2009 Round 3 Crickhowell High School
For the third consecutive year the weather gods smiled on the Gateway ‘Cross held in the grounds of Crickhowell High School. This technical course utilises every contour and feature of the school grounds, including the sand-pit, and is a favourite with many. Unfortunately Youth rider Adam King came to grief on one of the steep banks in practice, falling backwards onto his hand and breaking a bone in his wrist – we wish him a speedy recovery. But fortunately organizer Claire Bowen did not join him at the local hospital; her second baby was due on the day of the event but was kind enough to delay its entry onto the Welsh ‘cross scene - many thanks and best wishes Claire.
Once again it was Abergavenny RC’s Teifion Best who dominated the U12s race, leaving a group of 5 riders to fight out their own battles. As the race progressed Ben Beckingsale (Abergavenny RC) pulled away from Jessica Roberts (Towy Riders) to take 2nd place with Jessica just holding off Ieuan Best for 3rd and 1st U12 Girl and Nathan Ford beating Scott Dunster in a sprint to the line. Not far behind Megan James and Joe Beckingsale (both Abergavenny RC) were having their usual duel in the U10s race, with Megan the victor again, while team-mate Lowri Thomas and Cardiff JIF’s Elizabeth Bennett vied for 2nd spot in the U12 Girls – this went to Lowri.
William Worrall (Towy Riders) is having an excellent season so far (15th Youth Overall after Round 2 in the National Trophy Series) and again impressed with his victory at Crickhowell. With places in the two Youth Inter-Area teams to be confirmed others were out to make their mark and it was Joe Anstice (Newport Velo) and Matthew Thompson (Maindy Flyers), friend of the injured Adam King, who led the rest of the field home ahead of U16 Girl Amy Roberts (Cardiff Ajax) with U14 Girl Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) an excellent 5th.
The start of the Senior race resembled take-off on an airport runway as the 71 riders, all carefully gridded, faced a start-straight the length of the playing fields. With all 71 safely onto the course, it was in-form Anthony O’Boyle (Torq/Kona) at the front ahead of Veterans Ian Jeremiah (Cardiff JIF) and Phil Roach (Coventry RC) all showing off their excellent bike-handling skills on the testing course. O’Boyle opened up a gap at the front while the other two fought it out behind. Roach finally had the upper hand over Jeremiah, the two finishing some 20 seconds behind O’Boyle, and Lee Williams (Team Wiggle) kicked off his 2009 ‘cross season with 4th place ahead of Dan Lewis (RAF CC). With Luke Cornish (Towy Riders) catching him on the penultimate lap it was all out on the final lap for Sam Anstice (Newport Velo) to finish 1st Junior; Melanie Alexander, racing in her new Cardiff JIF colours, continued her run of victories in the Women’s category.