For the first time, Rossendale Road Club hosted a round of the North West cyclo-cross series on Saturday, at Marl Pits leisure centre. With this being the penultimate round of the series, there was much at stake with over 300 riders vying for the final league positions in all age groups. Course planner Dave Haygarth had devised circuits which drew praise from all competitors, presenting a variety of ‘old school’ challenges of running muddy patches, tough climbs and technical descents, all set with fine views of the surrounding Rossendale hills.
The majority of valley based riders were involved with the organisation and marshalling, but for those who did manage a ride, some excellent results were recorded on ‘home turf’.
Local girls Elsie Haygarth and Katie Taylor, both posted their best finishes of the season – Katie 3rd woman overall and 1st Junior, with Elsie in second U12 girl’s spot, just 1 second behind the winner, Phoebe Taylor of Eastlands Velo.
In the Men’s V50 event Paul Warrener was 33rd and Phil Warner 40th thereby taking another V70 award. Dave Haygarth finished 10th in the V40 event, which was won easily by Rob Jebb, with Rob Hope 2nd, both better known for their fell running achievements. Ben Molnar of Rossendale Tri finished 42nd.
Haygarth bettered his earlier result by doubling up in the Senior race with a fine 9th , with Patrick Hickey 23rd. The unfortunate Matt Toman retired after 2 laps with a mechanical breakdown.
Thanks must go to Rossendale Leisure Trust, local residents and other Marl Pits users for their consideration in the staging of this prestigious event. The final round of the series takes place at Buile Hill Park, Salford, on Saturday 25th January.
Photo of Patrick Hickey of RRC on one of the rideable sections: