Clarion) leading the way home. Witham Wheelers Adam Egner and Robert McAndrew took second and third respectively in the under-16s, and Elizabeth McLoughlin was fourth under-14 girl, showing real perseverance to finish as the youngest rider in the field.

The 15-minute under-12s race was held on a smaller circuit and saw 50 youngsters charging across the field from the start line.

A good turnout of the Wheelers’ young ’cross riders produced some promising rides in their first season.

Results: 15 Max Moore, 18 Tazmin Brown, 20 Mazel Brown, 28 Leo Moore, 33 Jessica East, 39 Jack Simpson, 40 Callum East, 41 Joshua Farmer, 43 Noah Farmer.

The final race, for senior riders, saw a record 122 take to the start line but the wide circuit coped well and there were no major incidents. The race developed into a battle between George Thompson (Sleaford Wheelers) and Mark Cotton (Ellmore Factory Racing,) with the former taking his third win of the season when Mark rolled a tyre with a lap to go and lost 30 seconds on the run-in to the line.

Of the Grantham club riders taking part, Reece Egner led the way in 31st place and Jennifer McAndrew was first woman home in 67th overall.

And there were good rides by some first time ’cross riders, especially Heidi Moulds who continued her steady improvement in fitness over the last couple of years.

Results: 31 Reece Egner (4th junior), 50 Paul Conneely (7th vet 50+), 53 Sean East (17th vet 40+), 65 Dave Moulds, 67 Jennifer McAndrew (1st junior girl & 1st woman), 93 John Framer, 15 Heidi Moulds (7th woman).