Yorkshire’s Cyclo-Cross riders enjoyed another outstanding season of national level competition during the autumn and winter of 2013-14. The omens were good from the moment they pretty much swept the board at the Inter-Regional Championships in October and the strength in depth displayed on that day was reflected in success across all the main categories as the season unfolded.
The six round National Trophy series began in October in Abergavenny and concluded in early January in Shrewsbury, whilst the National Championships were held in Derby in mid-January.
Under-23 riders Jack Clarkson (Hope) and Nick Barnes (www.Zepnat.com RT/Kuota/GSG) both had good seasons. Clarkson came back 18 months of illness and injury to finish the season with fourth place in both the series and the national championships, earning a trip to the world championships in the process. Barnes took fifth in the series and seventh at the nationals and continued his consistent improvement.
The younger Barnes borther, Chris (Zepnat), looks like a great prospect too as he finished the national Junior men’s series in sixth before a fine ride into fifth at the national championships.
Amongst the women, Abby-Mae Parkinson (RST Racing Team) had an outstanding winter, finishing the series as the top Junior (under-18) in fourth and picking up a silver medal in the junior category at the national championships, where Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes/Bradford Olympic RC) also pitched in with a bronze. Meanwhile, in the first running of the women’s 40 plus national championships as a separate race, Marie Jackson (Paul Milnes/Bradford Olympic RC) collected a well-deserved bronze medal.
With Annie Simpson (Hope) claiming third in the series (she missed the nationals with illness), it was a great year for the women. Interestingly, Simpson’s boyfriend, national senior champion Ian Field, based himself in West Yorkshire for much of the season, benefitting from the legendary Marley (Keighley) training sessions every Wednesday night, which are attended by many of the region’s leading riders.
Turning to the Youth categories, Alfie Moses (Paul Milnes/Bradford Olympic RC) was second in the Under-16 series and third at the national championships, whilst close rival Rob Scott (Pedalsport) was fifth in both. Meanwhile, Euan Cameron (East Bradford CC) pulled off a remarkable series and national championships double, winning both by narrow margins, suggesting a real mental strength to go along with his undoubted speed and technical prowess.
Although she hails from over the border in Lancashire, Hope’s Lucy Horrocks is a regular at Yorkshire events (and training sessions) and so it’s with some justification that we can claim her as our own and feel pride as she just failed to match Euan, winning the national series, but narrowly missing out on gold at the nationals.
Yorkshire’s Veteran rides have traditionally been of the highest standard. Ian Taylor (Jedi Cycle Sport) upheld this proud record, finishing second in both series and national championships. His team-mate Andy Peace picked up bronze (and took the over 45 title into the bargain), whilst Chris Young (Pedalsport) remained competitive late into his fifth decade, finishing fifth in the national championships (third over-45) and seventh in the series. Young’s team-mate, Brian Perks just missed out on a medal in the over-60 national championships, finishing fourth.
Finally, it’s probably worth mentioning the highly successful running of the fourth round of the National Trophy series at Bradford’s Peel Park. With the Pedalsport club providing the organisational input, with support from across the whole of Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross, the event was widely regarded as the best of the series. Hopefully it will be back in 2014, along with the exciting new Ripley Castle ‘Cross which, although not part of any National series, attracted a huge field and showed some innovative features during its first running on a very wet New Year’s day.
Cyclo-Cross returns to Yorkshire in the Spring with the start of the YCCA Summer series – details coming soon!