Hope retain control of Rapha Super Cross

rapha, super, cross, oldham

Defending champions Hope Factory Racing made a strong start to their defence of the Rapha Super Cross, taking victory in the opening round of the series staged in West Yorkshire.

National Trophy Series champion led the way with overall victory in the event in the grounds of Broughton Hall in Skipton, but the race for the top team title was hard-fought and close.

Oldham was seven seconds ahead of arch rival Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles), while Steven James (Hargroves Cycles) took third place, another five seconds off the pace.

But the team prize needs three counting riders, and with Hope having Three Peaks winner Rob Jebb in fifth and Dave Collins 12th, they edged the result with Hargroves' third man being 21st.

James was best of the Under-23 riders, while Kenny Johnson (Scott UK) was best veteran and Hope Factory Racing also took the women's prize with Annie Simpson finishing 34 seconds ahead of her nearest rival.

The Series continues next weekend with a race on Saturday at Misterton Hall near Lutterworth (entries are still available), before the finale at Alexandra Palace in London on Sunday.

While Crawforth was pipped to victory in Skipton, elsewhere Hargroves tasted victory in the latest round of the Wessex League on Sunday.

Andy Hargroves won by 34 seconds in the Bill Higson Memorial at Prospect Park in Reading, while Mike Cotty took second, ahead of Wheelbase team-mates Richard Phillips-Schofield and James Cotty in third and fourth respectively.

In Wales, CycleTec's Jonathan Pugh took a narrow victory in the fifth round of the Welsh League at Carmarthen Park, which hosted the Merlin's Knight Floodlit Cross on Saturday evening, complete with fireworks.

Pugh held off Cardiff JIF rival Adam King for the win, while CC Abergavenny's Joe Lally took third.

Elsewhere, David Fletcher (Orange Monkey) secured a third consecutive win in the SRAM Notts and Derby League at Bingham Leisure Centre in Nottingham.

The GB MTB international was ten seconds ahead of Andrew Naylor (Fossa Racing).

In Scotland, Robert Friel (XCRacer.com) won the third round of the Scottish League at Knockburn in Aberdeenshire on Sunday.

The series leader, Friel formed part of an early break before breaking away alone and taking the win ahead of David Lines (Pedal Power-Endura), while Colin May (VC Edinburgh) took third.

Bedlington played host to the fifth round of the North East Rat Race Series, where Tony Fawcett (Scott UK) secured another victory in his local series.

And in the Lincolnshire League, Sleaford Wheelers' George Thompson took victory in the Witham Wheelers race near Grantham - his second victory of the season.

And after finishing second and third in previous rounds, Alex Paton (Team GWB) finally secured a victory in the London League, winning round six at Deal from prolific winner Darren Barclay (Arctic-SRAM).

Riders tackle the foam pit at Broughton hall

Taking on the Tequila short cut

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