London Cyclo Cross League Round 16/ Sussex Cyclo Cross League Round 4
Andy Seltzer writes…
Sunday saw the final round of the London and Sussex Cyclo cross leagues with the combined event at Stanmer Park on the outskirts of Brighton.
As I got out of the car on arrival I was greeted by a bitterly cold head wind, which was to be the prelude to the snow. Thanks to the efforts of Anthony Rogers the Brighton events at Stanmer have proved very popular and Sunday was no exception considering the conditions a field of 85 starters lined up for the main event.
Following on from a similar format as previous races there the field tackled a long grovelling climb to the top of the course before descending to the only run up on the course (although this was ridden by a few of the front runners) the mad white knuckle descent was kept but an additional climb help to spread out the field. The cold conditions had helped firm up the ground but the course did cut up as the race went on to catch out the unwary.
For once I got a good start knowing that I had an outside chance of finishing in third place in the Sussex League however I knew I had to beat George Higgs of Brighton Excelsior to guarantee the position and as the race settled down after the first lap charge the pair of us found our selves joined by two more fellow veterans Konrad Manning of Finsbury Park C.C. and Phil Jones of Dulwich Paragon for most of the race we charged round almost as a four up squad as the strong head wind on the field section helped to negate any advantage one of us had gained on the climbs or the technical sections.
A flying Darren Barclay of Artic R.T. caught and lapped us half way round his final lap, as we would also now finish on this lap Konrad Manning made one last effort which basically broke the elastic which was keeping the four of us together as he surged clear of us. On the final ascent George managed to pull clear of me and I distanced myself to take 19th place overall and 6th place veteran.
In the Sussex League I’m pleased to say that for a second year running the League was won by a Junior Max Filleul of Southdown Bikes with Doug Fox Crawley Wheelers second and George Higgs third.
The event was won by Darren Barclay Artic R.T. first veteran Matt Seaton Mosquito Bikes.
Third placed Chris Ansell Team Corridori wrapped up the London League title which consisted of a league of 16 races.
Of final note it was good to see a result were the highest placed veteran was 10th and the top 10 also included two juniors.