Hargroves Cycles rider Jody Crawforth took the lead in the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series with third spot at Mallory Park on Sunday.
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Crawforth was best Brit in the fast-paced third round in Leicestershire, and overhauled previous leader Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) by just one point, while it is tight at thetop with third-placed Liam Killeen (unattached) now just five points off the pace after finishing eighth, and third best Brit.
After British winners in the opening two rounds, the foreigners dominated at Mallory, with Frenchman Nicolas Bazin (CM Aubervilliers) taking the win by 13 seconds from Belgian visitor Kevin Cant (Van Goethem), while Crawforth was third, just four seconds further off the pace.
The Brit was in line for second until a fall on the final lap just as he attacked let his rival in.
But he recovered, and did enough to take the yellow jersey away from Oldham by just one point.
Suffering from a cold and citing a heavy workload for his poor form, Oldham struggled to tenth spot, and was fifth fastest Brit, while the strong performance of the afternoon came from Team Wiggle’s Welshman Lee Williams, who was fourth, just 22 seconds behind Bazin.
Eighth spot on the day for Round Two winner Liam Killeen saw him move up to third overall, while Hargroves Cycles’ rider Stuart Bowers was ninth.
In the women’s race, local rider Lucy Garner (Leicestershire RC) was a clear winner from Beth Crumpton (Halesowen A&CC), while Hannah Barnes was third.
And while Crawforth was top Brit in the seniors, another Hargroves Cycles rider, Alistair Slater, took victory in the junior race from Scotland’s Grant Ferguson (Dooley’s Cycles).
And former National Champion Chris Young scored a rare victory over Coventry RC rival Darren Atkins in the veterans race, the JD Cycles rider from Yorkshire taking advantage of a last-lap puncture for Atkins.
National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series (Mallory Park, Leicestershire).-
1 Nicolas Bazin (CM Aubervilliers) 56-24
2 Kevin Cant (Van Goethem Prorace CT) at 13sec
3 Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles) at 17sec
4 Lee Williams (Team Wiggle) at 22sec
5 Kristof Kop (AVB Cycling Team) at 1-11
6 Floris De Tier (Babaco Cycling Team, Belgium) at 1-18
7 Kris Lapere (Mez Team, Belgium) at 1-21
8 Liam Killeen (unattached) at 1-26
9 Stuart Bowers (Hargroves Cycles) at 1-39
10 Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) at 2-20
Women.- Lucy Garner (Leicestershire RC). Veterans.- Chris Young (JD Cycles). Juniors.- Alistair Slater (Hargroves Cycles).
Women’s winner, Lucy Garner
Nicolas Bezin in action
Nicolas Bezin tops the seniot podium, flanked by series leader Jody Crawforth (left) and Kevin Cant (right)
Rest of British races
In other cyclo-cross action last weekend, Pedal On rider Adrian Lansley boosted his Wessex League campaign with victory in the eighth round at Basingstoke, where he held off Leisure Lakes’ Duncan Jamieson and GWR Team’s Peter Kench.
Team Elite’s Paul Bethell inched ahead of breakaway rival Neil Crampton (Crosstrax) to win the ninth round of the North West League at Stadt Moers Park in Liverpool.
Sigma Sport were celebrating after Gareth Montgomery won the latest round of the London League at Stanmer Park in Brighton, where he was just five seconds faster than Billy Whenman (Whyte Racing), while league regular Matt Holmes (Arctic RT) settled for third.
With Lee Williams on National Trophy duty, Cwmcarn Paragon’s Andrew Baum won the sixth round of the Welsh League at Mansel Lacy near Hereford, crossing the line almost a minute clear of CC Abergavenny’s Joe Lally.
Gabby Day Racing rider Rick Lister was tops in the Lincolnshire League, beating Gareth Whittall (Beauvale CC) and Rapha Condor pro Graham Briggs into second and third.
And veteran Richard Allen (Here Come the Belgians) won the Sheffield Stars event at Graves Park in the City, crossing the line 37 seconds ahead of James Furniss (Zepnat RT).