British cyclo-cross preview

With a prize fund of £6,000, some of the country’s top cyclo-cross exponents will be tackling the opening rounds of the Rapha Super Cross Series which begins this weekend.

The first of three races is on Saturday at Brockhole Visitor Centre in Windermere, Cumbria, with the second round taking place on Sunday at Huddersfield New College in West Yorkshire. The third and final round is the following week at Alexandra Palace in London.

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The big rivalry in the series looks set to be between Hargroves Cycles who boast National Trophy Series winner Jody Crawforth among their ranks, while Hope Factory Racing will be aiming for National Champion Paul Oldham to lead them to victory.

Other elite teams who will be riding include Wheelbase-Cannondale, Scott UK, Team Wiggle, Charge Bikes and Vicious Velo.

Elsewhere, the overall league winner for the last two years, Andrew Nichols (PCA Ciclos Uno) will be aiming to secure a maximum 50 point haul for a sixth consecutive race when he tackles the latest round of the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League at St Helena School in Colchester, Essex, on Sunday.

The 21-year-old from Chelmsford will travel the half an hour to the course in search of another commanding victory after he won round five by almost a minute and a half from his nearest rival last weekend.

The event, promoted by Amis Velo, begins at 11am with the minor categories, while the seniors, elite veterans and juniors go at 1.45pm.

Elsewhere, the Waldrons Solicitors West Midlands League continues apace with round six taking place at Moors Football Club in Solihull on Sunday.

With record numbers of people riding the events the league has secured a sponsor, and has a packed 12-race programme planned for the 2011-12 season.

In the Mosquito Bikes London League, Matt Webber will be out for a third victory this season when he rides the sixth round of the series promoted by VC Deal at Fowlmead Country Park in Kent on Sunday.

But also a rider to watch is Sylvain Garde (LA Fuga-Sigma) who has not finished outside the top six riders in any of the first five rounds of the series, including two podium appearances.

The third round of the Central League takes place at Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead on Sunday, where Stevens UK rider Matt Macdonald will be aiming for another win following his victory in last weekend’s race at Hitchin.

He held off Vicious Velo’s Andy Waterman in Sunday’s race, while CC Luton’s Gavin Rumbles was third to add to the fourth spot he secured in the opening round.

This weekend’s major cyclo-cross events
Saturday, October 15
Belper BC/SRAM Notts and Derby League, round six – Alfreton Park, Alfreton, Derbyshire.
Rapha Super Cross/North West League, round five – Brockhole Visitors Centre, Windermere, Cumbria.

Sunday, October 16
Hemel Hempstead CC/Central League, round four – Longdean School, Hemel Hempstead.
Amis Velo/Eastern League, round five – Colchester, Essex.
Bourne Wheelers/Lincolnshire League, round four – Bourne Woods, near Bourne, Lincolnshire.
VC Deal/London League, round six – Fowlmead Country Park, Deal, Kent.
Solihull CC/Waldrons Solicitors West Midlands League, round six – Solihull, West Midlands.
Gosforth RC/Cyclo-Cross North East League, round five – Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead.
Manchester Wheelers/North West League, round six – Boggart Hole Clough, Manchester.
Stirling Bike Club/Scottish Series, round two – Plean Country Park, Falkirk.
Empella-Cyclo-Cross/South West League, round five – Dragon Leisure Centre, Bodmin, Cornwall.
Dambusters/Welsh League, round four – Penlan Sports Fields, Brecon.
North Hampshire RC/Wessex League – War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Dream CC/Western League, round five – Hengrove Park, Bristol.
Rapha Super Cross/Huddersfield RC/Yorkshire Points Series, round five – Huddersfield New College, West Yorkshire.

Related links
Oldham on top in opening National Trophy cross
Rapha Super Cross Series kicks off on Saturday