Tom Lewis had a mixed weekend of cyclocross racing last weekend, but his disappointment on Saturday was made up for by his first Eastern Cyclocross League victory on Sunday.
Lewis's weekend of racing started on Saturday with round 1 of the Cyclocross National Trophy Round which was held at Derby. Lewis was due to start from the 3rd row of the grid, but the noise and confusion at the assembly area, with a large field of 99 riders all waiting to be called to the grid, meant that Lewis missed his name being called out and had to start at the very back of the field, a significant handicap in cyclocross racing where overtaking opportunities are scarce. Despite starting from the back, Lewis rode a strong race and overtook 67 riders during the 30 minute race to finish in 31st place but was left wondering where he could have finished had he started on the 3rd row of the grid.
However, Lewis more than made up for it on Sunday in the fourth round of the
Eastern Cyclocross League at Southill Park, hosted by CC Ashwell. Lewis started on the front row in the Youth race, and battled throughout the race with Oliver Beale of Welwyn Wheelers for the lead. Despite Beale establishing a 5 second gap during the first and second laps of the race, Lewis rode a fast third lap to close the gap and took the lead on the final lap to win by 5 seconds in his first win in the Eastern Cyclocross League.
Kieran Vanhoutte, Harvey Woodroffe and Lucas Bowman were also racing in the Youth race but all three suffered mechanical issues. Although he got away cleanly at the start of the race, Bowman required technical assistance near the start line, while Vanhoutte inadvertently unclipped his foot from his pedal and crashed, braking spokes in his front wheel. However, Vanhoutte got a replacement wheel fitted by his father Ferenc and continued in the race. Woodroffe was hindered by his chain slipping off twice during the race. Despite these set-backs, all three finished the race with Vanhoutte finishing in 10th place in the U16 category, Woodroffe in 10th in the U14 race and Bowman in 14th.
Mechnical problems weren't suffered just by the Junior racers as Lucas's father Neil Bowman suffered a puncture 2 laps from the end of his race in the V50 race. Riding strongly up to that point towards the front of the field, Bowman Snr tried to nurse his ailing bike to the finish line but was eventually forced to abandon the race. In the V40 event Rory Havis also suffered from a puncture, this time on the second lap, and also had to retire from the race, while Ferenc Vanhoutte and Simon Butteriss finished in 28th and 35th places respectively in that event.
Harvey Woodroffe's father Joshua was racing in the Senior event, and finished in 25th place.
Tom Lewis was not the only Ely rider racing on both Saturday and Sunday, as the day before the Eastern Cyclocross League event Simon Butteriss had also taken part in the Leo 30 time trial race along with John Manlow. The Leo 30 is the traditional close of the time trial season in the Eastern region and, as the name suggests, takes place over a 30 mile course. Normally run on the E2/30, the event was moved to the nearby E33/30 due to the seemingly endless roadworks on the A11. Butteriss and Manlow were both competing in the road bike category of the race, where dedicated time trial bikes are not allow. Butteriss took second place with a time of 1:10:36 while Manlow finished in a time of 1:15:11 in 4th place overall.
Finally, Sunday saw the last event in this year's club competitions, the Interclub hillclimb involving riders from the Ely, Newmarket and Mildenhall cycling clubs. Ely rider Colin Currie took first place, a scant 0.53 seconds ahead of Simon Plant of NCTC, while Ely rider Jason Ward rounded out the podium in 3rd place.
Ely & District Cycling Club - B&T Motor Repairs Press Release 19th October 2022
Tom Lewis leaps the hurdles just behind rival Oliver Beale. Credit Martin Lewis
Tom Lewis takes victory in style. Credit Martin Lewis
Tom Lewis on the top step of the podium. Credit Martin Lewis
Neil Bowman in the V50 race. Credit Martin Lewis
Harvey Woodroffe takes on the hurdles. Credit Martin Lewis
Simon Butteriss running up a steep bank. Credit Martin Lewis
Ferenc Vanhoutte running up a steep bank. Credit Martin Lewis
Kieran Vanhoutte leaps the hurdles. Credit Martin Lewis
Lucas Bowman in the U14 race. Credit Martin Lewis