Eight times National Champion, Roger Hammond is expected to make a rare appearance on the British cyclo-cross scene when he lines up for the fourth round of the National Trophy series in Derby on Sunday.
Hammond’s expertise will be needed if he is to take victory though, as he will line up alongside several Belgian visitors who once again make the trip over the English Channel.
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Round three winner Floris De Tier, round two winner and the man beaten into second by De Tier Jelle Brakman and compatriot Kenny Geluykens who has been fourth in the first two rounds, all line up once again and will fancy their chances of denying a Brit the honour of the top step of the podium once again.
However, series leader and reigning national Champion Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) will be a marked man as he goes in search of his first series win of the year, although he may well spend more time looking out for rival Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles).
Oldham opened up an 11 point lead in the rankings over Crawforth after the last round, where he crossed the line fourth, 22 seconds ahead of Crawforth in fifth – the biggest margin he has put into his rival so far this season.
Sunday’s race is at the Moorways Stadium in Allenton, which was last used for a National Trophy event two years ago when Oldham was top Brit and second overall by 24 seconds.
In other categories, the women’s series continues to look like a two-horse race with Hannah Payton (Kinesis Morveo Project) and Adela Carter (WXC MTC) expected to do battle once again.
Similarly, the juniors category is also looking like a two-horse race with Alex Welburn (Cycle Shack Forme Coaching) and Joe Moses (Paul Milnes Bradford Olympic) separated by only a handful of points at the top of the table.
James Bryan (Zepnat RT) will start as favourite for the over-40s category, having won the first three rounds.
In other events this weekend, there is another double header in the North West League with St Helens CRC hosting the Lady of the Manor Cross at Sutton Manor Forestry Area, while 24 hours later it is the turn of Lakes Road Club to host an event at the Glaxo Sports Club in Ulverston, Cumbria.
Meanwhile, North of the border Edinburgh Road Club are promoting the latest round of the Scottish Series at Meadowmill Sports Centre at Tranent to the east of the City.
This weekend’s events
Saturday, November 26
North West League – Sutton Manor Forestry Area, St Helens, 12noon.
Eastern League – Activities Centre, Redgrave, 11am.
Hetton Hawks Go Ride Series – Hetton Lyons Country Park, Sunderland, 10.30am.
Sunday, November 27
National Trophy Series – Round four, Moorways Leisure Centre, Derby, 10.30am.
North West League – Glaxo Sports Club, Ulverston, Cumbria, 11am.
Lincolnshire League – Abbey Farm, Bardney, Lincolnshire, 10.30am
Sheffield Stars Go Cross – Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre, Sheffield, 11.30am
Scottish League – Meadowmill Sports Centre, Tranent, near Edinburgh, 10am.
London League – Penshurst Off Road Club, Penshurst, Kent, 11am.
Central League – Chiltern Edge School, Reading, 11am.
Go Ride Racing with Furness Future Flyers – Glaxo Sports Club, Ulverston, Cumbria, 10am.
Western League – Ashton Court Park Estate, Bristol, 10.30am. EVENT CANCELLED
Welsh League – Lower Porthamel Farm, Talgarth, 10.30am.
South West League – Escot Park, Ottery St Mary, Devon, 10am.