CYCLING: Impressive start to season for Spalding

Velvet Bowser at the head of affairs in the under-12 race.
Velvet Bowser at the head of affairs in the under-12 race.
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Spalding’s cyclo-cross season is under way with impressive performances at both events held so far in the Lincolnshire League.

A small group made the trip to Sleaford for round one, representing the club well with two top-10 finishes.

Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis

After the demise of the Sherwood Pines SRAM team, Jake Norton decided to race in Spalding colours.

In his final year as under-16 youth category rider, he did not disappoint by completing four laps in 24:20 and taking runner-up spot four seconds behind Finn Mansfield of the MI Racing Academy Team.

Bryn Richards of Bourne Wheelers who took the award for first under-14 category.

As usual the largest number of riders was found in the veterans race and a field of 85 on the start line included Spalding’s Tom Webster and Chris Bettinson.

Ben Moore

Ben Moore

They finished 60th and 62nd overall, one lap down on eventual winner Rick Lister of Team Ford Ecoboost who completed seven laps in 45:18.

Second and third places went to Martin Kennedy of Ellmore Factory Racing and Rick Crabtree of Pedalsport.

After trying cyclo-cross for the first time in 2015, Ben Moore’s first outing in the seniors event was good enough for eighth overall after nine hard-fought laps.

Round two was hosted by Spalding on a variation of the usual course which, together with slightly more muddy conditions and a stiff breeze, made for interesting racing.

Jake Norton

Jake Norton

With 27 entered in the four-lap youth race only two Spalding members took the start.

Norton went clear to build an impressive lead throughout the race and won 56 seconds clear of Bradley Sproggis of Paul Milnes Cycles and 1:25 ahead of third-placed Richards.

Tom Wright, meanwhile, had an excellent race and fought hard in a small group to finish eighth overall. Both Norton and Wright were one place better than their 2015 results.

In the seven-lap under-12s race, a similar story unfolded as 11th overall and second girl in 2015, in-form Velvet Bowser’s fifth place overall and award for first girl was an incredible result.

Jack Bowser rode strongly for eighth overall – improving five places from 2015 – and he was the last rider to complete the full seven laps.

Within the 43 competitors a new name on the Spalding roster also appeared – Scarlett Ward made her debut riding determinedly for five laps to finish in 36th place.

As most club members were involved in the event organisation, none were entered in the vets race but Velo-One’s Adam Ellis was an impressive fourth behind David Allen of Alford Wheelers.

The top two spots were again Lister and Kennedy.

It took just 52:55 for Matt Ellis, a Spalding second claim rider who now rides for the SPPH Raleigh, to take the overall win and first junior in a very fast nine-lap seniors, juniors and women’s race.

The podium was completed by senior riders Tim James of Catford Equipe Banks and George Thompson of Sleaford Wheelers while the ladies award went to Team Ford Ecoboost’s Jo Tindley.

Spalding’s Ben Moore was seventh overall while second claim lady rider Tilly Gurney, in her EM Velocita Team colours, was 36th – two laps down after a crash.