The Welsh Cyclo-Cross League hopped over the border into Herefordshire for the Round 3 Climb On Bikes promotion on the Foxley Estate, site of a US Air Force hospital camp in World War Two, at Mansel Lacy near Hereford. Lack of rain made for fast, if rather hard and bone-shaking conditions.
A new course had been devised for the U12s to accommodate the burgeoning U10 field. Round 1 winner Rhys Thomas (Abergavenny RC) soon had the U10s well strung out behind him as he forced the pace from the whistle. Despite his best effort Round 2 winner Guto Dafydd (Towy Riders) could only watch the gap to the leader steadily increase while the chasing group splintered behind. Best of the rest in third place was U8 Joshua Tarling (Towy Riders), back racing again after breaking his arm. Fellow Towy Riders Eluned King and Heledd Hunt were 1st U10 and 1st U8 Girls respectively.
The U12 race was a gripping affair as a quartet of riders remained glued to each other out in front. The result went right down to the wire as Megan James, Joe Beckingsale and Huw Higgins-Worrall finally dropped Owain Roberts (Towy Riders) in a sprint for the line and made it an Abergavenny RC one-two-three with James the victor.
Abergavenny RC's Sam Beckingsale was the early leader in the Youth race but was overhauled before halfway by Round 2 winner Joe Holt (Bynea CC). U16 Holt was pushed hard by Beckingsale but held him off to the finish. Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) gave the U16 boys a hard time in finishing 5th and 1st U16 Girl and in the U14s club-mate Teifion Best finally got the better of Scott Dunster (Brecon Wheelers) and 1st U14 Girl Jessica Roberts (Towy Riders).
Joe Lally (CC Abergavenny) led the Senior race from the start, soon disposing of his Junior Cardiff JIF rivals Matthew Thompson and Adam King and distancing himself from League leader Andrew Baum and mountain biker Phil Morris. But having dropped Baum on the penultimate lap, Morris began closing on Lally and only 13 seconds separated the two as a jubilant Lally crossed the line. Veteran Mark James (MI Racing) comfortably took victory on home ground as did Emma Hurrell (Hereford Wheelers) in the Women's race.
See photos of the event courtesy of Roy Bevis on flickr >>