Grant Ferguson and Annie Last win final National Trophy round in Derby, but Ian Field and Amira Mellor take overall titles
Grant Ferguson and Annie Last were the victors on the final day of the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series at the Moorways Leisure Centre in Derby on Sunday.
But it was Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) and Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes RT) who took the titles, topping the overall standings after six rounds of racing.
Ferguson (Superior Brentjens) put in a storming performance to take victory in the elite men’s category race, but Field claimed his first ever National Trophy title with second spot.
The three-time National Champion was 23 seconds off Ferguson’s pace, but it was enough for him to take overall victory with his closest rival Alex Paton only managing to finish in ninth.
Ferguson was on top form as he raced away at the beginning of the race in pursuit of Yorben Van Tichelt.
The two under-23 riders soon opened up a gap at the head of the race, but Ferguson never relinquished his lead and rode confidently, bunny-hopping the hurdles and dropping Van Tichelt by the end of the third lap.
Ferguson said: “With the Belgian lads and Fieldy there, it was always going to be a tough race and it was a cold day. I’ve done some extra work over Christmas to try and up it a little bit and it seems to have paid off.
“I’m going for my third National Championship at under-23 next week now so hopefully I’ll take that chance.”
The Elite women’s race also saw a strong ride from the winner with Annie Last pulling out a comfortable lead to top the podium.
Her injury problems now behind her, Last looked strong as she powered away on the opening lap and gradually increased her lead on the way to the finish line.
Amira Mellor, riding for Paul Milnes-Bradford Olympic, had to settle for second place but had already earned enough points to take the title after finishing second in her previous outing at Bradford.
Merce Pacios Pujado, sitting second in the standings at the beginning of the race, struggled on the course and finished down in tenth.
Meanwhile, Hope Factory Racing’s Adela Carter put in a strong ride to finish third in the race and move ahead of Pujado to snatch second place overall.
Annie Last said after the race: “I wanted to do a few more races before the National Championships but today was actually my first cross race for two years.
“The race gave me a really good indication of where I am. It doesn’t matter how much you train, until you race you don’t know what your fitness is like.”