Grace is great as Matlock CC riders star in cyclo-cross league event

GRACE THE GREAT -- Matlock CC's Grace Longden storming to victory.
GRACE THE GREAT -- Matlock CC's Grace Longden storming to victory.

The impressive Grace Longden stole the limelight when Matlock Cycling Club fielded a large contingent of riders for the third round of the SRAM Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Cyclo-Cross League at Shipley Park in Heanor.

For Grace rode strongly from the back of the grid to storm to victory in the U12s’ race, with teammate Daisy Nicholson in fourth. Ben Mellor was the fastest Matlock rider in the U12 boys’ race, coming home eighth, ahead of Josh Williams in tenth, Sam Hadfield in 13th, Tom Woolf in 15th, Stefan Murgia in 26th, Tom Logan in 35th, Dary Burch in 37th, Evan Williams in 38th and George Parker in 41st after a heavy crash.

Conditions were mostly dry on a course with a good hill, fast segments and hurdles to negotiate. The senior races produced a variety of awesome battles across the many categories, with Matlock’s Andy Vaughan seventh in the men’s event and John Webster sixth in the junior section. In the women’s race, Cheryl Vaughan was fourth, while in the veterans’ category, Louise Gylsen was 11th, Julie Parker 12th and Jo Barnett 14th.

A large number of Matlock youngsters contested the U9s’ race, with an intriguing scrap for second involving Matlock trio Eleanor Gordon, Gracie Day and Isla Woolf that ended in that order. Maisie Robinson was 11th, while for the boys, Arthur Limb finished seventh, Thomas Benson 11th, Gabriel Falconer-White 18th, Rory Burch 33rd and Isaac Falconer-White 39th.

In the U16 girls’ race, Sarah Briggs took second. And the U14 girls’ race saw Annabel Parker take third, ahead of Matlock teammates Thea Whatley (sixth) and Annabel Shunburne (eighth).

In the U14 boys’ race, a strong Matlock entry was led home by Matt Nicholson in 14th, with Will Longden 16th, Sam Gould 18th, Harry Large 21st, Lewis Holmes 23rd, Finley Hill 24th, Nathan Gould 28th and Archie Mercer 30th.

The veteran men’s race featured a huge field of 127, with Matlock’s Pete Hoy 27th in the V40 category and Matt Ingram seventh in the V45s, followed by Andrew Briggs in tenth, Karl Webster 12th, Dominic Limb 15th, Andy Woolf 29th and Ben Whatley 34th.