The second round of the North West ‘Live in Hope’ cyclo-cross series took place on Saturday and plenty of Rossendale based riders took advantage of the relatively local venue at Broughton Hall to take part, with excellent results.

The course had been changed from the previous race, and now included a hardcore section through the woods. Although this proved to be a respite from the sodden fields, the sticky mud on the bikes picked up gravel from the hardcore, and many riders suffered with mechanical problems.

This didn’t affect the junior courses and Thomas Black took an excellent 16th place from the 25 starters in just his second race in the U12 event, with Elsie Haygarth of Helmshore punching well above her weight to take 7th in the U14 class.

Father, Dave Haygarth, had a race long battle with a following posse, pulling clear in the final stages to take a fine 2nd place in the V50 race, beaten only by 3 Peaks record holder, Andy Peace. Further down the field, Tony Bowler maintained his top 20 showing in 18th, with Carl Nelson 31st. Further Rossendale riders were closely grouped with Mick Taylor 39th, Barry Dovey 40th and Richie Watts 41st. There was then a gap to Adrian Watts in 48th and Bryn Weale 40th. Paul Warrener made progress from the back of the field when he lost use of his rear brake on the first lap, passing Graham Wright on the last lap, with Wright riding steadily despite a number of chain slippages to take the V70 award.

Kate Taylor also improved her position from previous, taking 10th in the Senior Women’s race.

In the V40 event, Phil Simcock of the Ramsbottom based JMC club took 10th with Iain Hazell running the majority of his last lap with his bike in 39th, having suffered a mechanical failure.

The final race of the day was the Senior Men’s event and, surprisingly, the falling rain helped the situation, washing the sticky mud off the bikes. Lewis Craven of Ramsbottom opted for this race, and finished in 9th, well down from his win in the first round, Matt Toman looked in good form in 36th. It was a baptism of fire for international junior fell runner Matt Mackay who finished in a creditable 39th in his first ever ‘cross’ race.

Next round is on Monday 28th December.

Photos: Ellen Isherwood

Graham Wright cresting the steepest section to take a fine V70 award

Dave Haygarth showing his class through the wooded section to take 2nd overall in the V50 race