British cyclo-cross round-up

The race for the London League title took another thrilling twist on Sunday, when high-flying Sylvain Garde (La Fuga Sigma Sport) punctured while leading the latest round at Herne Hill, London.

Garde suffered the mishap two-thirds of the way into the race, leaving him no time to battle back and he packed, while title rival Matt Webber (London Phoenix) battled on to finish second and take more vital points. De Ver Cycles’ Taylor Johnstone won the race.

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In the Yorkshire Points Series, round eight was held at Thornes Park, Wakefield and Rob Watson (Paul Milnes) crossed the line first to record his third win of the series.

After opening up an early lead of around five seconds in the first lap, the 20-year-old Bingley rider kept up the pace and maintained the gap between himself and Noel Clough before pulling away to finish 13 seconds ahead.

Saturday’s Notts and Derby League fixture at Sherwood Pines Forest Park was won by David Fletcher. The 22-year-old Boardman Elite rider ended the race 1:19 ahead of Dan Booth (Cult Racing) down in second.

League leader, Andrew Naylor (Ashfield RC), had a disappointing race and could only manage a 12th place finish.

Chelmsford’s Andrew Nichols (PCA Ciclos Uno) jumped from third to first in the Eastern League with a win that ensures he will take the 2011-2012 title.

The race at Broome Heath in Ditchingham, Norfolk saw 49-year-old Philip Roach (Rugby Velo) come in second, just five seconds behind Nichols, 22.

In the Wessex League, GS Henley rider Mike Simpson took his first ever victory in cyclo-cross at the tender age of 41.

At the Poole Wheelers Christmas Cracker at Wareham in Sunday, Simpson prevailed over Michael Cotty by just a single second. This was a big turnaround from events last week when Wheelbase’s Cotty was around three and a half minutes quicker than his rival.

Junior Adam Martin (Cestria Cycles) took the win in the tenth round of the North East League in Carlisle, crossing the line just 19 seconds ahead of MTS Cyclesport rival Steven Ward at Chances Park.

And in the North West League, Wheelbase rider Tom Armstrong took a narrow win, crossing the line just inches ahead of Team Elite rival Giles Drake, while Zepnat RT’s Pete Middleton was third.

And in the finale of the Welsh League at Blackweir Park in Cardiff, Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) wrapped up his series win in style with victory in the last race of the season.