Cyclocross Mid Season 2015/2016 Review

Mick Burton at Temple Newsom. Photo Phil Winterbourne

The nights are drawing in, the leaves piling up on the fields and the ground turning muddy. We are halfway through the cyclocross season already and autumn is only just approaching, never mind winter. Last weekend, round 5 of the Yorkshire Points cyclocross race series took place in Huddersfield in a sweltering 20 degrees C.

Still, the halfway point seems a good time to report on how the season is progressing, and to encourage any cross-curious riders to come along and have a go.

Calder riders have been really well represented this year. Once again the Go Ride kids led the way, especially in the Wakefield and Temple Newsam rounds, which the young riders are strongly encouraged to enter.

Our highest turnout was for Temple Newsam where we had a rider in every single race, and a total of 25 riders representing the club.

It is always encouraging to see new riders turn up, and Ben Thomas, Mark Rodgers and Rosey James all rode their first cyclocross races in the novice section this year. They can’t have found it too bad, as most of them have been back for more.

Mark Holden bought his first cyclocross bike the day before the Temple Newsam round and, once he had worked out that slick tyres at 90 psi aren’t great on mud, has shot up the results table. In fact Mark has become so keen that Yorkshire events are no longer enough for him, and he and Mick Burton tried out a Lincolnshire league race at Scunthorpe as well. They did so well I think Mark is planning on racing in Lincolnshire every week from now on.

Mark Holden. Photo Phil Lambourne

Eric Rigby picked a tough course at the Rapha Supercross to (re?)start his cyclocross career. This was probably the most technically difficult course so far this year, with the pros crashing on the same muddy off camber as I did on my warm-up lap. Unlike the pros I decide to run that corner for the rest of the race. 

Jamie Clifton negotiates a tricky corner

Jamie Clifton demonstrated his Go Ride skills and a sense of adventure as they sent the under 14s down the same course.

Daniel James has won three under 8 races this year, and finished second in the other three races he has entered. This is no easy achievement in fields of up to 60 riders. In the Rapha Supercross he came within a handful of seconds of lapping the entire field. Douglas James has been steadily improving in the under 10s to gain fourth place in Huddersfield and is hoping to push for a podium place in one of the remaining races.

Mick Burton and Jonny Croston have been joined by Mark Holden at the sharp end of the racing, while Chris James has been looking forward to his 45th birthday so he can join the older vets after seeing Martin Price make light work of the vet 45s.

Rosey James managed to ‘win’ the senior lady novice race at Rapha Supercross as she was the only entrant in that category. She should have entered as a vet and come 2nd, but a lady never writes her age on a sign sheet. 

Gemma Lumb Victorius at Holmfirth

Gemma Lumb won the ladies Halloween cyclocross at Holmfirth as her overtaking antics took place out of sight of the commissaires!

A group have begun some informal off road training sessions. Keep an eye on twitter for any arrangements.

There have been rumours about other Calder riders buying cyclocross bikes, so I am optimistic that we may get some more participants before the year is out. I am sure Ross Burton can be persuaded to dust down his mountain bike for at least one round.

The next local race is at Wentworth Castle, Barnsley on 15th November, and the Sunday after (22nd) the Yorkshire Points circus rolls on to Sheffield. For those who can’t face Christmas shopping, or those who are very organised, there is also a round at York Sport Village the Sunday before Christmas. I hope to see some of you there.

Chris James.

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