Hundreds of riders at a national champs usually means a lot of fancy bikes and matching kit
You could say the going was ‘soft’
What a stonkingly good weekend of racing! The UK National Cyclocross Championships certainly provided some true champions on a course that was praised by all. It seems that subtle changes to previous versions of the Peel Park course had turned this regular venue from a good course into a great course, according to more than one top racer. And top racers were all around – there were some very decisive performances put in by riders in every race on Sunday, with no doubts over who were the deserving champions of the day.
Multiple Three Peaks Winner Rob Jebb doing what he does best
Mr Focus. Nick Craig only takes the racing bit seriously. He was all smiles afterwards
In the Senior Men’s race (we’re covering it in reverse because that’s the way the photos have uploaded – don’t worry, there are plenty of pics of the women’s race too) the race was between defending champion Liam Killeen and hot favourite (and former champion himself) Ian Field – who’s recently moved up to the North and who reckoned he could almost freewheel home after the event. There were also Three Peaks Winners aplenty, with Nick Craig, Rob Jebb and Paul Oldham – and it was Oldham who kept up the pressure behind the dualing Killeen and Field to wrap up third.
Paul Oldham took a well-deserved third place
We sent our hairylegged Wil around the course on Saturday, guided by Hannah Payton.
The effort was visible on Killeen’s face all race
While Ian Field looked pretty calm and composed as he led out
There were some great crowds at the event, even on for Saturday’s younger and older categories. And on Sunday, even the U23 men’s race at 9.30am was well attended, so that by the time the Senior Women’s and Men’s races took place in the afternoon, some parts of the course were two or three deep on the trickier parts of the course, with huge cheers for anyone who managed to ride up the ‘off-camber-climb-of-doom’
Bruce Dalton from sponsors Kinesis put in a great show for the Yorkshire Series and event sponsoring company.
And this was Bruce’s tricked out ride.
The course itself was well laid out in the large grounds of Peel Park, and a looping back, almost cloverleaf style allowed spectators to see many parts of the course without moving and also allowing them to see the whole course without walking to the ends of the earth.
We love this ‘tache and flowing locks combo
There were even a couple of singlespeeds in the senior races
Tony Fawcett journeyed down from Tyneside to compete. There were riders from all over
After two days of racing, the course was cut up and often rewarded unorthodox line choices
Pick a line, Liam…
Ian Field still had to assert some ‘Race leader’ line seniority over lapped riders at times
Taking it wide
The course had several ‘feature pieces’ and the long, straight run down the banking helped show which riders were big of bottle and skills. Luckily it didn’t take too many people out, though there was a dramatic-sounding (from where we were) over the bars in the U23 womens race and a few slide-outs in the seniors.
‘I can get it back…’
There was a lot of foot-out action too
Rob Jebb taking it wide on the outside
Nick Craig taking the confident straight line
Local hero Jack Clarkson led some of the first lap before fading to a top ten finish
There was much talk about tyre treads and pressures. Many riders were on tubulars, running them at under 20PSI for grip. Nick Craig confided to running more knobbly tyres over his racing tubs purely for grip in the corners, where the faster wide-open speeds made tubs a little drifty.
Trickier than it looks, but many riders managed to ride up it at least once
Ian Field led from the first lap and didn’t look back
In the end, no one could catch Ian Field and he won comfortably over Liam Killeen, taking one back for the cyclocrossers over the more mountain-bike-focussed Liam. Now for Field to take it to the World Champs in Luxembourg at the end of the month.
Not only did Isla race this singlespeed, she rode to the venue on it from the train station. Chapeau
Disco inferno warm up laps?
Very trick Di2 setup on Dalton’s Kinesis bike
Always pack a spare, eh?
In the senior women’s race there was a similarly dominant performance from Nikki Brammeier – who you’ll recognise more as Nikki Harris. She led from the start and just rode away, without any real challenges or difficulties, which was good inspiration and return to form for the rider who’d been injured in 2016.
All the colours of some rainbow. Nikki riding cool and calm
Tracy Moseley is normally known for enduro and downhill, but proved that her ‘retirement’ from racing had room for some big exceptions – like eighth place at the national CX champs
Isla didn’t reckon that her singlespeed was any disadvantage at all on this course
Isla seemed to be enjoying it far too much…
The Hope riders were all on lovely matching Scotts with Hope’s own carbon wheels
Kinesis rider Hannah Payton earned a silver medal for her consistent ride
Hannah’s bike run through.
Not bad for a ‘retired’ racer, eh?
There was good media presence too, with BBC Look North and a host of bike media types (ahem).
We like that Nikki’s helmet attempts to tie the colours of bike and jersey together
Barely muddy. Despite that, everyone reckoned it was the muddiest race of the season
Hannah Payton and her signature fast start
Evie Richards wore her 2016 Junior World Jersey and added a National one to it.
Nail varnish to match bike, shoes and World Champs jersey. Class!
Tyres? Yep, these Schwalbes were what Nick Craig was running, choosing grip over speed.
Tom Pidcock decisively won the Junior Men and has his sights set on a World title (and a pro career) so watch out world!
It was great to see some spectating legends at the event too, like Stånny Stansfield
Only if you’re good, OK?
Local legend (and 50 year Three Peaks organiser) John Rawnsley (left) was on hand to ensure standards were kept up.
Evie Richards cruised home to claim the new U23 Women’s title
Evie is off to the Worlds at the end of the month with sights on another title
We told you the photos were in reverse order – here’s the Women’s U23 start
British Cycling’s Pete Sutton looks like he does this at boxing matches too
UCI Rules mean the UCI tyre gauge was on hand to ensure the tyres were 33mm max
We said that Evie’s nail varnish matched her shoes
Kinesis’ newly launched CX race weapon
It’ll be the Mayor and Mayoress of Bradford then!
Another local – Billy Harding took the U23 men’s win