Heavy overnight rains made for gruelling conditions at the sixth round of the Welsh Cyclo-Cross Championships which were held at Penglais Farm, Aberystwyth last weekend.
Riders and spectators were treated to an afternoon of thrills and plenty of spills as riders across all the ages went hell for leather in the mud.
The Penglais course offers a fair bit of climbing with a couple of very steep sections, and there was no shortage of thick mud which churned up nicely with the freshly cut grass to slow down the quickest of riders.
First home in the open mens race was Gruff Lewis and he was followed in second place by Tim Davies of Abergavenny. Cardiff based cyclist Clare Hoskins was first home in the ladies event with Elynor Backstedt in the runners up spot.
Ystwyth CC member Griff Lewis enjoyed a successful day and came home in third place in the U 14 boys.
1.Gruff Lewis (Madison Genesis)
2.Tim Davies (CC Abergavenny)
3.Matt Fratesi (Swansea University RT)
1.Clare Hoskins (Cardiff JIF)
2.Elynor Backstedt (Backstedt hotchillee)
3.Julia Thomas (Abergavenny RC)
1. Jenny McAide (Gower Riders)
2.Kat Holwill (Hafren CC)
1.Huw Higgins-Worrall (Abergavenny CC)
Tim Davies (CC Abergavenny)
2. Mark James (Team Jewson MI Racing Polypipe).
3. Grant Johnson (Sunset Cycles).
1.Sam Ryland (The Bulls)
2.Alexander Ball (West Lothian Clarion CC).
3. George Marshall (Cardiff JIF)
1.Shannon Haird (West Wales CRT)
1.Joshua Tarling ( West Wales CRT)
2.Griff Lewis (Ystwyth CC)
3.Jack Hastings (Cardiff JIF)
2.Ella McLean Howell (Cardiff JIF)
3.Bethany Bennet (Precision Nutrition)
What is Cyclo-Cross?
Cyclo-cross is off-road cycle racing on grass and tracks, up and down banks, on a circuit of up to one mile in length. It is usually held in public parks or on sports fields and is technically and physically less demanding than mountain-biking.
Anyone can enter no matter what their age, ability or bike, provided they have a helmet and their bike is in good working order. There is a category for everyone and separate races for younger riders.
Events are organized by local cycling clubs and take place across South Wales every Sunday throughout October, November and December. Entry is on the day and is just £1 for Under 12s. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and the courses are well-planned and safe.
A few good reasons to consider Cyclo-Cross as your sport.
•It is accessible – events are local and any bike can be used
•It is less technical than mountain-biking – it makes an ideal stepping-stone to mountain-bike racing for beginners and children
•It improves fitness, agility and bike-handling skills
•It provides grass-roots racing for all – this can be competitive or used as a way of keeping fit
•It is safe – soft surfaces away from busy roads make cyclo-cross ideal for children
•It is family-friendly – events are very sociable and the emphasis is on enjoyment for all the family
•It is easy and inexpensive to enter – entry for Under 12s is £1
Pictures by Beverley Hemmings.