What makes crowds of cycling fans line the muddy slopes of Bradford’s Peel Park on a Sunday morning in December? What’s more, why do those riders being cheered on volunteer to throw themselves down the banking, bike in tow?
Cyclo-cross combines the best elements of road riding and mountain biking – the rigid, unforgiving but super-fast frames and skinny tyres normally seen racing on the Tarmac, and the knobbly tread and technical skills required to master an off-road trail.
Here elite riders Kenta Gallagher and Grant Ferguson explain what draws them to cyclo-cross at round five of the National Trophy in Bradford, where Paul Oldham claimed his first series win of the season.
Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) tamed the course’s infamous mud banking to cross the line in 1:09.00 hours, 28 seconds ahead of veteran Nick Craig (Scott UK), with Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles) a futher 58 seconds adrift.
Oldham now leads the overall standings by 18 points from Crawforth and only needs to finish fifth at the final round in Shrewsbury on January 15 to secure the title.
Meanwhile, Annie Last (Boardman Elite) outsprinted Louise Robinson (Stourbridge CC) to claim victory after a race-long battle in the women’s elite event.
Hannah Payton (Kinesis Morvelo) finished fifth but continues to lead the series, 19 points ahead of Adela Carter (WXC). View the full standings here. http://mpora.com/videos/Aesu7hsal