West Suffolk Wheelers & Triathlon Club enjoy successful end to cyclo cross season

The final Eastern Cyclo Cross League meeting of the season took place at King Edward School in Bury St. Edmunds on the 18th January.

Hosted by West Suffolk Wheelers & Triathlon Club over a fast and challenging course around the school grounds, the event saw the club rewarded for the fine efforts of club members in the final league placings, with gold for Harley Gregory in the U8 category, bronze to Charlie Knowler in the U10 category and bronze to Barry Denny (Vet 60). Tenacious riding over the season saw Mike Bowen finish 3rd overall Vet 45/50. All helped the club to finish a solid 9th team overall.

The race itself attracted a large field, and with many final league placings to be decided each race was keenly contested.

Sam Asker finished 8th in the youth race (U14/U16) to round off a fine season and with 2 years remaining in this category can be confident of further improvement. Sam’s final league placing was a very commendable 4th U14. Brother Matthew placed 22nd with Robin Lines changing from his usual Mountain Bike racing to finish 35th followed by Max Bidewell in 38th.

In the combined U8/U10 race, Charlie Knowler finished 4th with Harley Gregory at 10th. A brave ride from Oliver Griggs returning from injury resulted in 11th place followed by Victoria Asker (15th), Jacob Taylor (17th), Grace Whitwell (18th) and Sophie Griggs (19th). Fraser Gregory withdrew with bike problems.

The Vets 45/50 category saw Mike Bowen finish in 5th, with Paul Watson (18th), Maclom McFarlane (40th) Ian Mortlock (44th) Adrian Grimwood (50th) Simon Elsworth (51st) and Boyd Nicholas (55th).

In the U12 race, Thomas Macro (13th), Matthew Whitwell (17th) and Lianna Denny (27th) will all be very pleased with their season.

In the senior category, Richard Stiff finished in 46th, with debutant Chris Royston in 53rd and Matt Denny 57th.

A full round up of the final league ndividual placings are as follows:

Elite Vets

19th Matt Denny

23rd James Asker

33rd Richard Stiff

53rd John Brooks

Vets 45/50/60

3rd Mike Bowen (3rd Vet 45)

41 Simon Elsworth

43 Adrian Grimwood

44 Ian Mortlock

50 Barry Denny (3rd V60)

57 Paul Watson

65 David Griggs

73 Darren Baker

117 Paul Barry


14 Sam Asker (4th U14)

24 Matthew Asker

31 Fraser Elsworth

66 Max Bidewell

Under 12

17 Matthew Whitwell

25 Thomas Macro

Under 8/Under 10

3rd Charlie Knowler (3rd overall)

10th Harley Gregory (1st Under 8)

13 Victoria Asker

15 Grace Whitwell

17 Oliver Griggs

All club members can be very pleased with their results; some (such as Ian Mortlock and Simon Elsworth) were riding in only their first season of races, some were in their second season whilst others were more experienced.

Several have crossed from MTB racing, notably Paul Watson and Robin Lines. Those who follow the Tour de France will know Peter Sagan to have been a world junior cyclo cross silver medallist in 2009.

Cyclo cross is full on from the whistle, and makes for great short course racing (typically 30-60 minutes) and winter training. Above all, as everyone who helped and spectated at our league meeting will know, it is fun and attracts large numbers of families.

The club has increased its numbers in the age groups up to U16 and over Vet 40 level, and as can be seen has produce as very successful season with a good number of medals, including one gold and three bronze. Sam Asker was just pipped for bronze in his category by the smallest of margins, which also goes to show the competitive nature of the sport.

In order to build on this year’s success, your club needs your support in the form of new racers, especially men and women in the junior and senior categories (typically late teens through to 20s and 30s).

The season starts in September and finishes with the team event in early February. If anyone has any questions, Barry Denny or Paul Barry (Paul is a qualified level 2 cyclo cross coach) will be pleased to help.

There are many very talented riders in the club; road, track, time triallists and triathletes (many triathletes use ‘cross as winter training).

Why not come and give cyclo cross a try? You might even surprise yourself and enjoy a podium finish as well!

Photos of the events

Malcolm Macfarlane photos on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/97792528@N02/sets/