2009 Round 5 Blackweir Park, Cardiff
Thanks to the perseverance of organizer Simon Nurse Welsh League riders have been treated to an extra helping of the popular Blackweir Park this season. Running alongside the River Taff, the course makes good use of the flood defence banking, and smooth, round stones and tree roots aplenty wait to catch out even the best bike-handler. “A brilliant course” was one rider’s comment on the venue.
The U12s were not spared the banking and even had a log to test their dismounting abilities; there were helping hands on offer though for the younger riders. Ben Beckingsale of Abergavenny RC set the pace from the start. A challenge by League leader and team-mate Teifion Best on the third lap faltered and Beckingsale took his second win of the series with Jessica Roberts (Towy Riders) in 2nd place. Nathan Ford (Abergavenny RC) looked to be enjoying the more technical nature of the course and finished 3rd. Again, leading U10s Megan James and Joe Beckingsale (both Abergavenny RC) matched each other with determination throughout the race, Beckingsale finally getting past James as they raced for the line and receiving a congratulatory hug from his rival.
The very healthy entry of 24 Youth riders were set the challenge of the main course but, with two riders having just returned after breaking their wrists, fingers were crossed that there would be no more broken bones. As expected it was William Worrall of Towy Riders, with his “energetic” style of riding, who came into view first at the end of lap one, already with a substantial lead. As the race progressed a chasing group of three distanced itself from the rest of the field, but Owen James (Towy Riders), Matthew Thompson (Maindy Flyers) and Amy Roberts (Cardiff Ajax) were left to fight for 2nd and 3rd behind Worrall. James finished 2nd with Thompson 3rd and Roberts 1st U16 Girl in 4th. Ben Beckingsale’s broken bones looked to have mended well as he made it a family hat-trick finishing 1st U14 Boy in 7th place, behind fellow fracture victim, Adam King and Ffion James matched sister Megan’s victory with 1st place in the U14 Girls.
One or two old faces and several new ones lined up with the regulars for the Senior race. As in the Inter-Area the previous Sunday, Lee Williams (Team Wiggle) took to the front off the start-line followed by Ian Jeremiah (Cardiff JIF) and Andrew Baum (unattached). On the 3rd lap Baum was once again unfortunate to break his chain and dropped down to 12th. As Williams increased his lead Jeremiah fought to stay ahead of Luke Moseley (Climb On Bikes) and Julian Winn (Abergavenny RC) chased Veteran Mark James (MI Racing). Williams was a convincing winner ahead of Jeremiah (1st Veteran) and Moseley, with Winn 4th and James 5th and Baum working his way back up to 6th. Sam Anstice (Newport Velo) was 1st Junior and Melanie Alexander (Cardiff JIF) 1st Woman.