Roger Hammond in National RR jersey ’04 © Gerard Brown
With big fields and competitive races in prospect Sutton Park will be the place to be this weekend as it’s the venue for the 52nd running of the National Cyclo-Cross Championships.
Nick Craig (Scott UK) is the current Champion, however expect a bit of a race with past runner up Jody Crawforth (Evans RT), Oli Beckingsale (Giant Racing) and Liam Killeen (Specialized) all showing MTB pedigrees and they’ve had very few head to heads over the season for a clear favourite to spring up.
Ian Field and Steven Roach (Trek/SIS) also offer a challenge and will be after the U23 title too. Roger Hammond (Discovery) has also not had much racing this year on skinny mud tyres, but he will be keen to throw in a good performance as he builds for the Worlds and the 2006 Classic season. Should be a cracking race, don’t take your eyes off this one!
Will 2006 be Helen Wyman’s year?
This is now a hotly contested Championships and the field grows stronger every year. Louise Robinson (Stourbridge CC/Parkers) won last year and returns to defend, but has little to gauge her form by and may well have too much on her hands as she will have to battle with on form Team Fat Birds riders Helen Wyman and Gabriella Day. Sue Thomas (Voodoo Cycles.net) is also back to her best and Victoria Wilkinson (Coventry RC/RideCov.co.uk) also rides.
Adrian Timmis (Pinarello RT) is a bit of a ‘Cross dark horse, and although he’s had a few injuries this season the former TdF rider is our tip for the top spot in the Veterans category. Roy Hunt (SIS) looks pretty unbeatable in the Over 50s. Mick Ives (MI Racing) will also probably be on the podium again.
Juniors and Youth
Tom Last (Matlock CC) looks favourite for the Junior podium although the very talented Jonathan McEvoy (Kinesis UK) could threaten. Alex Paton (VC Deal) would be our bet for the Youth title, but we’re usually wrong! The girls youth competition look pretty close too. Annabel Simpson (Raleigh-ERV) is the favourite, being unbeaten in her category this season. But Annie Last (Matlock CC) and Rebecca Thompson (GB Cycles) could surprise.
Weekend Event Timetable
Saturday 7th January
11:30 am Veterans Over-50 Championships
12:45 am Youth Championships
2:00 pm Veterans Over-40 Championships
Sunday 8th January
10:15 am Under 12s Race (non-Championship event)
11:00 am Women’s Championship
12:30 pm Junior Men’s Championship
2:15 pm Senior Men’s Championship (incorporating U23 Men’s Championship)
Access to the Park: Free parking via Town Gate, signposted off the A5127 between Sutton Coldfield Town Centre and Four Oaks.
Full field start list here