STRATFORD Cycling Club staged their annual cyclo-cross event last Sunday when almost 400 riders gathered at Johnsons’ coach yard in Henley-in-Arden for round three of the West Midlands League.
The sport is attracting huge interest from all ages, from children under the age of six right up to 60 and 70 year-old veterans, with its safe, yet physically demanding off road courses which create great racing and which help to improve bike skills and physical endurance.
The races are run over a set time with under six-year-olds competing for ten minutes and the fastest adults racing for 50 minutes.
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 twisting, challenging course.
The day started in the rain, in slippery and muddy conditions, with the under-tens and Lizzie Webb doing well and coming in ninth in the girls’ race, while Ruben Stringfellow flew round to finish fifth in the boys’.
The under-12s included five Stratford riders. Zoe Parker was the star, winning the girls’ category comfortably. Parker has now won three rounds out of three in the league. Lucy Sartain did will too, coming seventh.
In the boys, Jefferson Tear-Verweij was eighth, followed by Sam Abbott, Callum Moss and Louis Mingins, who came 17th, 21st and 29th respectively.
For the under-14s and under-16s, the conditions were the toughest all day, with the drying mud sticking to tyres, brakes and gears. This is always a large, fast and competitive group and Stratford CC fielded six riders. Leading the team home was 12-year-old Spencer Corder, who finished in second place.
Josh Darlow was 13th, Luke Brennan 14th, Alex Burden 16th and Joe Webb came in 23rd. Jonathan Masters did well in 14th place in the under-16 category.
The afternoon brought the adults into the fray. Ian Tinsley was Stratford’s only rider in the Vet 45s and finished 15th.
In the Vet 50, Carl Max Taylor did well to finish 15th, followed by Mark Lampitt who grafted to manage 35th place, in a huge field of more than 100 riders. In the Vet 55 category, seasoned veteran Nigel Jones scored an excellent third place.
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