Members of the Ely & District Cycling Club - B&T Motor Repairs of all ages were competing in cyclocross events this weekend, with some making their debut in this form of racing. Action kicked off on Saturday morning with the Muddy Monsters event at Milton Country Park organised by Cambridge Junior Cycling Club. Muddy Monsters is a series of off-road races designed to provide race novices a way to start cyclocross racing. Isla O’Leary came 4th in the U8 girls' race, Freddie Henry went one better with 3rd in the U10 boys' race while Georgia Read took the top step of the podium winning 1st place in the U10 girls' race. The next Muddy Monsters race in the East Anglia region is being hosted by Fenland Clarion at the Embankment Athletics Track in Peterborough on 25th November.
Cyclocross action continued on Sunday with the third round of the Eastern Cyclocross League, the Neil Pears Memorial race at St Helena school in Colchester. There was a bumper turn-out of Ely riders, with 11 taking part across the different age categories including one complete cyclocross novice. Racing started for the Ely contingent with the Youth race which featured four Ely riders, Tom Lewis (U16), Kieran Vanhoutte (U16), Harvey Woodroffe (U14) and Lucas Bowman (U14). All four managed to avoid the usual bumps and collisions at the start of the race, and Lewis took advantage of his front row grid placing to form part of a pack of 4 riders at the front of the race, while Vanhoutte was displaying assured technical skills, particularly through the off camber sections which he rode with deceptive ease. Among the U14 riders, Woodroffe was held up by an issue with one of his pedals, which required a stop to resolve, and Bowman was engaged in a close battle with series-long rivals. By the end of the race Lewis looked favourite to win the race, having led for most of the last lap, but Evander Wishart of Fenland Clarion took the lead on the final corner, taking advantage of a gap Lewis had left on the inside line. Despite giving everything in the final sprint there simply wasn't enough track left for Lewis to retake the lead, and he finished in 2nd place. Vanhoutte's technical skills saw him finish in a strong 10th place in the U16 category. Woodroffe's mechanical issues saw him finish two laps down on the leaders in 15th place, while Bowman finished in 13th place after winning his race-long battle with one of his established rivals.
Lucas's father Neil Bowman was racing in the Vet50+ category, and his recent string of good results was rewarded by a place on the second row of the grid. Bowman made a good start, skillfully avoiding the carnage taking place throughout the field at the beginning of the race and making his way up to 11th place, but started losing places during a difficult middle section of the race. However, he rallied towards the end to finish in 17th place in the V50 category.
There were four Ely riders in the V40 race, including cyclocross debutant Mathew Eley from club sponsors B&T Motor Repairs. An established cross-country mountain bike racer, Eley elected to start his first ever cyclocross race on his MTB race bike rather than a more traditional cyclocross bike, but his choice of machine stood him in good stead as he powered his way through the field from the last row on the grid up to 13th place. Simon Butteriss continued to turn round a difficult start to his first season of cyclocross race, finishing in 31st place just ahead of Ferenc Vanhoutte in 33rd place, while Rory Havis finished in 42nd position.
The last race of the day was the Senior/Junior race, with Joshua Woodroffe in the former category and Isaac Barton in the latter. Barton had another good race finishing 10th in the Junior division and Woodroffe continued to make progress through the field with 24th place in the Senior category.
Finally, while the time trial seasons is tapering off as autumn sets in it is not quite yet over. John Manlow was due to take part in a 25 mile race on the B25/50 course hosted by Norwich ABC but due to roadworks and traffic lights at Bungay the event had to be turned into a 10 mile race on the B10/44 course at the last minute. Manlow finished in 3rd place overall, stopping the clock in a time of 22:37.
Ely & District Cycling Club - B&T Motor Repairs Press Release 4th October 2022
Isla O'Leary, 4th place U8s. credit Neil Bowman
Georgia Read, 1st place U10 girls. Credit Neil Bowman
Freddie Henry, 3rd place U10 boys. Credit Neil Bowman
Harvey Woodroffe, U14 race. Credit Martin Lewis
Lucas Bowman, U14 race. Credit Martin Lewis
Simon Butteriss, V40 race. Credit Neil Bowman
Rory Havis, V40 race. Credit Neil Bowman
Ference Vanhoutte, V40 race. Credit Neil Bowman
Keiran Vanhoutte, U14 race. Credit Neil Bowman
Tom Lewis, 2nd in Youth race. Credit Martin Lewis
L>R, Tom Lewis, Lucas Bowman, Harvey Woodroffe, Kieran Vanhoutte. Credit Martin Lewis
Isaac Barton and Joshua Woodroffe. Credit Nick Barton
Isaac Barton, Junior race. Credit Nick Barton