HUNDREDS of riders gathered at Johnsons Coach Yard in Henley-in-Arden on Sunday to take part in Stratford Cycling Club’s annual cyclo-cross event which acted as round three of the West Midlands League.
Almost 400 riders and many supporters, family and spectators were out in force for the hugely popular event which attracts interest from all ages, from children under the age of six right up to 60- to 70-year-old veterans.
With its safe yet physically demanding off road course, the event created great racing to help improve the skills of those taking part.
The races were run over a set time, with those under the age of six competing for ten minutes while the fastest adults raced for almost an hour.
Stratford club riders competed across all age ranges and acquitted themselves admirably, with both new riders and highly-experienced experts going flat out on a challenging course that was made even more so by the overnight rain.
The U6s riders went off first, with Fifi Kostka finishing second.
Her big sister Mollie was up next in the U8s which she won by a margin of four minutes.
Elise Storey was fourth and Mary Heenan came home in sixth. Up next were the U10s, with four Stratford cyclists taking part. Tamsin Moss led the club riders home in sixth, closely followed by Kate Groves (9th) and Laura Abbott (10th).
Lizzie Webb retired due to a mechanical issue caused by the mud.
Dylan Sheppard (28th) and Ned Heenan (33rd) were the club representatives in the U10 boys’ race.
In the U12 boys’ event, Jefferson Tear-Verweij finished second, with team-mates Ruben Stringfellow and Callum Moss coming home in a creditable 15th and 20th place respectively.
Tom Adler also completed the race on his heavy mountain bike.
For the U14s race, Stratford secured a fantastic treble on the podium, with Spencer Corder finishing first, Lewis Tinsley in second and Oscar Martin in third.
Luke Brennan (15th), Joshua Darlow (17th), Joe Webb (22nd) and Alex Burden (27th) also finished.
In the U16 category, Matt Jordan did well in 12th while Brennan came home in 15th.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Masters crossed the line in seventh in the competitive 16-18 category.
The afternoon brought the adults into action, with a field of more than 100 riders in the veterans’ race.
Mark Lampitt led the Stratford CC contingent home with a seventh-placed finish in the V50 category and was followed by Phil Bromwich (18th) and Carl Max Taylor (27th).
Experienced rider Nigel Jones was fourth in the V55s race, Michael Warner finished tenth in the V40s while Steve Groves came home 28th in the V45s.