It’s a family affair as Ellie pips her sister

Ellie Smith of Matlock Cycling Club
Ellie Smith of Matlock Cycling Club

Matlock Cycling Club riders were out in force at round ten of the Notts & Derby Cyclo Cross League, held on Saturday at the Trent Meadows course, Long Eaton.

The mild weather meant that, once again, the respective age category races saw huge numbers start in the ever popular cyclo cross discipline and Matlock’s members did the club proud with their efforts.

The course was well laid out with some interesting dismount areas and plenty of wet ground making for a muddy but fun afternoon.

Matlock Cycling Club riders dominated the Under Tens category. In the girls’ race, Ellie Smith won again against her younger sister Libby to make it another one-two for the Smith family. The podium was almost complete with Matlock riders but Peta Jarvis of 4 Life Tri Club narrowly edged the ever-improving Sara Gould into fourth spot by just six seconds. Ellie has a huge lead in the overall league standings with just two rounds left.

The boys’ event was another procession for Matlock’s Tim Elsmore-Martin, who made it look so easy. He has gained maximum points in each round of the league and is the clear favourite to win. He was pushed a little harder than usual by the in-form James Luscombe of Derby Mercury, but had enough in the tank to ride away as the laps progressed. Elsmore-Martin’s clubmate Harry Morley finished in fifth place overall at just 23 seconds down and is Elsmore-Martin’s closest rival in the points standing.

Matlock’s John Webster had a superb race in the Under 12s category and managed to stick with Sherwood CC’s Scott Hookway – the winner of many rounds already. The two riders, together with Tom Dussek of 4 Life Tri, rode the race together for the most part before Scott Hookway upped the pace.

The chasing pair put up a good fight but didn’t have enough to reel in Hookway and were therefore left to battle it out with each other for second place. After a frantic last lap, Webster just had enough to edge out Dussek to take second place.

In the Youth Under 14s categories, it was the same outcome as in many of the rounds so far this year for the Matlock pair of Arthur Green and Sarah Lomas. The two have dominated the league this year and Saturday was no exception.

Green powered his way around the course and held a commanding lead when crossing the finish line of over one-and-a-half minutes from his closest rival, William Gascoigne of Heanor Clarion. Matlock’s Gregg Booker had a good race too, finishing fourth.

Sarah Lomas was in imperious form, making light work of the field as she easily won the Under 14s girls race, increasing the gap to the chasing bunch, lap after lap. Such was Lomas’s domination that she beat all of the older girls in the same race who were contesting the Under 16s category. Her lead in the standings is huge and she looks set to take another league win.

The Seniors and Veterans race saw over 100 riders take part. Right from the off, a frantic pace was set by the leading riders. For the first few laps, a group of around ten riders formed but it was clear pre-race favourite Ben Eedy was keen to split the race up.

As the race progressed, riders dropped off. The only rider who could stick with Eedy was Matlock Cycling Club’s Lee Shunburne. The pair rode the majority of the race together as the fragmented group behind chased the leading pair.

With a lap to go, it was nip and tuck as Eedy and Shunburne rode side by side. In the last half-mile or so, Eedy put pressure on Shunburne and eventually created the smallest of gaps, which Shunburne was unable to bridge.

Eedy took the win from Shunburne by just three seconds. The second place was Shunburne’s highest finish in the league this season and showed a real return to form as he edged out Rob Parkin of Team Basso into third and clubmate Chris Metcalfe into fourth.

The league has just two rounds to go with the next races being held at Darley Moor on February 5, and the final round at Thornbridge near Bakewell on February 19.