Cyclo cross: Spalding’s Ben leads the way

Ben Norton and Velvet Bowser on the start line for the under-12 race at Spalding.

Ben Norton and Velvet Bowser on the start line for the under-12 race at Spalding.

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Sir John Gleed School was the venue for the second round of the Lincolnshire Cyclo Cross League hosted by Spalding Cycling Club.

Increasingly warm and sunny conditions presented the opportunity for fast and open racing with dry and very dusty courses including a variety of obstacles and testing wooded sections.

The under-12s race won by Spalding’s Ben Norton – a fine improvement on his third place at Sleaford and securing him a good lead in the overall standings.

Velvet Bowser finished 11th overall, taking the prize for second girl, while Jack Bowser rode well by chasing his sister home finishing in 13th place.

Mimi Gurney made up the Spalding team, finishing 37th overall and 10th girl.

The youths race was again dominated by the Sherwood Pines SRAM RT duo of Matt Ellis and Jake Norton who are both Spalding second claim riders.

Riding his first race of the season Tom Wright was the first in Spalding kit across the line in ninth overall, good enough for third under-14.

The only other Spalding rider, Ed Gurney, put in a great ride to finish 21st as 12th under-14.

Improving two places on his Sleaford result, Adam Ellis was the first Spalding rider home in the Veterans race with sixth place overall.

The fast conditions soon strung the field out and only 11 people finished in the same lap as winner Carl Sturgeon of Jewson-Mi racing.

Neil Palmer, in a reversal of fortunes after he didn’t finish at Sleaford, put in a strong performance using his time trial skills on the flat open 
sections and finished 16th overall just three places ahead of Shane Norton.

Tom Webster and Chris Peel managed fine rides in the top 30.

Webster was 25th and seventh in the Vets 50 category while Peel crossed the line in 28th spot. Simon Wright’s 40th position was a solid performance in his first race of the season.

Of the 60 starters, 20 were in the V50 Category and alongside Webster, event organiser Chris Bettinson and Gary Bentley rode well to take 10th and 13th in the category – finishing 34th and 42nd overall.

By the time the seniors, juniors and women’s race got under way it was hot, 
making a hard event even more uncomfortable. The usual fast charge from the start made an open race with big gaps between finishers and a number of abandons.

The finishing order for Spalding riders was exactly as it was at Sleaford.

Of the Spalding riders Ben Moore took 11th place while Sam Bentley, who clearly found the conditions to his liking, improved from 25th at Sleaford to finish 17th.

Consistent performances for Andy Bowser and Webster rewarded them with 34th and 46th places respectively.

Finishing in 42nd spot to claim the award for fifth lady was second claim lady member Tilly Gurney riding for Squadra Donne.

The following weekend only two Spalding riders were present at Alford Wheelers’ event.

Ben Norton was a clear winner in the under-12s race, 44 seconds ahead of Jake Kennedy of VC Lincoln 
and over a minute from third-placed Harry Garfield of Bourne Wheelers.

In the youths race another consistent ride from an ever improving Tom Wright netted 11th place.