This year’s Midlands Mountain Bike CX Series got underway at the weekend, as Leicestershire Road Club put on a great event at Hicks Lodge, attended by Matlock Cycling Club members.
The course proved very popular, with fast trail sections coupled with technical drop-offs, made all the more enjoyable by the bright sunshine.
There was considerable local success throughout the age categories. Will Gascoyne, riding in his first season for Matlock Cycling Club, proved far too strong for the rest of the Under 14 Boys, winning the Juvenile category from a high-class field. Abergavenny Road Club’s Teifion Best finished in second place, with Sherwood Pine’s Owyn Wallace taking the final podium position.
Matlock’s Sarah Lomas had a solid start as she finished on the podium in the Under 16s Girls event. Lomas had pushed Ffion James of Abergavenny RC and Amira Mellor of Holme Valley Wheelers all the way, but didn’t quite have the legs to challenge for the win, coming home in third place overall.
Local rider Arthur Green, racing for his new team Hope Factory Racing, finished in third place in the Under 16 Youth Boys category having pushed Dylan Kerfoot-Robson and James Shaw all the way. Matlock’s Gregg Booker came home a credible tenth in the same category.
Local Zepnat rider Diane Lee continued her good form shown during the cyclo-cross season, as she was the comfortable winner in the women’s sport category.
Meanwhile, Matlock Cycling Club’s hilly time-trial was cut short by five miles on Saturday due to roadworks near Grangemill.
The tough course – normally 25 miles in length – takes in the tough climbs through Youlgrave, out through Long Rake towards Monyash, before descending down past Newhaven back towards Grangemill.
A fierce head wind punished the 16 participants during the first section of the course as they battled their way up the tough Youlgrave/Long Rake climbs. The only comfort was the tail wind on the homeward leg, making for a speedy return from Newhaven.
Club veteran Peter Colledge proved too strong and powerful for the rest of the field as he finished in a time of 57 minutes and 27 seconds.
Doug Forrester, a returning time-triallist who had been one of Matlock’s finest in recent generations, showed he is once again going to be a force to be reckoned with as he finished a very impressive second in his first race for some 10-12 years.
Sheffrec CC rider Darryl May came home third, edging Matlock stalwart Chris Green into fourth place. Kyle Fantom was the fastest youngster, finishing in 1hour 14 minutes and 21 seconds.
The event will happen all over again next week, as Matlock promotes its annual Open Hilly Time-Trial, a very popular course for local riders from all clubs wanting to test themselves on the notorious circuit.