Golden girls Longden and Limb take new cyclo-cross course by storm

Daring rider George Parker in action during the U12 boys' race
Daring rider George Parker in action during the U12 boys' race

Victories for Grace Longden and Harriet Limb were two of the highlights for Matlock Cycling Club when they tackled a new course in round seven of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Cyclo-Cross League.

Longden continued her dominance of the U12 girls’ races, while Limb also took the debut venue at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield by storm to demolish the field in the U14 girls’ race, closely followed by Annabel Parker, who was a brilliant third, and Lucy Bednall close behind in sixth.

Chasing home Longden were Libby Jackson, who was an excellent 11th, Eleanor Gordon in 13th and Gracie Day in 15th.

The day kicked off with the U9s’ races, and Matlock’s Isla Woolf was a superb second to continue her fine season. Alice Lovatt was 11th, just ten seconds ahead of Maisie Robinson in 12th, while for the boys, Benjamin Robinson was 12th, Jamie Brough 14th, Edward Lovatt 16th, Freddie Farr 20th and Isaac Falconer-White 25th.

The U12 boys were led home by Ben Mellor in ninth, followed by Sam Sargeant in 21st and George Parker, who even found time to pull off a wheelie for the crowd as he finished 30th. Tom Woolf was 32nd, Gabriel Falconer-White 37th, Evan Williams 41st and Danny Barr 43rd. Unfortunately, Thomas Benson failed to finish, despite racing for three laps.

Lewis Holmes was just pipped to third spot on the line in the U14 boys’ race, while Ben Marsh was a fine seventh, even though he had been ill all week. Finley Hall was ninth, Joshua Williams 19th and Sam Gould 20th. In the U16 boys’ event, Matt Nicholson was a cracking tenth, with Rafael Abrahams 18th.

Next up were the veterans’ races, which featured a boogy wooded section. Matt Ingram was fifth for the over-45s, ahead of Andy Woolf in 21st, while Simon Patton was seventh for the over-50s, ahead of Martin Holmes in 28th. The over-55s’ contest saw Paul Dalton come home fifth, while the over-60s’ race saw four Matlock riders in the first eight, with Chris Watts third, Clive Bednall sixth, Stuart Gascoyne seventh and Tim Kniveton eighth.

The club tasted success again in the senior female race, which was won by Cheryl Vaughan. In second spot in the junior females’ race was Fyfona Booker.

Matlock positions in the senior men’s race were 12th for Andy Vaughan, 14th for Chris Bottomley and 34th for Will Havercroft. The final round of the league takes place at Markeaton Park in Derby this coming Saturday.

Meanwhile Sarah Briggs was a superb seventh in the U16 girls’ race in the Cyclo-Cross National Trophy on a tough and muddy course at Shrewsbury.