10:30am Thursday 29th August 2013
THIRTEEN Malvern Cycle Sport riders tackled the London Olympic venue in the British Cycling Series final round.
The technically demanding Hadleigh Farm course in Essex hosted fast races in dry conditions.
Saturday’s practice went well for Malvern and the team all knew the best line and route.
The youth categories opened with Joshua Brooks, Ryan Williamson and Stan Pritchard in the male section.
They started well with Brooks working his way through the field to claim 16th spot. Pritchard had a good race in 26th, while Williamson, despite suffering with a small mechanical issue, managed 18th.
Evie Richards, in the youth female category, led the whole pack out of the main arena and fought well to hold onto the lead for a long time.
However, she was overtaken on the rock garden section and slipped back before riding hard to claim fourth.
Sophie Fennell, another of Malvern’s riders who only started racing nationally this year, was one of the favourites for her category.
But she did not have the best of starts and, despite continuing to push herself, was forced to retire.
Three of Malvern’s top riders tackled the junior male category.
David Creber, James Dickens and Ollie Harcombe, riding all the A-lines, were flying.
Creber stayed with the leading pack for the whole time, lapping similar times to some of the top-20 elite male riders on his way to seventh place.
Dickens did not let a slower start stop him and was soon back in the mix, competing well for 16th spot.
Harcombe flew out of the arena in the top 10 but suffered with cramp on his third lap while descending the rock garden.
Managing to leapfrog the bars of his bike and run down, he got back on and completed his five laps in 17th position.
Thomas Creber, in the sport male category, flew down the descents and rode strongly but suffered with a puncture and mechanical problem.
He fought back but a crash then restricted him to 22nd place.
Ed Moseley and Thomas Fowler were first off in the masters male category with the former leading the pack out of the arena and around the first two laps.
By the third lap, however, Moseley had dropped and, on his fifth lap, retired, while Fowler pressed on to finish eighth.
In the veteran males, Mark Webb began strongly but tired early and opted to play it safe with his route for a respectable 28th spot.
Greg Fitzpatrick, in the grand veterans, enjoyed an impressive race, working his way up the pack to storm home 13th.
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