Report by Mick Style, Manchester Wheelers.
Thorough-bred cross-man Lewis Craven (Wheelbase / Cannondale / Gore Bike Wear) returned to Boggart Hole Clough for Manchester Wheelers cyclo-cross on Sunday and looked comfortable cruising to victory, mining a rich vein of form from 12th in the National Trophy last week in Derby and 4th in the Three Peaks.
Lewis established himself with a clear lead on the first lap, rode a controlled race and was never troubled for his arms-aloft win. 2nd and 3rd was a closer fought affair – Paul Bethell (Macclesfield Wheelers) stayed within a couple of bike lengths of Rick Kent (Colnago/Microshift/Skins) for the first 3 laps but Rick gapped him coming onto the grassy section near the start/finish at the top of the course, and increased the gap throughout the remainder of the race.
First Junior home, Lewis Burke (Macclesfield Wheelers) came in 6th overall and wily dog Dave Headon (Horwich CC) won the Vets in 9th place overall, pushing first Under 23 Luke Beswick to 10th. If Luke can match his bike reliability with his form, then he’ll be placing further up the field.
The overall lead in the North West League is shaping up to be a fine battle – talented young pretender Lewis Burke is currently showing us all how it’s done, but old hand Paul Bethell is breathing down his neck and took a few points off Lewis on Sunday. And don’t write off Rick Kent – he clearly has the talent to contend too if he races enough races. I feel a bit of a ‘Book’ being run!
A real highlight of the event was firstly the overall Senior race numbers with 104 starters – over 20 more than last year – and secondly 10 juniors riding the Senior race, double last year.
We had extended the course this year for a second swoop into the trees at the top of the clough, with a few roots, twists and off-camber areas to contend with – well received judging by riders’ comments after the race.
Chris Lawless (Eastlands Velo) tussled with Jack Humphreys (Red Rose Olympic) for a couple of laps before pulling away to win the Youth Race. Christian Braybrook (Sport City Velo) took 5th place overall but was first U14 over the line. Hannah Leyland won the Youth Girls category and Jessica Wilkinson was first U14 girl.
Matthew Wallis from local team Eastlands Velo won the U12’s from visiting Sol Kerfoot Robson (Rhos on Sea) who was first U10. Matthew Baptista kept the Eastlands flag flying for the U8’s. And let’s hear it for Ella Dorrington who is fast learning her dad’s cross skills and Lenny Lomas who stayed focussed on the Haribo waiting for him at the finish for most of the 15 minutes race – they’re both just five!
Meanwhile back in the Senior race, the Boggart, a mischievous imp-like creature who lives in the Clough and who lends his name to the Park, was busy breaking the chains of unsuspecting riders like Jason Ragg (Manchester Wheelers) and local Danny Reilly, both DNF. Sorry lads, I’ll have a word….
Some of the names and clubs in the results below have had top be guessed because of shoddy handwriting on the signing-on sheets – please be aware of this when you sign on!!
Some images orignally posted on the British Cycling website by Luke Webber below
Slideshow by Richard Weltman below – or browse them here