National Trophy Cyclocross racing rolled into Cumbria this weekend for the 2nd round of the excellent British Cycling series which sees UK venues as far and wide as Kent in the south of England to Falkirk in Scotland hosting a weekend of fast and frenetic cyclocross racing across all age groups from the under 14’s right up to the over 60’s. Wheelbase Cycles were proud sponsors of the 2nd round which took place at the Westmorland County Showground, Cumbria, just a short trip from our flagship Staveley superstore and conveniently located just off the M6.
Event organiser and Wheelbase Team racer Dave Haygarth along with his brilliant band of helpers put together a fantastic event which ran smoothly over the 2 days and gave everyone involved, whether they were racing or spectating, the chance to enjoy the very best of UK cyclocross racing on one of the most enjoyable and demanding courses of the series.
As well as supporting the race behind the scenes Wheelbase were also well represented throughout the weekend by their multi-talented racing team. Saturday saw our Vet riders racing in damp, warm conditions with some light rain making the course slick on the tight turns and off-camber sections. There was never really any significant mud with the ground remaining hard, making for fast, frenetic racing; in the Vet 50 race Dave Haygarth briefly replaced his race-organiser’s hat with his helmet and showed everyone how it’s done, racing his own course in style and showing his bike handling skills over the hurdles as he bunny hopped them with ease on each lap, much to the joy of the spectators.
In the Vet 40 race we had our very own National Champion Lewis Craven racing along side teammate Davie Lines who had made the long trip down from Scotland and was starting at a bit of a disadvantage with a lowly start grid placing. When the claxon sounded it was Lewis who was off the line the quickest as he led the race out onto the more technical elements of the course. Craven was at the head of the race within a small group of leaders before a small tangle with another rider early on lost him some significant time and found him in no man’s land fighting to get back onto that fast lead group. Remaining composed and focused throughout the race Lewis Craven would go on to finish in an excellent 3rd place to retain his high overall series placing. Davie Lines managed to fight his way through the pack, turning around that low starting place to a brilliant 11th finishing place. Later on in the day, as the rain began to intensify we saw Wheelbase racer Elsie Haygarth compete in the U14 girls category where she displayed all the skills she’s no-doubt gained from riding with her cyclocross-mad family through the years to boss the course and negotiate the toughest sections with style and ease to finish her race in an excellent 15th position.
- Dave Haygarth 22nd
- Lewis Craven 3rd
- Davie Lines 11th
- Elsie Haygarth 15th
Sunday saw the Junior and Elite races take place in warmer, dyer conditions. While the junior racers at the start of the day still had some slippery conditions to contend with following a cold, damp night, a mix of sunny skies and stronger winds dried out the course as the day progressed. Wheelbase fielded a strong squad for the men’s Elite event; the final race of the day features a mix of senior and U23 racers (riders under the age of 23) and this year has seen a significant number of former junior racers making the move up to this level giving the race a real ‘new guard’ feel to it.
Rory McGuire, the super-fit, super-talented off-road specialist and our newest recruit on the Wheelbase Team, showed the same kind of form that saw him take 3rd place in the U23 category at the first round of the National Trophy, sprinting from the line to get the holeshot and significantly gapping the entire field of racers. As Wheelbase looked on our elation was unfortunately short-lived with Rory going down hard on a tight turn; he was quick to be up on his feet but found himself isolated for the duration of this fast-paced race which was looking more like an off-road crit thanks to the dry conditions and hard-packed terrain. Rory would go on to finish in a brilliant 8th place overall and took 6th place in the U23 category; Giles Drake rode well throughout the duration of the race and finished strongly in the top 20 taking 17th position.
Despite racing to 3rd place in the Vet 40 category on Saturday Lewis Craven was able to race at the sharp end of the Elite race too taking 20th place; David Duggan our National Scottish Road Race champion carried over his road form to take a fantastic 21st place on this super-fast course while young Flynn Gregory who has only recently moved up from the junior ranks rode strongly and confidently to take 28th place overall and 14th in the U23 category.
- Rory McGuire 8th / 6th U23
- Giles Drake 17th
- Lewis Craven 20th
- David Duggan 21st
- Flynn Gregory 28th / 14th U23
You can find all the race results from the weekend HERE
Thank you to everyone who came and raced or spectated at this brilliant national cyclocross event! Massive thanks to Dave Haygarth and his team of helpers for all of their hard work behind the scenes to help run such a successful series of races. See you all again next year!
Be sure to scroll through all of our excellent photos of the two days of action…..
DAY ONE PHOTOS BY JAMES VINCENT
Wheelbase were proud to support their local round of the prestigious National Trophy Cyclocross series.
Our National Vet 40 Champion Lewis Craven in relaxed mood on the start line of his race.
A fast start from Lewis saw him placed at the sharp end of the Vet 40 race.
Wheelbase racer Davie Lines from Scotland spent the race working his way through the pack after a bad grid placing.
Our Wheelbase-branded hurdles kept all the racers guessing – should they hop them or run them?…
Lewis Craven is well-known for his bike handling skills, here he is styling it out over the hurdles.
Davie Lines takes on the challenging race-course put together by race organiser and Wheelbase Team member Dave Haygarth.
Conditions on the Saturday were damp but the track held up well, with very little mud and no running required.
Fast, frenetic racing calls for 100% focus.
Dave Haygarth – Race organiser and Vet 50 racer for the Wheelbase team was hoping the hurdles in style.
Despite the open nature of the course riders remained in small tightly packed groups as they fought for position.
Davie Lines continued to move up through the pack, riding strongly throughout the race.
With a few rain showers throughout the race the grass was becoming slick, especially on the tight turns.
National Vet 40 Champ Lewis Craven came back from a small tangle early in the race to finish in an excellent 3rd place.
Davie Lines started the race in around 70th position but managed to finish in an excellent 11th place in the Vet 40 race.
Post race debrief with Lewis Craven and Toby Dalton.
Davie and Lewis discuss the best lines after their race. Lewis would go on to race again in the Elite category on the Sunday.
DAY TWO PHOTOS BY JAMES VINCENT
The Elite Men’s field prepares to race.
Our super-fast lad Rory McGuire takes the holeshot!
Rory’s in full flight with the chasing pack strung out behind him.
Scottish National Road Champion David Duggan brought his road form to Westmorland.
Straight off the back of his Battle on the Beach victory Giles Drake was at the sharp end of the race.
Fin Robertson was well positioned in the first laps of the Elite race.
Tyla Loftus sprints up one of the many the short climbs.
Lewis Craven was back for more following his 3rd place in the Vet 40 race the day before.
Rory found himself having to chase hard after and early tumble.
Lewis prefers the muddy races but still rode strongly in the dry conditions.
Giles Drake in hot pursuit of the race leaders.
Flynn Gregory has made a smooth transition into senior cyclocross racing.
Wheelbase powerhouse Rory McGuire went deep to finish in the top 10
Team boss Toby Dalton looks on as our new recruit Rory McGuire carves the turns.
Flynn Gregory would go on to finish in 28th place and 14th U23 rider.
Leaping the hurdles cleanly is an art in itself.
Seasoned cyclocross racer Giles Drake has a rapid and efficient remount.
Flynn chooses to hop the hurdles rather than run them.
Rory made short work of the ‘impossible climb’.
Others weren’t so fortunate, get your timing wrong and things got out of control very quickly!
Rory’s momentum is carried over the hurdles, his bike handling is something to behold.
Over the hurdles and straight back to putting the power down.
Rory McGuire went deep to save his race after a first lap tumble.
Dave Duggan looks relatively composed after an hour of flat-out racing.
Wheelbase boss Toby Dalton catches up with 8th placed Rory McGuire after the race.
Thanks everyone for coming!
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by James Vincent