118 riders were faced with summery conditions, something which would have had the great Sven Nys complaining. What unfolded was a titanic battle between Giles Drake (Team Elite) and Johnny Mcevoy (Motorpoint) that raged for the hour.
With the start comprising of a lap of the broad grass field the leaders got a chance to stretch the field and avoid the weary souls clambering up the now infamous ‘Ottersberg’ and ‘Muro di Otterspool’. A group of select riders comprising of Giles Drake (Team Elite), Johnny Mcevoy (Motorpoint) , Martin Woffindin (Cycle Sport Pendle), Steven Ward (MTS Cyclesport),Tom Bell, Paul Bethell (Team Elite), Peter Middleton (Zepnat) started to work a gap and set up the competition to follow.
What was to follow was a real scrap between Giles and Johnny as gaps appeared then vanished and the lead swapped back and forth, when one rider got a gap on a flat the other would make it up on the climbs. Right until the last lap there was always a feeling that either the in form Drake or the ex-centurion Mcevoy would take the win, however as the first rider came into sight their sparring partner was nowhere to be seen.
It seems that a full season traveling the globe and plenty of wins on the road had sapped Mcevoy of his final push and Drake took the spoils of their contest with a comfortable gap in the end.
The other riders came in quick concession with Martin Woffindin’s 3rd showing that this course really suits his technical ability. As with any cross race there were many close battles, with riders fighting for any place they could get.
The ever popular Becky Preece won the women’s race for the second year in a row with Amy Baron-Hall just finishing 10 places behind. If Becky is going to win more races she needs to improve her podium bottle spraying technique! Andrew Nixon (Red Rose Olympic) finished 28th as the highest placed Junior, after a superb race. He has a great fan in the form of his Gran, she was extremely proud of his ride!
Oliver Payton (Cycle Sport Pendle) stormed to victory in great little contest, with Robert Rogers (Birkenhead North End CC) hot on his heels for the whole race. Adam Hartley (Eastlands Velo) was the first U14 and Jessica Wilkinson (Birkenhead North End CC) is surely a talent to watch in the future.
There was a fantastic turnout for the U12 race, one that really shows that cyclocross is one for getting kids into cycling. 37 future stars showed us what its all about, from keen riders looking to improve race by race to tiny kids wearing pink wellies. Lewis Hartley (Eastlands Velo) won a competitive race between the U12’s.
A quick mention must be made for Steven Ward (MTS Cyclesport), Ben Lane and Dawn Sherin from GS Metro had travelled down from the NE to take part. Steven a National Trophy rider taking part in his first race this season.
On hand to distribute prizes and add a bit of flair to the proceedings were Ken Jones Onimpex, Mark McNally (An Post) and Andy Fenn (An Post). All in all it was a great event with all in attendance creating a brilliant atmosphere that left many eager for next years helping already.
A film of the event will be online shortly, but there is a teaser
Thanks to the following
All the Century helpers and the mc’s Tim Dalton and Geriant Parry;
Otters Cafe/ Active Adventures (opening 2012)
Skypark Liverpool / Manchester
High on Bikes
Daivd Lloyd Speke
Merseyside Cycling Campaign