Just one point separates Jody Crawforth and Paul Oldham at the top of the elite men’s National Cyclo-Cross Trophy standings going into the final round at Whitwell Leisure Park, Rutland Water on Sunday January 16.
Hargroves Cycles rider Crawforth, national ‘cross champion in 2009, has amassed 201 points from the first five rounds of the six-leg series, while Hope Factory Racing’s Oldham claimed victory in Bradford on December 12 to close the gap on his rival ahead of the finale.
The 2010 Rutland race saw Oldham finish as the top British rider in fifth behind a strong visiting Belgian contingent to secure the series win.
“Last year Rob Peeters (Fidea-Telenet), fresh from fourth place in the Belgian Championships, headed the bill and showed a clean pair of wheels to all those in the main event of the day, and the expectation is once again that several riders of a similar stature in the sport will make the final line-up at Whitwell,” said race director Colin Clews.
“Like the International CiCLE Classic in April each year, the Rutland CiCLE Classic ‘Cross is promoted as one of ‘Britain’s Belgian Classics’, as both races are modelled on the top races in that European country.
“That riders from Belgium are happy to experience the organisation and quality of the race once and then return each year shows how well our claim is being achieved.”
This year’s showdown also represents a potential revenge match from the National Cyclo-Cross Championships held just seven days earlier in Derby – as well as the last opportunity to impress the British selectors ahead of the World Championships in Germany two weeks later.
To take a look at the full series standings, head this way.