Taw Velo Cycling Club had both a good turn out and good results at the Plymouth Cyclo-cross on Sunday, 23rd November. Six riders from the club made the journey down to compete on a very tough and demanding course that tested riders skills and endurance to the limit. The previous weeks rain meant that a water logged course brought on the mud (and lots of it!) making it even more slippery and gruelling. The riders had to endure off camber corners, trees and thick sticky mud which clogged gears and braking systems.
Louis Garnsworthy, in the under 8s race, bided his time and waited before attacking the first place rider at the end of the first lap. His determination to win allowed him to create a gap between himself and second place rider, Ben Goldsmith. Edward Armstrong managed to 5th place in the under 12s race. Tough competition from the local club, Pilgrim Flyers, meant that he had to work hard against their riders on home turf.
George Armstrong had a longer and more difficult battle in the youth race. Off camber hills and turns meant his bike handling skills and stamina were tested to the max. He managed to take second place in the 16s category, losing to Gabriel Cox of Certini. Novice winner, Graham Garnsworthy, had a tough course but managed to create a distinctive lead of over 30 seconds between the second place rider. Becky Cornwell, in only her second race of the season, secured 2nd place in the female novice section. Becky commented that just staying upright was her main priority over the difficult course!
The main one hour race saw over 80 riders competing for first place. Initially a strong consortium from Mid-Devon Cycling Club led the race with Andrew Parker and Oscar Wiessier creating a gap in the main field. Clogged gears and sticky mud making the whole process harder, along with sharp hill climbs and tricky descents. All looked good for the South Devon club until Dextor Hurlock decided enough was enough and raced for first place. Coming from 5th place he charged his way through the field and continued on to lead the race for the last few laps. With mud clogging every part of his bike, Darren Armstrong finished the tough race in a very respectable 44th place overall and 20th place in the veterans category.
The next round will be the South of England Championship at Stover School, Newton Abbot on Saturday, 6th and Sunday, 7th December. A large turn out of over 100 riders will race in the various categories, so thrills and spills are expected. Full event details are available on the British Cycling and South West Cyclo-cross websites.