Britain’s new National Trophy Series cyclo-cross champion is targeting a top 30 finish at the world championships in Belgium at the end of the month.
Paul Oldham (HopeTech) clinched the season-long series with third place in the men’s race at Shrewsbury yesterday (15). The race was won by Liam Killeen (Giant) with Jody Crawforth (Hargroves-Specialized-Next-Trant)finishing second on the day and in the series.
Oldham held on to his championship lead with a gutsy ride after a heavy fall threatened to overturn his season-long lead in the series.
“The bike stopped and I didn’t. It hit me in the chest and in the throat. I was winded for a bit and took me a couple of laps to start feeling better. I managed to catch up to Jody [Crawforth], but Liam was really strong again,” he told RoadcyclingUK.
Oldham said he will now rest before traveling with Team GB to the world championships in Koksijde on January 28-29.
The famous Belgian course will be a new experience for the Yorkshireman, who pledged to give the race his best shot. “I’m hoping that ignorance is bliss!” he joked.
“I’ve never ridden there. I’ll go in green and just get on with it. The time gaps at Koksijde are huge. It’s a funny old race. If you look at the world cup races [at Koksijde], a lot fewer riders finish than at normal races, and the time gaps are huge. I would like to be in the top thirty,” he said.
Jody Crawforth (Hargroves-Specialized-Next-Trant) told RoadcyclingUK he was reasonably satisfied with his season, and would race in France this Sunday (21) before turning his attention to the world championships.
“I feel I’ve been going ok this season, but not brilliantly: nothing outstanding, but not too bad. I trained hard over Christmas for the National Championships, but Liam [Killeen] rode very well there and again yesterday. He’s a world class rider.
“I think I’m in quite good form. I’m racing in France at the weekend, and after that I’ll rest up and prepare for the Worlds. I would like to think I can finish in the top 30. On my best day, I’m capable of the top 20, top 25. It’s difficult to predict. A lot is dependent on how good a start you get. The course at Koksidje is quite demanding. It’s quite a different sort of race. Although the course is wide, there’s only one line through the sand. You’re either in the rut or off and running,” he said.
Hannah Payton successfully defended her National Trophy Series title a week after winning her second national championship in the junior category.
Victory in yesterday’s ride was taken by the highly experienced, Louise Robinson, who produced a vintage performance to win by over a minute from Stourbridge CC club mate, Isla Rowntree.
Fourteenth place in the combined senior and U23 men’s race for Steven James (Hargroves-Specialized-Next-Trant) was enough to give him overall victory in the National Trophy Series for U23 men.
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Senior and Under-23 Men
1 Liam Killeen (Giant Factory)
2 Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/Spec)
3 Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)
4 Nick Craig (Team Scott)
5) Daniel Booth (Hope Factory Racing)
1 Louise Robinson (Stourbridge)
2 Isla Rowntree (Stourbridge CC)
3 Amy Roberts (For Viored Brookvex)
4 Delia Beddis (Vicious Velo)
5 Diane Lee (www.Zepnat.com RT/Kuota/GSG)