Beddis wins a classic race at Amis Velo cyclo-cross
PUBLISHED: 14:18 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:19 22 November 2018
A youth vs experience battle made the Women’s race at Amis Velo cyclo-cross the race of the day, writes Fergus Muir.
For the first lap Lauren Higham, Harley Pell and Delia Beddis were in close company at the front. Then the trio split, with Pell, a member of youth development team LIV AWOL, striking out into a substantial lead while teammate and League leader Higham fell back.
But Beddis, hugely experienced and twice top woman in the classic Three Peaks cyclo-cross, clawed her back way up to rejoin Pell on the last lap.
Beddis made her final bid just as the pair encountered backmarkers as they plunged into the last narrow section through bushes. Pell was briefly boxed in.
Beddis pressed home her advantage and took the win by four seconds with Pell second and Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich) third ahead, of Alison Hogg, Katie Scotter and Higham.
The course for this tenth-round of the Eastern League at Hillyfields the public open space overlooking Colchester from the west, had both twisty sections though scrub, fast runs under mature trees, tight turns on leaf-mould and a lot of climbs and descents.
But it was on the less spectacular straight grass runs, noticeably exposed to the wind, that James Madgwick, winner of the Senior Men’s event, opened his big lead.
He reckoned he had the fitness to keep pushing on these straights while rivals tended to take the opportunity for recovery. Also the course was much like his home patch of Epping Forest.
Chasing Madgwick early on were Jack Parrish, Kieran Jarvis, Callum Riley and Lloyd Chapman. Seb Herrod worked his way up and eventually duelled with Jarvis who finally claimed second place.
Jarvis (Team OnForm) now leads the Eastern League. With an apparently insatiable appetite for riding twice most weekends, he is now ranked eighth overall in the UK cyclo-cross rankings, just one place behind Tom Pidcock.
Renvale rider Jimmy Piper won the Vets 50-plus race - an uneventful win, he told me. He led from the start and no-one came past until he reached the chequered flag.
However Piper admitted to the small hitch of slipping on a tree-root, cannoning into the next tree in line and going over the handlebars.
But cyclo-cross winners get to know how little time it takes to get back on a bike and Piper still won, with half a minute in hand
Piper’s Renvale RT teammate Richard Muchmore was second. Paul Watson (West Suffolk Wheelers) put in a season’s best result at fourth, as did Kieran Dunlea (Ciclos Uno) at 14th in this field of 97, while Steve De Boltz (Ipswich BC equalled his best at sixth.
In the end no-one disturbed the Forest Side Riders’ dominance in the Vets 40-49, though Paul Sheers looked at first as if he might. A season’s best result came from Evan Davies (Colchester Rovers) who was 22nd out of the 74 rider field.
Martha Lebentz (Hadleigh CC) and Joe Kiely (Welwyn Whs) were the Youth Under 16 winners. Abigail Miller and Mark Lightfoot their U14 counterparts.
There were 60 starters in total in the races for riders under 12 years of age. Local winners included George Collins (Colchester Rovers, U10 Boys), Abbey Thompson (Ipswich Velo, U10 Girls) and James Clarke (Colchester Rovers, U8 Boys)
Full results of the Amis Velo ‘cross can be found at: www.easterncross.org.uk
At Velo Club Baracchi’s prize presentation in Lowestoft Paul Dennington received the club’s Charles Grimmer Trophy for service to the sport, was voted “Clubman of the Year” by the membership and also took club championship awards at 15, 30 and 50 miles.
However at 10 and 25 miles Dennington was not as quite as quick as young clubmate Lucas He, who had to miss the evening as he is away at Cambridge University.
Among a long list of prizewinners, Paul Haywood was Best All-Rounder and Chris Womack Vets BAR.