Young riders Gregory and Smith shine in final round of National Trophy in York
PUBLISHED: 11:39 19 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:39 19 December 2019
Two young East Anglian cyclo-cross riders have rounded off their National Trophy campaigns with a flourish - scoring their best results in the final round of the series in York, writes Fergus Muir.
The weather was challenging with freezing showers passing through - not only unpleasant but causing rapidly changing conditions underwheel. Racing lines that were possible on one lap might not be so next time round or, alternatively, better routes might be opening up.
West Suffolk Wheeler Harley Gregory, competing in the Under 14s, took sixth place in a field of 73 riders, moving himself up to a final position of 14th overall in the series.
Iceni Velo's Joseph Smith went one better by taking second place in the Under 16s race, climbing onto the second step of the podium, one up from his previous best - third at Irvine in Scotland in the third round.
At York Smith, from Norwich, swapped places with Oli Akers (Hope Factory Racing) and Max Greensill (Garden Shed UK) in a lead group of three.
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Eventually Akers broke away to win, but Smith found the legs to take second spot and secured his fourth place in the final National Trophy standings.
Among other local riders racing at York included Gemma Melton (XRT/Elmy) who was 26th among the Women, Peter Golding (West Suffolk Wheelers, ninth in the Over 60s), and two Juniors - Charlie Johnson (Fast Test, 21st) and Dan Hall (Colchester Rovers, 35th).
Colchester Senior Cam Hurst (Bloodwise/QSW) stayed nearer home and won the Maldon & District club's local cyclo-cross, ahead of Matt Steel (Shaftesbury CC) and Cam's dad Andy Hurst who was third.
Ipswich BMX Club riders took advantage of Christmas fun races at Sloughbottom Norwich to get in some riding while their home Landseer Park track is too wet.
Conditions varied from winter dullness to bright sunshine via passing showers and in one race riders rounded the final berm to face the full blast of a hailstorm down the headwind finishing straight.
Racing in a merged 17 Plus category, Sebastian Hambling, Tom Webb and Abi Pike were the top Ipswich names at the end of the day.