Report from organiser Mick Style – thanks Mick
Over 120 riders enjoyed a day’s racing in the autumn sunshine in the North West League’s 5th event at Bogart Hole Clough in Blackley, Manchester on a well received 1.3m new course incorporating a bit of everything – run-ups, wooded descents down the Clough, tarmac climb, steps, grassy turns and a bit of the muddy stuff for good measure, after all, this is cross!
In the Senior race, Rob Pugh (FP Mailing) took the lead from lap 1 and, on his best form so far this season, held on for his first victory in the North West League this Autumn. The Wheelbase boys, Lewis Craven and Stuart Reid, gamely started from the back of the field and chased hard taking 2nd and 3rd respectively after strong rides showing their skills riding up the run-up bank…..have to make it steeper next year!
Tom Lowe (Go Sports Spex) won the Juniors coming in 4th overall and Paul Whatmough won the Vets breaking into the top ten at 9th with Kim Baptista first lady home.
It was great seeing the younger events well attended and some new-to-cross riders on mountain bikes in the Senior event, which had 79 starters, mixing it up with the banter of the North West regulars, meanwhile your author was almost too busy to be jealous not to be racing the course!
Alex Braybrooke (Eastlands Velo) made it a weekend double taking the flag in the U12’s from a big field of 27 starters from Leighton Sharman (Liverpool Century) and Robert Armstrong (RVCRC). Jessica Wilkinson (Birkenhead NE), first girl, gave the boys a run for their money at 4th overall. Over a third (10) of the racers were girls – come on the girls!
The Youth race was closely contested in the early stages but Jack Humphreys (Red Rose Olympic) emerged as a clear winner from Tom Armstrong (RVCRC) and Lewis Sharman (Liverpool Century) with Zoe Armstrong (RVCRC) first girl home.