The penultimate round of the 2015/16 North West CX series took place at Macclesfield during the festive break, and Rossendale riders were well represented. The course was surprisingly dry and this made for plenty of fast open racing. Cyclo-cross really is a family sport, catering for all ages and abilities, and Matt Toman was first to show, finishing in a sound mid-table 19th in the Youths U16 event. The go-cross event followed and Elsie Haygarth had a great ride to win the U8 girls class in the mixed race. Elsie is now leading the U8 girls series and, with just one round remaining, is on course to take the overall series.
Her father, Dave Haygarth, is leading the V40 class and did well to finish 6th in a very competitive combined Vets and Womens race, won by ex-National champion Nick Craig. Further down the field, Derek Schofield finished 60th and first V60, Richie Watts 71st and Mike O’Shea 75th. Adrian Watts recovered well from a fall and mechanical problem to finish 101st, just in front of Paul Warrener (103rd) and Graham Wright who took the V65 win in 128th overall.
There is now a 2 week break in racing prior to the final round at Beacon Fell, Upholland on Sunday 24 January.
The latest round of the North west cyclo-cross series took place at Stadt Moers, St Helens, on Sunday and the clear skies and drying course were welcomed by riders, after the recent event mudbaths. First up was the youths event and Maisy Vasic returned to winning ways with a fine result in the girls U14 class. Matt Toman was 7th in the U16 boys and Adam Nelson, sporting his Cycle Sport Pendle jersey, just behind in 8th.
Onto the Vets/Womens race and present leader of the series, Dave Haygarth of Helmshore, tried to keep on the tail of Tim Gould, ex National trophy winner, but Gould eventually pulled away with Dan Alexander coming through to take second, leaving Haygarth taking the last place on the podium. Further down the field, Richie Watts suffered another mechanical problem, this time forcing his retirement. Carl Nelson was riding strongly, taking 47th spot at the finish. Derek Schofield was hanging onto his tail and looking to take the V60 award, but a slipped chain and dislodged rear wheel saw him drop off the pace, just managing to beat Adrian Watts to the finish line, Watts riding the whole course without any dismounts. Paul Warrener completed the RRC team in 82nd, just behind Mike O’Shea.
Ian Hazell, who is just learning the ropes in this branch of the sport finished 45th in the senior race and will surely make his mark in the future.
After the late fine autumn weather, cyclo-cross returned to it’s roots, literally!, on a wet and muddy course at Northwich last Saturday. There was no need for artificial barriers with several sections of the course unrideable . This didn’t seem to bother Dave Haygarth though, who took a convincing win in the combined Vets and Womens race. Helmshore resident Haygarth overcame his disappointment from the previous week to win by nearly 2 minutes from second placed Andrew Brindle from Horwich CC.
From the Rossendale Road Club, it was Mike O’Shea and Adrian Watts who made the brightest starts. O’Shea found the testing conditions too tough to maintain his position in the top 20 and Richie Watts moved up through the field to catch his older brother. The pair had a close battle throughout the race until Adrian faded on the last lap, leaving Richie to finish in 44th overall, with Adrian 49th. Derek Schofield was struggling with a mud-packed bike but held on to 42nd.
In the seniors event, James Tudor was the lead valley club rider, taking a magnificent 13th place finish in the worsening conditions. Matt James is also showing his prowess in this form of cycle racing, just 2 minutes back in 20th.
Mike OShea, Richie Watts, Adrian Watts and Derek Schofield in the bomb hole.
Matt James and James Tudor at Pignutt Hill