The National Bowl played host to the latest round of the cyclo-cross National Trophy Series on Sunday and there was plenty of local success.
Whilst the current National champion Ian Field showed off his champion’s jersey when making a dominant return to the British cyclo-cross scene, local youngsters in the colours of Team MK featured in races for the junior categories and came away with some notable results.
With over 350 entrants in all classes of racing, the organisers succeeded in their aim of making the racing some of the toughest of the National Series so far this season, squeezing in a 2.9km circuit that included a number of technical sections and some demanding steps that challenged all riders.
And there was even talk amongst the competitors about using the venue for the National Championships in the years to come, such was their enthusiasm for the Bowl venue.
While the attention of most of the spectators was on the senior riders contesting the hour long race for the National Series, the local interest was firmly focussed on the youth categories.
The MK riders taking part had the benefit of regularly racing at the Bowl and their ‘home advantage’ paid dividends with some of the great results they achieved.
These included Ella-Mae Fereday winning the Girls U10 category, Jude Chamberlain taking home the bronze medal in the U10 Boys competition and Skip Snelson winning the U12 Boys race.
As early as the end of the first lap in the National Series event, a group of eight riders formed at the front, with Ben Sumner (Beeline Bicycles RT) leading the riders up the steps for the first time.
But by the third lap, with Ian Field and his Hargroves Cycles/Specialized/Trant team-mates working together and Paul Oldham having had a heavy fall, Field was holding back and planning exactly when and where to make his attack.
All around the circuit the large crowd was enjoying the stylish way Field seemed to be effortlessly riding the circuit and once he came to the front, he slowly but surely with every twist and turn pulled further away from the front of the race to win by over 45 seconds.
Behind him a close fought battle for second was being contested by Sumner and the rest of the leading group that included the Hargroves Cycles pair of Steve James and Jody Crawford.
Into the final lap James put in a final effort to open a small gap to take second place ahead of Crawford whilst Tom Van Den Bosch made it a clean sweep of the top placings for the Hargroves Cycles riders.
Oldham finished in eighth position despite his fall and so retained his Series leaders’ distinctive yellow jersey.