Sarah proves too strong for the rest

George Swindell.
George Swindell.

The fourth and final round of this year’s Midlands XC Mountain Bike Series took place on Sunday at Hanchurch Hills, Stoke On Trent.

The racing was fast and exciting, the sun was shining and the organisers put on a spectacular course.

Matlock Cycling Club’s Sarah Lomas, winner of so many mountain bike and cyclo cross events over the years, proved too strong for the rest of the field in the Youth Female category as she powered her way to victory.

In the Youth Male category, Arthur Green rode to a sixth place finish, while Matlock’s Will Gascoyne finished in the top ten too, with eighth place overall.

Cameron Orr is having a great season this year, and he finished in fourth place in the Juvenile Male category, while his father recorded 12th place overall in the Veteran Male category, edging out teammate Chris Green who finished in 15th spot.

Marianne Heffron also showed consistent form, as she finished a superb second in the Veteran Female category, while Derek Hunter finished ninth in the Grand Veteran Male category.

Lee Shunburne, better known for his cyclo-cross performances, recorded a very impressive fifth overall in the hotly contested Master Male category.

Matlock Cycling Club has had a superb turnout of riders in all the various adult and junior categories throughout the series.

After the third round, the club had a convincing lead in the overall club points standings competition, and, following a strong performance in round four, should have done enough to clinch victory with the category not yet confirmed at the time of writing.

The efforts of the club coaches in recent months should not go unrecognised, as they have made a huge contribution to the success of the club in this discipline of the sport.

Matlock Cycling Club youngsters were in action on Saturday at the Darley Moor Road Race Circuit in glorious sunny conditions.

Louis Swindell rode to victory in the Under Eight category, resulting in him now having won three out of the four races in the series.

Older brother George also put in a strong performance as he finished on the podium in third place, having missed out on second spot by just half a wheel length following a very exciting sprint finish.

Matlock clubmate Amelie Wayte rode the Darley Moor series event for the first time this season, and put in a real gutsy performance to take a fine win from a tough field of riders.

Matlock Cycling Club’s evening time-trial series switched to the flat ten-mile course, and the 10.4-mile Long Hilly circuit this week.

Belper BC’s Dave Wallwin took an impressive win on the ten-mile course on Tuesday night, and recorded a fast time despite the headwind on the longer outward leg towards Bakewell.

Wallwin recorded a time of 22 minutes and 25 seconds, edging Patrick Gould in to second place by 23 seconds.

Gould, winner of so many Ashford time-trials already this season, was the only other rider to go under 23 minutes, finishing in a time of 22:48.

Kevin White’s form is improving fast as he managed a third-placed position with a time of 23:09.

Gareth Ferguson also showed huge improvements over last season, as he finished in superb time of 23:49 to finish in fifth place overall.

Matlock youngster Cameron Orr showed what a great talent he is, as he rode to 12th place overall, finishing in a remarkable time of 27:59.

Marianne Heffron was the fastest female rider, finishing in a time of 29:26.

Matlock Cycling Club’s Thursday night Long Hilly time-trial was run on wet roads, but despite a huge downpour, the rain stopped as seven riders took to the start.

The south westerly wind helped the riders on the long ascent from the Smedley factory up through Lea, but meant they had to battle into a headwind on the down hill section through Tansley towards Matlock Green.

Steve Heading proved too strong for the rest of the field, as he comfortably won in a time of 29 minutes and 20 seconds.

Youth rider Arthur Green rode his first time-trial of the season, and showed he is extremely strong this year as he finished in second place in a time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

Third place went to the ever-improving Mike Blair who recorded a time of 30 minutes and 13 seconds.