Congratulations to Neil Simpson, 2014-15 Central Cyclocross League Champion in the V50 category. After a gruelling battle of 10 rounds, Neil topped the series ahead of Finchley RT’s Simon Hime. Highlight of the season was a spectacular solo win at Hillingdon in December which just about sealed the series and reinforced his position as the the most consistent rider in the V50 category.
“Last race of the Eastern League season saw a 150 mile round trip to Bury. When the rain started as I was packing the car I nearly went back inside, put the kettle on and stayed at home but with it being the last race and having missed a couple we headed off to the sound of some new tunes. Anyone heard the new Wild Beasts single?
Topic of the day early on was, unsurprisingly, tyre choice. The course was pretty dry considering all the recent rain so I plumped for the Fangos. The other head scratcher was the course being set up in reverse to last year. Splitting hairs, I prefer going round the other way but that’s just because I feel I’m better turning left than right. No idea why! Anyway, to prove my point, I came off three times. Two of which were fairly poor bits of bike riding, the other was due to someone else.
But overall I was very pleased. A nice wide start grid meant the rarified air of the second row on it. Usefully, and for a change, I made the most of it and headed off in the top 10, possibly still top 15 overall on the first lap. I thought my second lap was awful but looking at it on the lapometer, it was my second fastest! Then some dude from Norwich ABC couldn’t ride one of the banks and blocked me, meaning I slipped off, wasting a good few seconds. Max and Bruce went past soon after whilst I was still grumbling and grovelling for air. I just about managed to hold on and a biggish group stayed together for the next couple of laps. Max pulled away slightly with Phil Peacock but the rest of the group hung together. I came off again and almost took out Bruce whose nifty bike skills took him off course and through the tapes but, impressively, still upright. As we hit what turned out to be the final lap, our group was still together but in the final third I managed to catch the wheel of a Junior and followed him home to grab a top 20 (4th E/Vet). Max was 17th (3rd E/Vet) and Bruce was 23rd (6th E/Vet) So a good day with two Phoenix in the prize money.
Well done to Bruce who finished 4th in the E/Vet League standings. Having lead for a week many moons ago, I ended up 7th which is probably about right. I started well but lost a bit of form when I spent November in Belgium drinking beer. Everyone else spent November collecting points and racing well so chapeau to them. A fun season but time to clean up and spend a bit of time on the road…”
By Steven Drew
The road season may have drawn to a close but cyclocross is now in full swing and Phoenix’s CX contingent has been highly visible at across the Eastern, London and Central Leagues in recent weeks.
Stuart Lockyear got off to a flying start in the opening weeks of the season picking up armfuls of ranking points across all three leagues as well as taking a well deserved win in the 50+ Vets category at Hillingdon in the opening Central League fixture of the season. After the early skirmishes, he was top of the 50+ Veteran British rankings, possibly a Phoenix first? Coming into October he’s held his form and currently sits 6th, well on target for his season goal of a high grid placing and big performance at the National Championships at Derby in January.
Elsewhere, Steven Drew is top of the Elite Vets category of the Eastern League after a series of regular top 10 placings in the first seven rounds of the season. Chris Ball has been hovering up points in the Seniors category and Chris Clague made his mud debut at Baldock in round 3 and has quickly moved up the grid. Meanwhile, Damian Robertson now looks to have recovered from his exertions at the 3 Peaks CX race in Yorkshire, which he completed in a highly impressive four hours, and is showing a return to the form that saw him blast some of the London League’s big hitters at the end of last season.
Most of the CX squad takes a break over the next fortnight as LP plays its part in supporting the Supercross series at Alexandra Palace and the local leagues take a week off. But the mud action ramps up again come mid November as the Eastern League heads into Norfolk and the London League makes its debut at the Cyclopark as the courses start to get muddy!
Simon Pemberton finished the Thetford Summer Enduro in 4th place in Men’s 6hr solo cat from a field of 38 and gave us a report as follows; “I completed 8 laps of a fast and flowing 9 mile course. Mostly singletrack and great to race a Summer course at Thetford rather than the Winter Series as the racing is flat out even over 6 hrs on such a flat course. I was pleased as I was only beaten by sponsored riders inc Lee Eaton from JMC who’s a v.good rider. But also frustrated as I was running third until the last two laps but was getting a lot of pain in the sole of my foot – pedal or shoe not sure. Dropped a couple of minutes and missed podium by a couple of minutes! Great hard fought race though. Hot and sunny with good summer vibes, good prizes and a real effort made by the organisers to get this Summer Enduro established on the calendar.”
The last round of the Mosquito SE/London league was held at Wilmington in rather snowy conditions. Proving that it takes unimaginably bad weather to stop cross racing a brave contingent, including several LP riders, showed what a tough, ingenious bunch they are. Full results here.
Chris Dick had another good day out on this the oldest cross course in the London league taking a well deserved third place.
Full results here.
London Phoenix promoted round nine of the SE series at Gunpowder again and it was considerably muddier than 2011! A challenging but enjoyable day for all riders on a great course. Thank you to all volunteers – course builders, drivers, stewards, and cake bakers! A full list of finishers is here.
Congratulations Chris Dick on placing third in round seven of the SE league. Full results are here.
We are a group of London-based cyclists, who get together for races and training rides. We have a website forum as our virtual clubhouse, and instead of regular weekly club rides from a set place we arrange to meet up for mountain bike, road or cyclocross rides, races and time trials from a variety of venues. We also meet up socially every month.