174 riders made their way to the banks of the River Mersey for the 10th round of the North West League at Otterspool Park, Liverpool. A tough course was designed for the Geoff Bewley Memorial, which included the now famous ‘Ottersberg’ and ‘Muro Di Otterspool’ climbs.
The Youth event kicked off the day with an impressive ride from Billy Harding (Paul Milnes Bradford) who led from start to finish. Christian Braybrooke (Sport City Velo) took 2nd place ahead of Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos on Sea). Jessica Wilkinson (Birkenhead North End) was the leading girl and also finished an impressive 13th in the race. Special mention has to go to Sam Robinson (Liverpool Century), it was his first ever race and with a heavy mountain bike and full-faced helmet he had a fantastic ride.
27 riders competed in the under 12’s race on a shortened course which took in a set of planks and a mini ‘Ottersberg’! Thomas Owens took the first win of the day for Mid Shropshire Wheelers, beating Sol Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos on Sea) and Joesph Armstrong (Border City Wheelers) into 2nd & 3rd positions. Kim Baptista (Eastlands Velo) was the first girl closely followed by Anna Armstrong (Border City Wheelers). It was great to see under 8 girls Tilly Barlow (Cycle Sport Pendle) and Evie Duviau (Bolton Hotwheels) complete the race together after waiting for each other throughout the race!
The main event saw 122 riders tackle what has been described as a ‘traditional course’. With Belgium influences from sponsor BioRacer the finishing area was created using a series of hairpins using all the sponsors banners and flags.
The racing was full on from the start with Luke Grivell-Mellor (Mid Shropshire Wheelers) leading the pack onto the course with Paul Bethell (Team Elite) and Jon Watson (Charge Bikes) close behind.
1st time through the finish area saw Bethell leading from Stuart Reid (Wheelbase) and Jonny McEvoy (Motorpoint Marshalls-Pasta). Mellor was in 4th; the leading veteran was Roy Hunt (Colnago/Microshift/Skins) in 5th with Watson close behind.
Laps 2 & 3 saw Mellor fade whilst McEvoy and Bethell pulled out a gap on the rest. Thomas Armstrong (Wheelbase) moved into the top 10 after starting at the very back of the field.
Laps 4, 5 & 6 saw several punctures and mechanicals forcing Matt Denby (Zepnat) and McEvoy to retire. Mellor who had dropped to 7th place started to move up positions as well as Peter Middleton (Zepnat) who was up to 6th place.
Mellor caught and gapped Bethell during lap 7 and held onto to give Mid Shropshire Wheelers their second win of the day. Armstrong and Martin Woffindin (Sports City Velo) took the race for 3rd place to the last corner where Armstrong managed to get though first to take 3rd place. Middleton was the 1st veteran home in 6th place, whilst the ladies winner was Becky Preece (Red Rose Olympic).
We must thank all the riders and volunteers who helped to make the day a great success. And also a big thank you to our very generous sponsors who enabled us to give every competitor a prize:
BioRacer, Kuota, HighonBikes.com, Quinns Cycle Centre, Eleco Timber Frame Limited, Tiger Timber & Virtual E-Homes.
A video of the senior race will be on www.liverpoolcentury.co.uk shortly.
Full results available here.