2009 Round 6 Parc Cwm Darran, Deri
Rain, more rain and yet more rain tested the affections of even the most loyal fan of the Parc Cwm Darran course – and this is one course that you either love or hate. The venue is the site of the old Ogilvie Colliery and most riders looked as though they had been down a coal-mine by the end of their race.
Last season they fought to stay upright on the frozen ground – this year the U12s struggled with waterlogged grass and mud and a showering of cold, black water that had mothers wondering if they would ever get their jerseys clean again. Teifion Best was back on form again this Sunday and led the race from start to finish with Jessica Roberts just avoiding the spray from his back wheel and Ben Beckingsale trying hard to keep in touch with them. Despite starting 20 seconds later, U10s Megan James and Joe Beckingsale finished well up amongst the U12s. As at the previous round Megan again lost out to Joe in a sprint to the line.
In the Youth race the trio of Owen James, Matthew Thompson and Geraint Manley soon distanced themselves from the rest of the field, with James the driving force. But with an impressive display of strength Thompson took to the front as they climbed up the valley side and out of sight on the final lap, only to suffer a puncture and finish on a flat back tyre behind James. Elinor Barker was 1st U16 Girl and Ben Dunster and Emily Haycox 1st U14 Boy and Girl, but all did well to finish on a course that was tough on rider and on bike.
Andrew Baum was soon to the fore in the Senior race and, with no repeat of the broken chain that had set him back in his previous two races, he was an emphatic winner ahead of Veteran Mark James and Mark Davies. Ross Porter was unfortunate to puncture here yet again (just as he had in the previous year’s Welsh Championships) and his 4th place was taken by U23 Rhys Powell. Although Mark Spratt’s bad luck continued, girlfriend Melanie Alexander extended her run of wins and Luke Cornish rode strongly to finish 1st Junior.