Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) made it two out of two for the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series when he sprinted to a narrow victory ahead of Belgian Under-23 Quinten Hermans.
Field got to the last corner ahead of his race-long rival, and that proved decisive as he held the advantage to the line and won by four seconds from the Telenet Fidea CT rider, while Hermans’ team-mate Jens Vandekinderen took third, 47 seconds back.
Defending champion Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) was a notable absentee from Southampton, having hurt his knee at the final round of the Rapha Supercross in London the day before.
And when Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles) fell at the start gate, the race was thrown even more open as he clawed his way back through the field from last place.
But true to form, Field took the win, and said afterwards: “I’m really happy with that. I thought it was going to be one of those days where it was two against one but fair play to Hermans, he worked with me and pretty much shared the workload.
“He had a dig going into the woods and I just hung on. It was going to be a fight for the final bit, it’s not really a sprint finish here. I’ve ridden here a few years and I know the first man into that final bit of road wins so I just had to get in.
“It’s nice to get back on track after having a sickness bug for the World Cup but that’s behind me now and I can move on and ride how I know I can ride.”
While Field is a comfortable leader in the elite men’s competition, things are tight in the elite women’s category, with three riders tied on 60 points.
Hope Factory Racing’s Adela Carter won round two at Southampton, edging just six seconds ahead of Merce Pacios Pujado, while talented junior Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes RT) was third.
“It’s a really big surprise to win,” said Carter afterwards. “I haven’t been feeling too good and had a slow start to the season with a lot of work and not a lot of training. I suppose the phrase is, I was fresh!
Carter will wear the yellow jersey of Series leader at the next round in Durham by virtue of her win in round two, but she will need to be on her guard in a competitive field.
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