The 4th round of the HSBC UK Cyclocross National Trophy Series took place at Herrington Country Park, Sunderland this past weekend (20th/21st of November) with a full schedule of age-group races taking place over the two days on an exciting new course which stayed mainly dry throughout the weekend to create fast racing conditions that made for frenetic, elbow to elbow racing. Going into the main Elite race our newest recruit to the Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli racing team Rory McGuire lined up with some very promising results from the previous 3 rounds of the series and perhaps, even more significantly with the recent experience of racing over in the cyclocross heartland of Belgium.
Rory shared his thoughts on his racing trip to Belgium…
‘I Had an amazing trip away racing and staying in Belgium where I completed 3 weekends of racing with 6 races in total. It was my first time staying out in Belgium for a prolonged period of time on my own so it was great to learn to train, race and travel around Belgium as part of the race circuit, competing on some of the most well-known courses out there. I felt I learnt a lot from this block of racing which will definitely help me a lot in the future. My best results from the trip were probably 10th at Koppenbergcross u23 on a savage course and 14th in the Elites at Ethias cross in Leuven. Big thanks so Finn for helping me sort out the accommodation and Tyla for giving me spares and tools for the trip. Also thanks to the rest of the guys at wheelbase for the ongoing support!’
Arriving back in the UK in time to race the 4th round of the National Trophy Series, Rory clearly brought that extra confidence and new-found speed from Belgium and went from the gun with his usual fast start. Temperatures had dropped for the first time this Autumn and with strong winds drying out the course it remained fast despite a few short sharp rain showers. Rory has already gone well this season when conditions are fast and dry, with his superior power and bike handling helping him to hold his pace and stretch out the pack to put on the pressure and capitalise on any small mistakes his fellow racers make; this race was no different with Rory riding strongly to remain at the sharp end of the race until the last lap when the race came down to a very tight sprint between Rory and the National Trophy Series overall leader Corran Carrick Anderson. The flat out head-to-head sprint went right down to the wire but Rory squeezed the win to give the Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team their first Elite National Trophy win!
Rory shared his thoughts after the win…
‘It was great to get the win in Sunderland. I felt I had my first smooth race this season in the National Trophy Series with no small mistakes this time around, so it’s nice to feel that I am making improvements in my cyclocross racing. It was a very fast, windy course which made it quite a tactical race rather than just an all out battle. I think I raced pretty smart though and just managed to get the win. Thanks to the guys at Wheelbase for all the support so far this season and hopefully I can carry on the good form in the next round.’
Rory’s typically-fast-start placed him at the business end of the race from the gun.
Photo by Man Down Media
Rory used his brilliant bike-handling skills to hold his position in the slick, slippery conditions.
Photo by Richard Howes
In a tight sprint Rory just squeezed out overall series leader Corran Carrick-Anderson for the win!
Photo by Richard Howes
Rory explains just how close the sprint for the win was.
Video courtesy of VeloUK
Also in the Elite race our Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team was represented by our consistent campaigner Giles Drake who continues to race strongly at both regional and national level taking an excellent 15th place. Meanwhile our talented young rider Adam Bent continued to show a smooth transition from the Junior ranks into the Elite level of Cyclocross racing taking an amazing 10th place on this super-fast course.
National Trophy Round 4 Elite Race Top 15 Results:
1st Rory McGuire Wheelbase CabTech Castelli MU23
2nd Corran Carrick-Anderson T-Mo Racing MU23
3rd Daniel Barnes Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus MU23
4th Joe Coukham Shibden Cycling Club MU23
5th Ian Field Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus MS
6th Simon Wyllie Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus MU23
7th Tom Couzens Montezuma’s Race Team MU23
8th Joseph Beckingsale Montezuma’s Race Team MU23
9th Alistair Slater Clancy Briggs Cycling Academy MS
10th Adam Bent Wheelbase CabTech Castelli MU23
11th James Swadling NSR (Nigel Smith Racing) MU23
12th Samuel Morris Loughborough Students CC MS
13th Paul Oldham Hope Factory Racing MV40
14th Steven James Hope Factory Racing MS
15th Giles Drake Wheelbase CabTech Castelli MS
The Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team was also well represented in a selection of other age-group races throughout the weekend. Our very own Vet 40 National Champion Lewis Craven took 4th place in his race, helping to retain a high overall position in the series; Wheelbase’s team captain Stu Reid was on the comeback trail following a recent back injury and raced well to take 18th palace in the same race. Vet 50 team rider (and organiser of the Wheelbase sponsored round of the National Trophy Series at Westmorland, Cumbria) rode strongly in fast conditions to place 19th in his race. Elsie Haygarth showed her usual grit and determination to finish in 23rd place in the Under 14’s Girls race, continuing to build her experience and confidence in racing at the highest National level of the sport.
23rd Elsie Haygarth Wheelbase CabTech Castelli FU14
4th Lewis Craven Wheelbase CabTech Castelli MV40
18th Stuart Reid Wheelbase CabTech Castelli MV40
19th David Haygarth Wheelbase CabTech Castelli
Written by Johnny Dodgin
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