Libby impresses to win cyclo-cross race

Lee Shunburne, Matlock Cycling Club.
Lee Shunburne, Matlock Cycling Club.

The opening round of the 2011/2012 Notts and Derby Cyclo Cross League took part on Saturday at Hilton Fields Farm with Matlock Cycling Club members out in force.

The Under 10s event had 27 riders take to the start line, with a nail-biting finish as three riders battled it out in a sprint finish.

Ben Chiltern of Derby Mercury proved the fastest of the bunch as he narrowly edged out teammate Matthew Luscombe by just two seconds. Third place went to Alex Colestone-Shields of Lichfield Cycling Club who was just one second back from Luscombe.

Matlock’s Libby Smith won the girls under tens event, edging out her clubmate Elizabeth Webster into second place. The Boys under 12s event was won by Nottingham Clarion’s James Swadling. Swadling proved too strong for the rest of the field, with Jenson Young finishing second. Matlock riders John Webster and Tim Elsmore-Martin came third and fourth place respectively.

The Girls under 12s event was won by Poppy Wildman of Nottingham Clarion. Matlock’s Ellie Smith and Ffyonna Booker were in contention all the way but had to settle for third and fourth.

Arthur Green, so dominant last season in the Youth Under 14s category, has now stepped up an age group and is competing with the Under 16s, as are Gregg Booker and Sarah Lomas.

Green is in great form at the moment and managed to stay with Heanor Clarion’s James Shaw for most of the race, before Shaw powered away to win. Gregg Booker rode very well to finish in tenth place in the same category while the ever-dominant Sarah Lomas comfortably won the girl’s race.

A whopping 164 riders took part in the adults race, held in the afternoon, with the Senior and Veterans riding together with both male and female categories.

Matlock Cycling Club’s Lee Shunburne and local Charge Bikes rider Chris Metcalfe stayed with the front group right from the off, which included Team Wiggle’s Lee Williams, Bone Shakers James Thompson, Buzz Cycles Rob Parkin, and Junior rider Joe Kirkham of Hargrove Cycles.

The five riders broke clear of the main bunch but it became obvious Lee Williams was the strongest as, during the midpoint of the race, he started to open up a considerable gap. The rest of the breakaway riders chased hard, which eventually split the group.

Shunburne and Metcalfe worked together to try and bridge the gap but it was not to be as Williams took a well-deserved victory. Shunburne managed to edge out his former teammate.

Local Zepnat rider Diane Lee was the first female to finish after a battle with Ashfield RC’s Sarah Naylor and VC Long Eaton’s Tracey Fletcher. Lee’s impressive fitness just proved too much in the final few laps as Naylor and Fletcher began to lose touch.

Chris Green won Matlock Cycling Clubs five-mile Sheldon time-trial on Saturday by just one second over in-form Steve Heading.

Green clocked a time of 13 minutes and 13 seconds to take maximum points. Peter Colledge and Richard Cordin had to settle for third and fourth place.

After the event, the annual Free Wheel competition took place. Riders have to remove their chains and freewheel down the descent near Sheldon, with the winner being the one who finishes the furthest up the incline after the descent. Once again, Peter Colledge took the title he’s won for a number of years now, with Steve Heading second and Paul Booker third.