Rob Jebb only rider to finish the gruelling challenge in under three hours

Rob Jebb racked up his 11th Three Peaks Cyclo Cross title on Sunday with a ride which saw him finish in under three hours.

The Hope Factory Racing rider’s time of 2:59.25 was 3:02 quicker than second-placed Nick Craig. Jebb holds the course record with a 2:52.22 set back in 2008.

Craig, himself a three-time winner of the event, took the veteran title but may have to battle Jebb for that too with the reigning champion turning 40 in February.

Joe Moses of Wheelbase Altura filled the last step on the podium with a time of 3:07.29 but also took top spot in the under 23 category.

“It’s nice to get another win, but it doesn’t get any easier!” he said. “I’m busy with kids and family life, and I’m not getting any younger. I’ve been keeping up with my fell running, and went to the World Mountain Running Champs recently representing Great Britain, so I’m in good shape.

“It was tough. Ingleborough is where there is the most running, so I have to get my advantage from there and then it’s eyeballs out trying to hold it. I punctured off Ingleborough and lost some time but nothing major, and I was trying not to run out of steam on Pen-y-Ghent.”

The fastest woman was 38-year-old Verity Appleyard of Brotherton Bikes. After finishing third last year, she was determined to do better this year and it was comfortable in the end with time of 4:17.9 almost ten minutes quicker than North Hampshire RC’s Sarah Barber. VC Moulin’s Maddie Robinson was third.

Appleyard, who entered the Three Peaks for the third time, is still undecided as to whether to return next year although she admits that the goal of finishing in four hours is a tempting prospect.

Appleyard said: “It was a great day with a fantastic atmosphere and it was more comfortable than I expected in the end.

“There were some crashes happening around me and one in particular right at the start was tricky. It was right in front of me and I’m not sure how I managed to dodge it. If I do come back, it’ll be to get round in four hours.”

Mountain bike legend Tim Gould made a return to the race after an absence of 14 years. Gould, who now races for Zepnat RT alongside his brother, won the event six years running in the 80s and last tried his hand in 2000. The 50-year-old won the veteran 50 category and came an impressive 13th overall.

Three Peaks Cyclo Cross 2014

Three Peaks Cyclo Cross 2014

Rob Jebb and Verity Appleyard win Three Peaks Cyclo Cross 2014

Rob Jebb and Verity Appleyard win Three Peaks Cyclo Cross 2014